69 1/2 – The Potato Festival that was almost 70 – Mantua – September 12, 2010

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Last year, when faced with the decision of going to the Mantua Potato Festival or the North Ridgeville Skunk Fest, I chose the latter because Mantua is a bit of a drive for me. But now that I was passing through that way during my big festival weekend, I was actually looking forward to the potato doughnuts, bread, pierogi and other things offered in Mantua.

And being that it would be my 70th festival of the year, it would have been even more special!

But as I drove north on OH-44…

…heading into Mantua…

…I was stopped (with other cars) by a police officer blocking the northbound entrance into town.

He wouldn’t let anyone in town, save one woman after telling her she could only go as far as McDonald’s. I probably should have followed her, but, once I asked him about the festival, he directed me down another road…

…where I was stopped by a second officer blocking the eastbound entrance.

Since this one was farther away, I had to yell out, “Festival?” while pointing my finger into town.

But he only shook his head to me and directed me down another road…

…which took me to a third officer blocking the southbound entrance.

I couldn’t believe it at this point and I asked her, “Why can’t we get in for the Potato Festival?”

Her response was very matter-of-fact. “There’s a parade going on.”

This didn’t make sense to me at all. Couldn’t a route be figured out where festival goers could still arrive? I was unconvinced. “So we can’t go in?”

“You can wait,” she said.

I was suddenly hopeful. “When did it start?”

“1:45.”

I looked at the clock, which read 2:05.

With all the trouble caused by the parade, I didn’t think it was going to be a short one.

With another festival scheduled before going home, I drove ahead and found a driveway to turn around in…

…leaving Mantua far behind me…

…with all those unappreciated potatoes.

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