gladfest 2016

It has been quite a while since we dropped in on the local Gladfest fall festival.  Over the years, it seemed to lose its luster, and became little more than a sideshow of political nonsense, sprinkled over a carnival atmosphere.

Things change though, and we thought it might be worth a look. Another couple invited us to tag along with them though, so we went up for a look around.

They had been at the parade earlier in the day and echoed many of the same sentiments others had throughout the day, further validating our reasons for not attending the affair.

The previously fun-filled parade of school bands, dance clubs, local businesses, and charitable organizations showing off their float-making abilities had been replaced with an overabundance of waving politicians.  That is really the last thing in the world we cared to see on a Saturday morning, so we abstained.

As well, the festival portion promised rides, games, and a wide selection of various arts and crafts. The latter, a little hard to find though, as prime real estate positions on the grounds had been thrown away on the larger commercial vendors.  It took a bit of searching around to locate any art.

Wandering through the melee, we were accosted by some of these commercial types trying their best to give away a chance to get on their calling list.

One argued with me, that I was missing the deal of the century with my ongoing water supply.  Long-term free, it was not, I am quite sure of that.

We survived the onslaught though and made our way to the Linden Square stage. Some relative young folks were stirring things up with some popular tunes, and doing a pretty good job of it.

The folks on the lawn seemed to be enjoying it well enough.  A few folks were dancing, along with a a lot of the kids, while several from the older generation sat looking stunned.

Making our way through, obtaining a malted beverage along the way, we finally found the arts and crafts tents tucked out of the way in an inconspicuous location.  It was as if they did not want to be found, likely since there were not many true arts or crafts within.

I did note one visual artist, smashed and sandwiched between a couple other booths selling manufactured trinkets.  It was near impossible to view any of his work in the tiny space afforded, and he looked discouraged and frightened, hiding in the corner behind his works. They were quite good actually, but nobody would have noticed the way things were arranged.

Passing through the carnival games and rides, we declined the opportunity to put our lives and our lunch at risk, and quickly found ourselves back in the primary commercial drag.  I was accosted yet again, this time by folks trying to bury in me in bibles, suggesting I hand them out to all of my friends.  I politely declined, and escaped before they could stuff them in my pockets.

We exited the affair, having only been in the mix for about 30 minutes.  It was ok, but not a grand time.  It used to be, and there used to be a variety of things to see and do; especially local artists.  I guess things just change that way, leaving only politicians, commercial enterprise, self-help gangs, and community organizers to amuse us.


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