I got the contract! Well, it's not much of a contract, but they
are going to pay me $200 to "handle the publicity," as they put
it. I thought they were going to ask me to do this as a
volunteer, and between you and me, I would have done it for the
experience -- and just to be a good neighbor. But they offered it
on a professional basis and far be it from me to turn it down!
Like I told you on the phone, the Lowden Park Neighborhood
Association every summer has a neighborhood festival -- they've
been doing it since their first one in 1991, when this
neighborhood was run down and they were trying to get some kind of
community spirit started up. They set it up over at Lowden Park,
that big square where we walked Jingles -- where we watched them
playing tennis that morning.
They do this festival every year in the last weekend before Labor Day, when we can generally count on good weather. They set up a big tent on the edge of the park (on the Calvin Street side, at the intersection of Nelson Street), and they have all kinds of food stalls there, from restaurants all throughout Persimmon County. Outside the big tent there are smaller booths and open-front tents where they sell crafts and things. They don't yet know who's going to participate this year, but last year they had farmer's market-type booths (apples, sausages, and one that sold nothing but honey -- about 50 varieties!), and wooden traditional-style toys... and one where this old lady in the neighborhood sells quilts -- she spends all year making quilts just for this festival. Some people say they do all their Christmas shopping in August, at the Festival.
This is the first year that the town council is helping to fund
the festival. Mayor Jimmy Cline is up for reelection again, and
the Lowden Park neighborhood has really grown. We're so important
these days that he's actually cultivating our votes. The Turtle
Bay Town Council is giving us $5,000, which will enable us to
really promote the festival into a citywide event this year.
Mayor Jimmy will be here to open the fest on the first day,
Friday, August 30, at noon!
There's going to be a band this year too -- on a real concert stage, with sound equipment, the whole nine yards. along with the usual neighborhood "merrymakers" as they call them. In past years, when they couldn't afford a band, they'd have a musical competition of all the neighborhood "merrymakers" -- some people would sing barber shop quartet type stuff, some people would play an instrument, and there was even a kids' group that played the kazoo -- the Lowden Park Kazoo Chamber Orchestra, they called themselves. It was started only because they couldn't afford real entertainment, but it grew into the highlight of the festival, and they awarded prizes. It didn't take much talent to get a prize --everyone who played anything got a prize (usually a fresh-baked pie from one of the booths), even if their prize was for "Best Folk Song Played on a Cowbell." Anyway all the kids in the neighborhood these days can hardly wait until they're old enough to join the LPKCO!
Maybe you can get down to Turtle Bay for the festival? It starts Friday, August 30, and runs through Labor Day. Enough for now, I've got to go write a release!