Friday, July 06, 2007

Festivus for the Rest of Us

It's Festival Time in the Midwest. Time to pack your Samsonite luggage and head for the Pigeon Forge vacation rentals and hit all the hot spots in between.

I think it's because the winter can seem so harsh here in the Midwest, that when Summer finally comes, we seize upon any reason as an excuse to be outside, drink beer and eat fried food.

In Traverse City, they have the Cherry Festival over July 4th even though the local cherries aren't blooming yet. Let's not let Mother Nature get in the way of taking advantage of the long holiday and the auto plant shutdowns. If you didn't know, the auto companies take two weeks for plant shut down at the start of July. The Cherry Festival is a big deal.

But it's the smaller, goofier festivals that appeal the most. The Cornfest in Auburn, Michigan and starts on July 12th. Of course the corn's not in yet, but it's the thought that counts. Yes, that's Corny the official mascot over there. Make your travel plans now.

There's the Munger Potato Festival. And while I've never been (despite my love of all things potato), doesn't "mungering" sound like something you could get arrested for? The big news out of Munger is that last year's Potato Queen was forced to give up her crown. Not for naked pictures or any racy conduct, just because she couldn't make enough events because she was in school. Man, I remember when Potato Queen wasn't such a political post. Can't we put bipartisan bickering aside for the sanctity and majesty of the Potato Crown? Luckily, they'll be picking a new Potato Queen from all the Potato Princesses (see how I avoided making a "tot" joke there?) at the end of July.

Finally, in Rittman it's the Sleepwalker Festival also at the end of July. This is a bit of an odd one in that it takes place on Thursday and Friday and doesn't even warrant weekend outdoor drinking. Luckily, there's plenty of fried food including fries, sweet potato fries (take that Munger), fried bananas, Blooming Onions, fried veggies, fried cheese, fried bologna, donuts, and pizza on a stick. Not sure how pizza on a stick works. Maybe it's friend so it stays on the stick. The best thing, you can also get free cholesterol and blood pressure checks from WRH Health System on Friday, July 27th. I can't make stuff up that's this good.

Oh, and there's a 3 on 3 basketball tournament because you'll want plenty of high humidity exercise after all that fried food.

What's the goofiest festival you have in your nape of the woods?


Chunks said...

I have no idea yet, but you can bet I will blog about it when it comes up!

Something I've always wondered...why do they call it the midwest? It's hardly west and it's not even in the middle, is it? I don't get that. Please enlighten me if you can. :)

Jamie/foundme said...

Our town has Applefestival, but we DO wait till fall when the apples are READY. And another town has "Sweet Corn and Watermelon Festival." That sounds good SEPARATELY, but together... it sounds odd.

And as for the midwest, I always wondered the same thing, too. I live in Illinois. I may be in the middle area of the country, but not on the western side of the middle, but if you divide the middle into two, and I'm on the east half of the middle, I'm in the midwestern side of the eastern half???

Anonymous said...

The term comes from back when the country was divided with everything east of Kentucky or so being the "West." According to the almighty Wikipedia, the West was then divided into the "Far West" and the "Middle West."

We just recently had a Strawberry festival here in upstate NY. That isn't too goofy, but I was surprised by how few strawberry-related items were there.

Kevin said...

Actually the Cherry Festival this year doesn't start until tomorrow (July 7th-14th) and the cherries are actually ready (for once). They had an early season, it was all over our newspapers up here. hehe.

I have pondered the midwest title myself for awhile, so if you know the story behind it, please share with us. lol :)

t2ed said...

I'd heard the same thing that kitkat did. It's just left over from before they'd explored everything in the US and it just stuck.

But then I also have a brother-in-law from California who thinks Ohio is the East Coast. He always gets excited when he gets to come to the "East Coast." We just humor him.

Kevin said...

I totally didn't even see their comment when I posted, I must be blind. lol. That is good info to know, thanks! :D