Last Thursday was Jubilee Day in Mechanicsburg. Jubilee Day is the Country's (?) Largest One-Day Street Fair and a matter of great...pride, I suppose, to... Mechanicsburg-ians. We decided to take the kids this year after having not gone in at least 3...or 4.
My Aunt Pat, who loves to go to craft fairs (you know, the serious juried type), sounded remotely intrigued when I told her of our plans to go. Then as I began to describe the atmosphere, I too, realized just how much more of a "carnival" feel Jubilee Day has. There are copious food stands - lemonade, chicken, kielbasa, ice cream, cheese steaks, ribs, snow cones, funnel cakes... There is a petting zoo, kiddie rides, face painting, plastic carnival-type toys to buy.. There is even a raised stage for live bands.
I took my camera but then decided to leave it in the car at the last minute, knowing that it would be all I could do to hold onto a little hand and attempt to follow Jim through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. And boy, did I miss some GOOD shots! Picture this one - two very old men and someone in a big chicken costume, arm in arm, dancing to polka music being played on accordion. I'm NOT kidding!!! Behind them was another conspirator bouncing around with a sign that read something like: "Save the chicken. Eat more kielbasa!" Oh, how I wish I had carried my camera...
The kids each took $5.00, that they recently got from Aunt Dottie, to buy something. Spending money always poses a great challenge for Benjamin. He has a terrible time making up his mind about how to spend money!! Ellie quickly settled on an inflatable purple unicorn with rainbows all over it. It also has a rainbow-striped "handle" protruding from its stomach that emits a baby-toy-esque squeak when it is squeezed. Just lovely. Ben, on the other hand, picked up and contemplated practically every item in the same stand before moving on. He had been slightly tempted by the plastic light sabers, but the kind he could afford didn't light up. Those cost $11. We pointed out the tie dyed shirts that were $5, since Ben points them out to us every time we pass someone wearing one. But that wasn't a good option, either. Many stands later, he finally settled on a bamboo slide whistle. Again, just lovely.
We continued on to the petting zoo, found a treat for the kids to eat, and started the hike back to the van. Ellie chose kettle corn, which was very easy for her to eat while sitting in her stroller. Benjamin chose ice cream in a bowl, which was not so easy for him to eat while walking through a crowd. A minute or two after purchasing the ice cream, Jim made a very strategic error out of sheer desperation. He put Ben on his shoulders with his bowl of ice ream! Has he not seen the commercial on TV with the two dads with kids on their shoulders eating ice cream?!?
Ben did very well...for most of the trek back to the van. When we returned, I grabbed my camera quickly to capture the ice cream dripping down the side of Jim's head. The best part was watching Jim bite his tongue and not get upset, while Benjamin was all the while completely and utterly oblivious.
By the next morning (surprise surprise!), Ellie's unicorn was almost completely deflated. We were able to resuscitate it for a few more days, however. Ben has gone on to "master" the slide whistle. The other day, it somehow ended up it the van with us. I didn't realize it until he scared the "begeezes" out of me when he began playing along to the Cadets' 2009 version of West Side Story. Yep. You haven't really lived until you've heard West Side Story on slide whistle. I just can't wait to see what treasures we find at Jubilee Day next year!