Autumn just crackles with the excitement of small town festivals. This year, we made it to West Fest in West Fork, the Cane Hill Harvest Festival, the Lincoln Apple Festival, and the Greenland Centennial. I love small town parades! Benjamin and Terry marched with the cub scouts in the West Fork West Fest parade on September 18. I loaded up on candy. Being there by myself made it easier to meet the other parade spectators. I sort of hooked up with this family of grandparents with their two tween grandkids. We traded candy, mostly Smarties for Tootsie Rolls. We talked; I found out that the tween girl goes to school with my best friend’s son in Greenland. We walked back to our cars together. I was really feeling like I belonged even though I live in an entirely different neighboring small town. Then I met back up with Terry and Benjamin, and we checked out West Fest, had some delicious biscuits and gravy and bought some really good fifty cent home made chocolate chip cookies, ran into that family again. It was one of the best small town adventures. Unfortunately, we had to leave early to make it to Benjamin’s 3rd grade basketball game.
After the basketball game, we headed down to Cane Hill for the Harvest Festival. We had never made it to one of these before, didn’t even know they had it until this year. We are definitely going next year and earlier in the day. We got there so late, we missed the processing of the cane sugar using antique sugar cane sugar getting machines. We got to see them washing them out. We did catch them mashing some up with a pre-antique machine that used a tree with a man turning it Conan style (the barbarian, not the talk show host). Terry asked if we could have a piece of cane that had fallen on the ground, and the sweet old guys running the stuff told us to go get a nice piece off the truck. Terry cut up pieces for us to chew on. I had never chewed sugar cane before. They also had some booths with crafts and such. Benjamin got to make a rope to keep for free and used it to rope some metal and wood cows they had set up. He was still wearing his basketball uniform so obviously we wound up talking to the old man who grew up in Greenland.
On October 2, in between basketball and a potluck dinner in the evening, we drove down to Lincoln, AR for the annual Apple Festival. There were all the usual craft booths, food booths, but the highlight at this festival is the annual apple coring, pealing, and slicing machine and the handing out of free sliced and pealed apples.
The Greenland Centennial on October 9 was bigger than I expected. They had a few things for the kids, live music of the country sort, a parade, and — best of all — free food! Burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and potato salad. Of course, to attend the next one, you’ll have to wait another hundred years. I did hear that Greenland is planning to start having an annual festival of their own, though.