Sunday's outing to the Main Street Summer Soulstice Festival in Santa Monica invites comparison with three pre-solstice festivals in Idaho: Eagle Fun Days, Emmett Cherry Festival, and Meridian Dairy Days. I can't believe I attended all four!
A plethora of Idaho festivals was our older son's ploy to keep his 5-year-old occupied, and to enjoy watching her innocent enjoyment of things totally new to her. The 15-mile drive to Emmett was enhanced by mountain scenery and glimpses of the rushing Payette River. The 4-mile drive from Culver City to Main Street was climaxed by a half-hour search for parking.
Each event had its unique features -- Eagle's Wet and Wild Parade and Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed, Emmett's vast array of bizarre activities and amateur entertainment (everything from cowboy poets and Patsy Cline imitators to cherry-pit spitting and a dunking booth), Meridian's Mascot Dance-off, and Santa Monica's 24 live bands including Heartless, fronted by our friend Diana Drake. Steve wore his Heartless t-shirt, turned to a reverse tie-dye by my laundry boo-boo.
Foods ranged from traditional to nouvelle carnival food. .The Idaho fests were heavy on deep-fried stuff: green beans (not quite tempura, but possibly trying for it), corndogs (regular and Basque style), and bloomin onions. I guess the rocky mountain oysters are grilled, though. Santa Monica's Main Street offered Corn Maiden Tamales, crepes of various descriptions, wheat grass juice, and panini.
Besides food, I purchased emu oil salve in Eagle, earrings and a tiny crocheted bag* in Meridian. A visit with our Idaho wifi purveyor in Emmett led to a service enhancement after quality time spent on the phone with their CS department in Buffalo, NY. Did virtually NO shopping on Main Street.
What of the attendees? Families with children, singles with dogs, elderlies with oxygen. Santa Monica had a greater percentage of 'old hippie' types, while the Idaho events had more young teens holding hands (in Santa Monica these must've been at the beach). Mr. Tree graced Diana's performance for a short time.
A moratorium on festivals may be appropriate for July, but bring on Culver City's Fiesta La Ballona in August!
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*Yes! I shall deconstruct and reconstruct this new-to-me 1913 design.