May 3, 2008

fahrmen! and fahrworks!

This weekend is the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, where I grew up. Since I was in Baltimore for the lecture last week, I came back for the festival and to see the family. Its probably the first time I've been back for it for at least 10 years, maybe even 15 or 20. Things don't change a whole lot, but maybe perceptions of them do. Our house is on the parade route, and Friday is the worlds longest Fireman's Parade - which means bands, fire trucks (with beauty queens atop) and other vehicles (tractors?!), but no floats. And yeah, its long. About three hours worth of fire trucks. I'm glad my brother in law had a beer for me! What is new - to me - is the fireworks show afterward, held at my old high school up the street. Its been going on for five or ten years, I'm told - apparently it used to be a lot better from what people said. This year it was kind of comical. The fireworks are sort of mini fireworks, that don't go very high, but they shoot them from a grove of trees - I'm sure there must be some reason for that. The funnier parts are the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning, where everyone stands to a static fireworks display of the flag - which barely makes it through the first half of the song and is replaced by a big "Rugs Direct" display for most of the song. So that leaves us all pedging our allegiance to Rugs Direct. Classy! The best part (or worst actually, but so bad that you couldn't help but laugh) was that the fireworks were accompanied by music. Now - they weren't set to music and synchronized like most fireworks are anymore. This was just a bunch of songs playing with no relation to the fireworks. And actually, they weren't even songs. The local radio station, Winc-fm, put together about 100 songs, playing about 3 seconds of each one. The group seemed to agree it was like someone changing the stations on your car radio for about half an hour. It was pretty miserable. Oddly enough, the crowd was pretty pleased when the fireworks were over, just so the "music" would stop! Today is the Grand feature Parade, which is just about to start... so I'm off to see what awaits us today!

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