Monday, 3 June 2013


The real start of the summer season for our family is the local Festival on Main Street (also known as Festivus, for most of us.) It's held the first weekend of June every year in the town where my husband and I grew up and I've never missed a year since I was a kid. I've made it a point, no matter where we were living at the time, to bring the boys every year since they were born.

Festival is a blast. It starts with a morning parade with all the expected small-town kitsch (the Town Crier in full costume, police on horseback, firetrucks, homemade floats, Brownie and gymnastics troops, bagpipe bands, clowns handing out candy to kids along the route.)

Then it's bouncy castles by the library at one end of Main Street, kids' games by the church at the other end, and a leisurely wander the length of the closed street filled with vendors and performers and food, stopping every few minutes to watch a juggler, listen to a band, grab an ice cream, and chat with someone we bump into from way back in the day.

Everyone heads back to the hometown for Festival.

Face painting, cotton candy, arts and crafts outside the art gallery, a petting zoo by the arena, and finally the Crazy Craft race at the pond where the entertainment is in the splash wars and who will fall in first rather than anyone actually rounding the buoys and finishing the race.

The rest of the afternoon is then spent on our favourite patio with a few pints while we people watch.

Festival has always been one of my favourite family field trips, and I'm so glad my kids are growing up with the same family traditions and memories I've always cherished.

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