Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn ritual

In Fort Wayne, the third weekend in September is (mostly) reserved for the Johnny Appleseed Festival. While there are other events occurring around town, JA attracts the biggest crowds. The trick is to arrive early and leave once you can no longer maneuver the packed walkways. Or when you realize you have passed the same vendors for the third time.

In spite of the military encampment, the demonstrations, the period clothing, the traditional folk music, etc., JA is really an opportunity to spend money. There is plenty of food - ham and beans, corn bread, chicken, buffalo, caramel apples, apple petals, apple dumplings, apple fritters, apple butter, etc. - and plenty of handmade crafts. In the past, I have come home with handmade brooms, hand-dyed and handspun yarn, roving, pottery, handwoven placemats, etc. Not all at one time, though, as I limit myself to one or two purchases. But this means perusing *everything* before I make my decision. This year it was one of the first things I saw, a mini chip and dip bowl, by a potter who is retiring.

My SO and I took the granddaughter. Usually we park in a free lot, which means a long walk just to get to the festival itself, but this year we opted to pay $5 to park right next to it. We dragged her around and around in her little red wagon. She got her face painted and "won" a piece of stick candy and played on the swings and I bought her a wooden bead bracelet. Lucky girl gets to go back today with her cousin, but Grandma has had enough for one year.

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