Small Town USA...You've Gotta LOVE All Of Those Festivals!

One of the things I love about small towns, is their ability to put on some really great festivals.  I'm not sure about other areas in the U.S., but small towns in the south are famous for festivals celebrating everything from sweet potatoes to meat pies.  This weekend, I decided since I was in town and the weather was perfect, I would partake in a little festival fun.

Colfax is a very small town, not terribly far from where I live.  As I travel to to our ACE store, I take a shortcut that runs right through the middle of the town.  It is one of those small towns that if your blink, you might miss it...that, in and of itself, makes it the perfect location for a festival.  Every year at this time, the Pecan Festival is held in Colfax.  Sure, it is a celebration of the pecan (pecan groves surround the town) and all sorts of goodies made from the pecan, but it is also a festival filled with fun and unusual activities, served up with every kind of fair food one can imagine.

Caitlin and her former college roommate, Tabitha, accompanied me to the festival on Saturday.  Upon arriving, we walked right into a mass of people who were either buying hand crafted items, riding carnival rides or eating  any variety of food that had been deep fried or was coated in sugar.  We started out by perusing all of the craft booths and store vendors in attendance.  The homemade items had been judged the day before and had ribbons hanging on their booth tents.  One could find anything from canned pepper jellies to hair bows and paintings of Fleur de lis.  The vendors were not only quite friendly, but also persuasive in getting you to check out the wares they were selling.  OK...Caitlin could not resist their persuasiveness and purchased a really cute Fleur de lis blown glass pendant in purple in gold (gotta support our LSU Tigers!)  that hung from ribbons.  Once we made it through the craft section of the festival, the enticing aroma of fair foods began to call our names.

Well, actually the food was calling Caitlin's name.  While we were still walking to the festival, she instructed us to "not let her get a funnel cake" even if she said she wanted one.  Sure, they smelled great and the first couple of bites were delicious, but eating an entire funnel cake always made her have a tummy ache...imagine that; deep fried batter covered with powdered sugar giving someone a tummy ache!  SO...we did not allow her to have a funnel cake, however, before we knew what was happening, she was marching straight toward a concession stand to purchase a Bloomin' Onion...yea, like THAT would NOT cause the same stomach issues...or worse.  She insisted, so we waited for it to deep fry.  During that wait, I noticed that a helicopter kept buzzing overhead and wondered out loud what was going on.  Tabitha stated that they were probably giving helicopter rides.  "NO WAY!", I said.  That is when a local, standing nearby, interjected, "Sure are...ya'll oughta go take a ride."  Hmmm...I think NOT.  If I wouldn't take a helicopter ride in Hawaii, I sure as heck am not going to take one at a festival!  However, we saw a ride that looked interesting down the road a ways...the mechanical bull!  Caitlin decided that after eating the Bloomin' Onion, that is where we would head.  Tabitha and I looked at each other and quickly determined that it would be Caitlin riding that bull!  As she climbed on, the little man operating the bull began encouraging her with," Come on, sweet pea...don't let that ole bull throw ya off, now."'ve just gotta LOVE the south! Well,she rode it at least long enough for us to snap a picture of her on it.  From there, we kept walking and every concession stand we passed, Caitlin commented that "Aw...I really wanted a turkey leg" or "They had Philly Steak Sandwiches here?"  As we were walking back toward our car, she did stop for a mini pecan pie...after all, one cannot attend the Pecan Festival without buying something made with pecans.

It had been a fun couple of hours we had spent in the little town of Colfax.  How nice to take off and do something out of the ordinary with people you enjoy spending time with.  A lazy Saturday with no other agenda than festival going, college football watching and visiting with family and friends.  Now, THAT is what life is all about!

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