We have recently been to a couple of huge area festivals that attract thousands, the Strawberry Festival in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and Fish Day in Port Washington, Wisconsin.
The Strawberry Festival in a massive array of all kinds of vendors taking up several blocks of charming, historical downtown Cedarburg. There is music everywhere from stages to street musicians. You will also find very unique vendors, produce, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry wine, all manner of inventions and unusual handcrafted items, and, of course, all kinds of food. The quaint, historical village contains a river, a dam, a historical woolen mill turned into shops. Its a place of character and beauty. This year, our amazingly full of life two-year-old great-granddaughter was with us. I call her our loud and wild child. She is a delight. We danced by the river as we listened to the music.
About a week ago we returned to Cedarburg to walk Main Street and check out the shops with our daughter and grandson who were visiting. Cedarburg is fun whether there is a festival or not. We stayed for the concert in the park, one of our favorite things to do. It is a free, full length concert with a great line up of bands in a park surrounded by a beautiful little river, complete with rapids. There is always a gob of food vendors and a lot of people.
Some attendees set up elaborate little picnics served on their Ravinia tables. The children have a huge playground to explore and climb on. Teenagers roam in mini tribes, looking for girls (or boys) to impress. It’s kind of moving seeing everybody in the family having such a good time. It’s a fun, safe party.
Last week The Alex Wilson Band was playing. Alex is a guitar phenom that always gets a crowd of blues lovers and dancers up near the stage. He rocks it out and gives 110 percent. I can’t believe what this dude can do with a guitar.
After dark the family event comes even more alive as people have had more to drink and start coming up to the stage. I am always one of them because I love to watch him play and I like feeling the energy of the music. (I have the tinnitus in my right ear to prove it.) It’s is great party. Nobody is drunk and obnoxious. Everybody is having fun!
Saturday, we were at Fish Day, the world’s largest one day outdoor fish fry. Fish Day is a huge fundraiser for local charities in Port Washington. Five stages of music, a car show, a craft show, a carnival, lots of fish and chips and beer, and people galore, all on the very edge of Lake Michigan and in a park on the bluff overlooking the big lake.
We were there at the craft fair selling Beadmomma (my wife’s company) jewelry, though I excused myself for long periods of time to hear a couple of bands, The Steelheads and Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys. Both absolutely killed it.
We met great people at the craft fair and I had some fun conversations with folks over at the car show. Some people started drinking a little early so by the time the main evening attraction, U2 Zoo (anther fabulous local band) performed at the main stage, it might have gotten a little rowdy. Since our day began with leaving home before 6:00 in the morning, we didn’t hang around when the craft show was over.
I love parties. I don’t necessarily associate drinking with partying. I don’t believe you have to get drunk to have fun.
Parties are healing. You can be relaxed, see new stuff, hear new sounds, and watch some very interesting people. You can get a little crazy. It’s like a mini vacation.
Jesus went to parties. There were some very colorful, interesting, even notorious people there. Some might have gotten a little out of hand. The religious big shots gave him a hard time about it and their beliefs forbade attending such events, yet it didn’t stop him.
A way of living based on the life of a sacrificially loving, fully engaged, rule-breaking person who was a thorn in the side of “righteous” and a friend of sinners is pretty darn compelling.