Christmas is the best day of the year. It’s the birthday of baby Jesus. It’s beautiful and snowy and there is family and food and corny music that everyone loves. There are cookies. I love cookies.
Today is the second best day of the year.
Today is a day that sneaks up on me, even though I plan for it all year long.
Today is the day that the carnival comes to town!
I’m jumping up and down clapping! (Well, not NOW, because I can’t type while I’m doing that. But I was. Earlier.)
I almost drove off the bridge craning my neck to see which rides they brought this year.
I had to turn around RIGHT AWAY and go home and get my little girl and rush back to the park to see EXACTLY what the carnival brought with them.
I’M SO EXCITED!!!
Every year, on the second full weekend of July, our little town celebrates little-towndom with a sweet family oriented festival.
Once the festival is in full swing there will be a beer tent (highly controversial in a town with more 6 times more churches than stop lights (not exaggerating)). There are inflatable jumping castles and guys selling $1 trinkets out of colorful moving bins. There are three separate stages with music going all weekend long and pony rides and a place that sells home-made vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s syrup on top for $2 a cup. There are tractor pulls and a beauty pageant and, new this year, a bull riding contest. There are Civil War re-enactors and local crafters and a guy making BBQ on a giant grill. There is a 24 hour softball tournament and a car and motorcycle show. There are fried candy bars and pork chops on a stick. There are gigantic snowcones.
“I can’t stand the festival,” some people say.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! WHAT LANGUAGE ARE YOU SPEAKING?!?!
Maybe you just don’t understand about the festival. Let me tell you more.
In the midst of all this glorious, musical, brightly colored, fabulously aromatic, slightly maniacal wonderfulness (Yes. That is a word, here on this blog, where I am empress) is the crowning centerpiece:
And today is the day the carnival came to town!
They just started unloading.
There is a whole other side of the park that’s still empty. It will all be packed with ridiculously wonderful delightfulness (also a word): A giant inflatable slide, a rock climbing wall, make-your-own craft tents, and vendors of every sort.
I have always loved the festival. I can picture the exact place where the throw-a-ping-pong-ball-and-win-a-fish game stood when I was only 7-years-old. Now I get to share the excitement with my own beautiful little 7-year-old girl!
I loved it so much, for so long, that when we moved back to my little home town I joined the festival committee so that I get to have a little part in planning the most wonderful event of the year. By the end of the week I will be dirty and sunburned. My hands will have injuries from fixing broken tent ropes and hammering stage decorations. I’ll be frustrated by some vendor that didn’t show up or complained about their spot or refused to pay the agreed upon price. I will be totally and completely DONE with the festival for this year.
But by next year, I’ll be ready to go again.
And just like always, even though I spent an entire year working and planning, making phone calls, mailing letters, measuring spaces and sitting through meetings that are way too late at the end of days that were way too long, when the carnival rolls into town again I will slam on the brakes and giggle with joy. I will hurry to the park and wander amongst them (just because I can) in my hideous day-glo yellow “FESTIVAL COMMITTEE” shirt. I will hold my daughter’s hand and watch with wonder as the Amazing Carnival Guy hangs from one foot and one hand from the top of the ferris wheel, hooking on parts. I will try to guess what’s inside each of the brightly colored trucks that have yet to be unloaded. I will be so very very excited.
Because TODAY IS THE (second) BEST DAY OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR!
Today, the carnival came to town.