What is it about festivals? They inspire the masses to come out of their houses, and meet in the street. To listen to music they would never otherwise listen to. To eat food they would never otherwise eat. Yesterday, I saw teenagers standing around listening to bluegrass gospel music. I saw tables full of seniors eating soft serve ice cream and families gathered happily around greasy paper bags full of soggy french fries.
At the midway, we stand in line to buy tickets so we can stand in line again to ride something mechanical for 90 seconds. We shout over loud speakers blasting crackly versions of Ozzy Osborne songs. We pay $3 for a chance to win a made in China stuffed toy worth 10 cents. We are collectively impractical. And it is so much fun.
Yesterday was the first day of my community's annual street festival, the Hi Neighbour Festival. Like last year, and the year before that, we left the house on foot and walked 20 blocks to arrive at the center of the action. But this year also had it's firsts. This was the first time Alexa was with us. It was also the first time Nik was old enough to ride the midway rides, and request his own balloon animal from a colourful and friendly clown.
We ran into friends at the festival, too. One of my La Leche League leaders was there, with her son, growing like a weed. I also spotted a few kids from last year's Vacation Bible School, taller than I remembered.
These annual community events mark the passage of time as much as any season change, any birthday. With the arrival of another festival, we welcome the beginning of another summer. Amidst the colours, and the noise and the crowds, there is an energy. We are a community vibrant for another year together.