And what better way to bring in a Southern Fall than a trip to the Pumkintown Fall Festival? The Man and me and all our young 'uns decided to load up our '98 Ford Windstar and visit this famed fall festival on Saturday. And while this shindig has been mentioned by the likes of Southern Living, posh and sophisticated it ain't. But, I figured we should go since it would likely result in a blog post that practically wrote itself. I was right.
Folks, allow me to indulge in a bit of cultural commentary pertaining to this here region. Here are the favorites (in no particular order):
* A greased pole climb...with a professional commentator.
* Local bluegrass bands and cloggers...of all ages and sizes. Did you know that 3-year-old itty bitty cloggers exist in real life?
* Confederate re-enactors...even though there wasn't a re-enactment. And even though the Confederacy was defeated exactly 143 year ago. No kidding. When we first arrived and were looking for a place to park, I almost told The Man to keep driving, that maybe this excursion was a mistake. That's because I saw Jed and Zedekiah walking down the side of the road, complete with Confederate caps, boots, and facial scruff. Unfortunately, they weren't alone. My favorite "soldier" was walking around the festival with his lady. I'm pretty sure she was blind because this Jed was wearing authentic 19th-century military boots...with sweat pants. With a Little House on the Prarie "Pa" undershirt (tucked into the sweat pants). With suspenders holding the sweatpants up. But that's not all. Around the sweat pants he sported a holster. For his knives. And of course this little number was topped off with the obligatory Confederate cap and 9-day-old facial scruff. I wanted to take a picture so bad but I feared Jed might knife me. The picture would have been totally worth it though.
* The food. Fried Oreos. Again, I'm not kidding. As if partially-hydrogenated-oils, artificial coloring, and high-fructose corn syrup were not enough for these round sandwich slices of Americana, Bubba and company decided they would ensure artery clogging by deep frying these bad boys in peanut oil. Yep, people were lined up to get their sticky fingers on these deep-fried morsels...and paying $2 for just four of them! Obviously yours truly was not about to lower myself to such barbaric culinary standards. Instead, I opted for the much-healthier option of a funnel cake, laden with powdered sugar. And lest you think I was gluttonous and foolish enough to singlehandedly inhale a 9-inch-wide swirly pile of deep-fried dough, rest assured I did not. I shared it with my 10-month-old baby.
* The crafts. No less than 40 craft vendors came from far and wide to attend this annual festivity. And while there were many handmade treasures I would have gladly taken home (beautiful beaded jewelry, dried hydrangea bouquets, and exquisitely-scented homemade soaps), a John Deere hair scrunchie was not one of them.
* The bumper stickers. I'm pretty sure there were more "United We Stand" bumper stickers per capita than any other place in America. And then I got to thinking, with such a solid showing of national pride and patriotism, isn't the whole Confederate thing a bit oxymoronic? Unless I am historically mistaken, didn't the Confederates decide they did not want to be united with the other states of America? Just a thought.
Well, I could go on but you get a nice overview. Next year I'm going with my camera and a wide-angle zoom lens so I can hide behind trees and take pictures. It's twisted, I know but I feel a sick need to prove to all of you that this stuff is all too real. Ooooh, maybe I can borrow some of Jed's Confederate camouflage so I can just blend into the crowd!
(My young 'uns were plum wore out from The Pumkintown Fall Festival. Ain't they sweet, all snuggled up together at their Nana & Poppy's house later that night?)