Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Festival

For our family, fall officially begins with Valley Center's Fall Festival.  I'm certain there is nothing that could possibly distinguish this fall festival from one of the thousands of others taking place in all of small town America.  But for one weekend, our town comes alive!  It is so much fun to walk down the street and everywhere you look you know someone.  You take time to talk - really talk to each other.  And it's sad to realize that some of the people you haven't talked to since last year's fall festival live less than a mile away. 

But this weekend they do.  They come outside lured by funnel cakes, parades, and the lights on the ferris wheel.  While there are activities on Friday night, for us, the fall festival starts with the parade Saturday morning.  And for the last two years, it's started a few weeks earlier as we've designed and built the float for our church.  We're starting to get it figured out and hopefully next year's will be bigger and better.  We had a "Valley of Oz" theme this year so we did ours as "There's no place like home in Christ!"  We were thinking over-the-top silly with giant 8 ft. by 4 ft. sparkling ruby slippers. 

After the parade we head downtown to look at all the vendors, eat lunch, and try to convince the kids they will, in fact, survive if they have to wait until after nap time to ride the rides.  Because in the evening is when everything seems more exciting.  All the rides are lit up, and it seems like the whole town is out ready to have fun.  Four young kids and overpriced tickets don't go well together.  So we got the "family pack" which was only 10 tickets for $25.  Ouch.  Each of the girls got to choose three rides, and Sam got to ride one. 

Sophia is a pretty serious kid at times, and then has this completely other side to her where she shows pure, uninhibited, delirious joy.  The contagious kind of joy.  The kind I wish I could still show!  She LOVES the rides and you can tell with her face and with her legs kicking in excitement.  Watching her is more fun than riding a ride. 

Anna and Isabella are much more cautious.  They picked their rides more carefully and were a little apprehensive at first, but then quickly smiled and enjoyed their rides. 

This was Sam's first year to ride anything.  He got to drive a jeep around in a circle.  Sounds thrilling!  He loved it.  And when it was time for me to unbuckle him.  He scooted over to drive the other steering wheel.  Too bad it doesn't work that way!  I grabbed him, put him back in his stroller and he just cried and pointed at the jeep.  Guess we should have bought more tickets. 

There are more activities on Sunday, but between church, naps and church we just ran out of time and energy.  We watched the fireworks from our backyard and avoided crowds and traffic.  It was a great way to end the weekend and a great way to start Fall.  I'm hoping your town has something similar to kick off this great season! 

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