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16 & 17 – Old Fashioned Days (Brunswick) and Wadsworth Blue Tip Festival – June 23, 2010

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With all the festivals going on this weekend alone (I intend on hitting about 4-5 festivals between Friday and Sunday), I thought I would take advantage of the length (5 days) and proximity (30 minutes from each other) of the Old Fashioned Days in Brunswick and the Wadsworth Blue Tip Festival. Both festivals are set on interesting themes and their 5 day duration told me they had a good turnout, which means more variety and fun.

At least in theory.

Both festivals, unfortunately fall short in both these categories, which is why I’m also writing about them in the same blog entry.

Let’s begin with Old Fashioned Days…

When I looked at the website, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, what do they considered old fashioned? The festival seal is a turn-of-the-century couple on a bicycle built for two. So were there to be popcorn balls or fresh roasted peanuts? Maybe Somewhere in Time references and plenty of homemade fudge?

One thing I definitely didn’t expect was something that resembled a carnival that you find in a shopping plaza, filled with…

.
…rides…
,

…carnival games…

…and more rides.

I also didn’t expect the $2 admission, but that seemed to be my own oversight.

The festival just didn’t seem old fashioned to me. It looked rather current and even generic. Why not incorporate some old aspect of Brunswick’s past? Perhaps some old street lamps? Perhaps a real peanut roasting cart?

But not…

…the selling of old fashioned rebel flag merchandise…

…or the old fashioned practice of not covering cords I can trip on (and did).

One positive thing about Old Fashioned Days is that they did have an interesting food selection that was either reflective of the community or just a little different. They had…

…pierogi, potato pancakes, sauerkraut balls…

…cabbage and noodles…

…barbeque…

…deep fried peanut butter balls…

…and tasty bison burgers.

I even saw the Happy Cappy Popcorn Drizzle booth again. When I first saw her in Vermilion last week, I asked her if she had to-go containers (I was going to bring something to my mom), but she didn’t. I was happy to see not only the little prepackaged products at the Old Fashioned Days, but helpers offering free samples. Very cool!

Moving on, we headed out to the Wadsworth Blue Tip Festival, a 38 year old festival that celebrates the blue tip match, which Wadsworth manufactured until the 1980’s. Taking place in Memorial Park, just a bit west of downtown, small blue tip match posts are put about the city with arrows to guide you there.

Of course, after looking at the website with pictures of the gazebo and the downtown, I assumed the festival took place right there. Fortunately, Julia saw one of the arrow guides and we made our way to the park where we parked in some rather muddy grass by the stadium.

We got out of the car and walked down a road.

At first, I had butterflies in my stomach. Where exactly were we heading? I saw no sign of a festival ahead. The road just curved around into nothing.

And then…deja vu…

…rides in the distance…

…followed by a confirmation that this was the right place.

So, like Old Fashioned Days, we were at a festival with…

…carnival food…

…and rides.

This time, there weren’t even vendors. Just food and rides. Where were the matches? Where was the history? Where was the pride?

Fortunately, I found a group of festival committee members (in cool blue shirts that were not being sold there to my knowledge) and learned that the match was downtown.

So we went there.

Behold!

This single unlit match torch is ceremoniously put up at the beginning of the festival and stays there the entire festival duration. Upon taking this picture, I thought that this would be the sole bit of evidence that we had attended a blue tip festival.

But, fortunately, a quick stroll into the nearby Whole Day Cafe brought up some blue tip treasures…

puppy chow (with blue bow)

…and blue Rice Krispie treats.

At least that was something to write home about.

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