Tomorrow starts the annual Bluffton Free Street Fair Week. I don’t remember what year this is. It was 100 years a few years though.
For the benefit of folks who aren’t from around here, let me explain. This isn’t just a normal fair. It is a country fair on steroids times a hundred. Streets are already closed off. There is no driving through town at all. It is impossible to go some places (like the bank or the post office). The hospital is at the edge so you can get there…kinda. The library closes for the entire week because they would have no legitimate business and no one could get there anyway. When I say our town shuts down, I truly mean our town shuts down – all so people can eat elephant ears and ride the tilt-a-whirl. And don’t even get me started on how much people spend entertaining their family for a week.
I am not a fair or festival person. Never have been. And my office used to be right in the middle of this mess. There is absolutely nothing charming about watching a carnie staggering from his trailer at 11 am while zipping up his jeans. Then seeing him and his bare feet make their way to the port-a-potty outside my back office door. I’m thrilled my office is no longer near this mess.
The people who live in the middle of it cannot park at their house and they have to live with the noise all week. That’s in addition to the businesses who have their parking lots co-opted by rv parking for carnival people.
The Street Fair consumes our town. Business stops. Schools used to close for a day. Thankfully the state added enough days they couldn’t do that anymore. The ISTEP testing used to be the same week. What a disaster that was. Kids want to be out playing Whack-A-Mole instead of getting to bed early. The Mouse Game hasn’t been picketed by PETA yet, but this is rural America.
Oh, and there is a parade every single day. Really. A different parade every night.
The only good things I see about the fair is the money the local organizations make on all that food. Things like Taco Heaven’s taco potatoes, ZUM sticks (chocolate dipped fruit and marshmallows on a skewer), etc.
I hope the people who love the fair are happy and get it out of their system for another year. I know I will be glad when I can get through town again.
I am thankful that there is no waiting in line anywhere away from the fair for lunch. That’s a bonus. Plus I get lots done at work since nothing is happening this week.