Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and Out Houses, Have You Ever Heard?

First off today let me say a big "Happy Halloween".  How many of you are going trick or treating tonight?  How many are passing out candy to the little goblins?  Or how many are staying home with the lights turned off and pretending we aren't home?  I fall into that last category and am staying in tonight, pretending I am not here and turning out all the lights.  I am like any other college student out there, broke, no money, Nada to buy candy with.  Oh I will buy some for the grand kids but that's it.  I wish I could enjoy the night as in years past.  Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays.  I am a big kid myself and loved dressing up in costume and taking out the kids or treating the kids.

What do Halloween and Out Houses have in common you're asking?  Here in Mountain View, Arkansas (folk music capital) we celebrate the two together.  The last weekend of October we have the Annual Bean Fest and Out House Races.  Naturally being the last weekend always falls on or near Halloween.  Tourists come from miles and miles and from states and states away to enjoy the music, out house races, craft booths and the huge kettles of beans cooked out on the square around our courthouse.  The cooking starts early and ends with everyone who wants a bowl, and some cornbread, lined up for serving around noon.  I have only stood in line once myself to taste the beans, after standing there for about one hour, finally getting to the front of the line, as the Gods would have it, they ran out as it was my turn.   I've never tasted the beans cooked on the square.  Imagine the jokes the locals tell about Bean Fest.  :)  Yes, if you heard a big explosion over the weekend, don't stress yourself getting to safety, it was just the tourists in Mountain View and all the flatulence, blowing up the town. 

I decided to play tourist (I've not gone in years to this annual event) this weekend and go and attend.  Still no beans for me, but I did watch the racing.  The out houses were decorated so cute and sassy.  If out houses can be sassy.  Most had the two themes running together, Halloween and out house moons.  I video taped the majority of the racing because a dear friend's daughter was driving one of the out houses.  I had every single intention of showing that race here today.  Unfortunately the Gods were against me, again.  Not a single video was worth watching.  I love my digi camera, but the glare from the sun made it to where that's all you seen.  One big bright light with the sounds of laughter in the back ground.  I did manage (or remember) to take a couple of pictures before the start of the races, showing the crowds that had came.  Here's a couple of them.

 For me the highlight of going is seeing all the wonderful vendors and their wares that come from miles around.  Let me just say that this year I was extremely disappointed.  Shocked, I think may have been more the word to use.   Granted it has been probably 5-6 years since I last went, but the vendors were down in number, significantly.  Where once we had vendors lined up around the whole court square, taking up space in the B&B's around the square, lined up all the way down the side streets, this year there may have been ten booths.  Yes, 10 booths.  It was terrible.  Not sure if it's the economy or if it coincides with some other big festival or what, but come back vendors, please come back.  I also noticed that the crowds and traffic were nothing like they used to be.  The locals (me included) would do all of our shopping or visiting during the week so as to avoid town all weekend long.  A sleepy town like ours and the thousands that show up make for unhappy locals when driving.  Not a problem this year at all.  And for once they had traffic control.  LOL.  What a joke that was, since there was no traffic to need controlling.

After perusing the booths (which took all of an hour) I ended up buying nothing.  Again let me remind you, broke college student.  I did however find many home made soaps, bath salts and body scrubs I would loved to have had.  As well as hand made copper jewelry and more.  One man's booth or should I say crafts, were very unusual.  Had I not been broke I do believe I would have purchased something from him.  He had taken field rocks (in all sizes) and put them together with copper tubing and shaped out little ET looking creatures for your garden or lawn.  They were very unique and eye catching.

I actually did have a good time however despite the very few booths.  I enjoyed a blooming onion (which should bloom money since it cost $7) and a large cup of sweet southern iced tea.   All in all it felt good to get out and pretend to be a tourist this weekend.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well, along with a spooky fun night planned tonight.  Until next time...........

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