John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Family Festival

The apple-picking and picnic with the internationals wasn't the only thing I did in the spirit of volunteerism and good citizenship this weekend; I also spent a couple of hours on Friday and Saturday evening working at the McFarland Family Festival. Calling it an act of good citizenship may actually be understating the case, because I am in fact not a citizen nor even a former citizen of the Village of McFarland.

My sister, however, is, and since I moved to Wisconsin in 2010, she's done me a lot of favors, especially in the realm of transportation. Most notably, she's gotten up early and driven the 20 minutes from her home to mine just to give me and my supplies a ride to my assigned polling place for six of the last seven times I've worked there. And she was going to do it the seventh time too, but things didn't quite work out for that one.

Anyway, because she's done me a lot of favors, and because I tend to say yes when people ask me to help them, she's turned to me the last three years to help out at the Family Festival. This year, I spent both my shifts in the welcome center. You might thing that I therefore spent a lot of time welcoming people to the festival, but you'd be wrong. The main thing one does at the welcome center is sell food tickets, which can be exchanged at the festival food stand and at a few independent vendors for brats, burgers, chips, bottles of pop, pizza, snow cones, and various other items. Why, you might ask, don't the vendors just take cash? I dunno. It's simpler to have one central cash register, I suppose, and it saves the vendors the trouble of handling cash and making change.

Whatever the reason, that's what I did on Friday and Saturday, sold food tickets. Friday night was super busy, thanks in no small part to the band playing the main stage, which was composed of teachers from the local intermediate school. They were pretty good, but for most of the people there I imagine it was something akin to watching a dancing bear, if you know what I mean. Their set list was not particularly ambitious -- "Brown Eyed Girl," a couple of Beatles songs -- though they did surprise me by performing a couple of contemporary songs, "Ho Hey" and "When I'm Gone." I'm willing to call that last one contemporary despite it first having been recorded in 1931 because they had some students up on stage with them doing the cups thing.

There were enough people there on Friday night to keep me and my partner super busy for the better part of two hours; Saturday night, conversely, I was super not busy, thanks to the rain I mentioned in yesterday's entry. Which was too bad, because the band that performed last night, the Funraisers, was really good. Their set list was more eclectic than Plugged-In's -- they opened with "Short Shirt, Long Jacket" and followed it up with "Suffragette City" -- and they had a horn section, which I find is a valuable addition to any band. It's too bad they didn't have a bigger crowd to entertain.
Tags: family, wisconsin: mcfarland

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