Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wyandotte Street Fair

Larry Lee Band- took this pic for the Wyandotte Patch
I was feeling kind of sentimental this year about the street fair- it has been a part of my life every summer for as long as I can remember. The only thing that has changed through the years has been me, and my own involvement in it.

When I was young, like little enough to be carried around on my father's shoulders, my favorite way to travel when I was two and three, I was there as an observer.  I didn't have much of an opinion on the art that if for sure- I think the only thing I cared about were these marionettes made from hot pink feathers that were sold there for a few brief years.  I loved those.  I had one.  I wonder what happened to it. Visiting the fair solely with family was pretty much my involvement for 14 years.  Later, as a high school student, I was allowed to go with my friends and walk around.  I would get a tropical shave ice and just hang out, looking for people I knew.  During college, I worked downtown at Gail's Office Supply, now out of business.  I worked 4 days straight, 12 hours a day.  They were long days, but I always had a blast with my coworkers.  I told my boss I would work the whole thing if I got to work outside the entire time, which she did.  I loved soaking up the atmosphere, watching the crowds go by, seeing what they bought, listening to the music.  It was probably the four best days of work a year.  After graduating college, I spent a few years just visiting the fair with whoever would go with me- Billy wasn't always down for going.  Later, I spent several summers in a row volunteering with various animal rescue groups at their booth.  This year I managed to do all of the above- I visited the fair with friends. I visited the fair with family- twice. Once for a leisurely morning with my mom, later a crazy Friday evening with my dad, stepmom, and nephew.  Both times were great fun and brought back memories.  I also worked one night for the Patch, and also volunteered the next day at our booth.  I managed to visit the fair all four days, each in a different way. And somehow I never got an elephant ear!
M y nephew - enjoying his first art fair.

Everyone has their own traditions and secrets about street fair - the best place to park, the best place to eat, the best day, the best time to go.  Some people go just for the music; some go only for the art. And some people just go for the beer tent.  Personally, I like to take it all in, from all perspectives. I have my own street fair traditions and ideas - this year, I even found a new place to eat after 33 years! 

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