Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Festivus For the Rest of Us

Celebrating life and doing OK

Bringing us together.
Wife Carrying in Maine.
This is a great time of the year for festivals.  If we aren't busy with family, hubby and I like to visit the towns nearby that are having celebrations, with the criteria being that some sort of refreshments will be served.  Our area has some nice events and most of the ones we have gone to this year had the words "food, wine, and music" in their title.   It all rather tame when you compare it to all the Celebrations of Craziness that are held throughout the world. I am sure most of us have seen pictures of the Wife Carrying Contest Finals that are held in Finland and is covered by the media every year.  However, you may not know that there are regional contests for this that are held all over.  There is one that takes place in the very respectable state of Maine.  People come from all over to see men drag their wives though dirt and mud to gain the glory and win a prize of their wife's weight in beer.  Now I ask myself, what is in this for the wives.  What does she get after being hauled around in unnatural positions and hanging on for dear life as he crosses streams and shoots through trees.  My thought is that she she will be blessed with listening to his moaning about his back pain for the next few months.  If that happens, she should eat all the strawberry shortcake and pizza she can get her hands on till the next event he plans like that.

Splish, splash, I'm taking a bath.

If listening to grunting is not your cup of tea, you might want to attend the La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain.  Bring some pasta and bread and maybe a bottle of vino. Sauce is on the house.

Meet the neighbors
One festival I would love to attend would be the one in New Mexico.  No, not the beautiful Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, but rather the Alien Festival in Roswell.  This is, (yes, I am going to say it) out of this world.  So if you are interested in flying saucers or maybe have one of your own,  put on your Spock ears, ask Scottie to beam you up and head for Roswell.  I hear they serve a mean alien pate. 

Local events bring back the old community spirit that was so central to the quality of life when I was growing up.  Even in New York, we knew everybody on our block, children played together, and people always dropped by.  Today we are supposedly so connected technically, but disconnected socially.  People don't even talk on phones anymore, but rather text.  There is too much unimportant information freely put out there, but little personal interaction.  Sad, but this is the way it is today, however, we don't have to accept it.  When we have those opportunities to meet with our neighbors and celebrate something that could brings us together, we should go, participate, and enjoy.

P.S. Leave your IPhone or Blackberry at home and instead "link" to the people around you.  You might meet a new "real" friend.
Me, I am planning on jumping on hubby's back and heading for the next fall harvest festival.  He'll be glad I got on this diet. Giddy up, big guy.



  1. Meet you at Roswell....

  2. What a lot of fun! All of those festivals sound like a blast. That wife-carrying contest offers a real dilemma. The guy wants a hefty gal so he can win more booze, but yipes! he has to tote her? I think I'll just meet you and Delores in Roswell.

  3. We used to have Bed Races here in Boca Raton when I was a kid. I think it has gotten too crowded and overpopulated. We don't have that sense of community anymore.

  4. That wife-carrying-race is hysterical! Luckily here in Niagara on the Lake, we have one festival after the other. Every jam-making and vegetable-pickling one you can think of, ice-wine, etc, etc. Being a little town that relies heavily on tourism, we have to constantly think of things to draw the tourists in. I find our local pub a great stand-in for times when festivals grow thin...we all meet there for a drink at 5, catch up on the news about town and then head to our separate homes for dinner...very civilized.
    Love your header photo!

  5. Great tip- put down the keyboards and pick up a real live conversation. There are always community events and they need you to attend! We don't have whacky fun things like the ones you mention, but we have the Harris Hill Ski Jump, which is breathtaking. I haven't gone in years. This winter, I'm going.

  6. So true. I love the feeling of community at festivals. Terry & I went to a folk music festival this summer that was wonderful. The day after Thanksgiving...there is a famous MN ice fish house parade! You should come visit for that one! I think MN winters get too long and we have to come up with wacky, fun ideas to celebrate. Enjoy your hubby ride!

  7. Wife carrying, what a concept. I like odd festivals like that.

  8. Loved your post! Never heard of wife carrying, but it sounds like lots of fun to watch! Oh I so agree about make it a point to get out and interact with other people in the world, community, family. I'm never happier when I do. Have fun festivaling.(is that a word?) Linda

  9. Love your blog posts Arleen. I like a good old community get together myself. Not sure about the wife carrying bit though - think I might cheer on from the side lines on that one.

  10. Delores and Susan FS - Yes, Roswell is the place to go. I imagine that we could get quite a bit of information to blog about.

    Vanylmoon - Thanks for stopping by. I am not crazy about crowds either, and some of these once small community celebrations do grow too large. However, with the right attitude, I have overcome my reluctance and like to join in the fun.

    Jacqueline- From what I have read on your blog, you seem to live in a wonderful place. How fortunate you are to be part of such a lovely community.

    Tracy Jo - Now a ice fish house parade sounds like fun. Don't think I would like the cold though.

    Terra - Wife carrying sounds fun except for the wife.

    Linda - I can tell that you are a person who is part of her community.

    Molly - Thank you. My husband has told me enough times to get off his back, so we would not be good candidates for such an event

  11. 'Giddy up, big guy!' oh that was precious. I have never been to Roswell, NM. Maybe it is something to consider.

  12. Arleen, I love going to different regional events as well. I think I will pass on the wife carrying festival, but love any that list food and/or wine (maybe a little music). You made me smile!

  13. In Watsonville, CA, they hold a "Testicle Festival." Doesn't that sound fun? It is all you can eat to boot! The marketing campaign is "have a ball at the testicle festival."

    Another fabulous one (with much sarcasm when I say fabulous) is the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA. Who wouldn't enjoy getting dropped off by a bus (air conditioned, of course) in the middle of a dusty parking lot in 90+ degree weather to smell garlic all day? Should have stayed on the bus!