You know you live in a small town when an event called “Pumpkinfest” is the most exciting weekend of the year…
I don’t say that condescendingly; in fact, I’m fiercely proud of Pumpkinfest, which is known nation-wide for its record-breaking giant pumpkins and gets mentioned on CBC every October. People come from far and wide to show their pumpkins and to admire them. (This year it garnered even more attention because, apparently, a giant pumpkin was mysteriously stolen from the community garden. A forklift must have been involved. How that got pulled off, who knows.)
I originally come from a small town myself, so I am able to appreciate fully the unique spirit of a small-town fall fair. My urban-born husband, on the other hand, has taken a few years to warm up to the whole idea of walking the main street lined with antique cars, listening to the tinny oldies rock getting blasted from portable speakers, wandering through exhibits of car pieces, oohing and aahing over the 1000+ pound pumpkins displayed on the soccer field, and hobnobbing with folks hanging out in their lawn chairs drinking Tim Hortons double-doubles with the same enthusiasm that fashionistas on Queen Street show for their skinny lattés. This was our third year as ‘locals’ at Pumpkinfest, and my husband actually said to me, “I’m beginning to see the appeal.” What a relief.
I was actually asked to accompany a local choir at Pumpkinfest’s opening ceremonies, playing a pumpkin-ized version of Stan Rogers’ “Watching the Apples (Pumpkins) Grow.” I’d already performed with them in the spring, but we had no other rehearsal. The song turned out to be a disaster; my solo arrived and I was at a different part of the music, taking a rest. The guitar bopped along, all alone, until the conductor decided to bring in the choir simply to fill the gap. I then had to scramble to catch up and figure out where they were, without a score. No idea what happened — my sight-reading skills are much better than that, and I’m fairly sure I didn’t miss anything, but oh well.
The little guy frolicked in the straw bale labyrinth — an excellent way to keep him entertained yet contained. I wish I could build one in the backyard. He also went on a motorcycle carousel ride that resulted in a permanent smile for the rest of the morning. Other than an errant volleyball nearly whacking the baby in the face, the day at Pumpkinfest was quite delightful.