Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stars and Stripes Festival

Story Time :)

In the small town of Lyndonville, VT there is a yearly Stars and Stripes Festival. Upon hearing the name you would probably think it would be held on 4th of July weekend, but no, it is instead held on the 3rd week in July (assumably to draw out the amount of annoying tourists and traffic jams associated with any holiday).
When I was a girl, Stars and Stripes weekend was all about the community. Everyone built beautiful floats for the parade, there were local artisans at a craft fair in the park, and the best part of all - THE STREET DANCE. The whole main road was blocked off from end to end, an 18 wheeler flat bed was parked in the middle of the road for the band to set up and a few food vendors set up to feed the hungry masses. The WHOLE TOWN showed up in the early evening and danced until long past dark. Kids, adults, dogs, everyone was there. Middle schoolers held hands for the first time, high schoolers bought their girlfriends sno cones, adults danced and embarrassed their kids and the elderly sat in lawn chairs rocking to the music.

Things have changed.

As all things do, the Stars and Stripes festival has become something different. Maybe our town has become something different too. We no longer have a street dance, they have moved the dance to the park (fine, but not as cool). The parade has become a sad small thing with mostly service vehicles and vintage cars (only a few floats and they are usually a poor showing). The park has become a mass of food vendors and merchants selling less homemade and more commercial items. I see less and less locals each year replaced by more and more tourists (who seem disappointed, can't imagine why).

I miss those days, when our town felt like a family. When Stars and Stripes felt like a big reunion. When I loved our little home town. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my home, my town, my people, and so much of this place is a part of me. I just wish I could bring back some of the charm that made me fall in love with it in the first place. I wish my kids could see what I saw, could feel the strength of a community that cared a little more about people and a little less about money.

I don't know what the future of my little town will bring, but I hope that there is something I can do to help bring back that feeling... any ideas?

Annoucers Stand at Parade Start

I love that our local library travels to all the daycare centers and such to give kids a chance to get books who wouldn't normally be able to get to the library.

Bread and Puppet Theater, click pic to see their page. The death of their yearly festival was such a great loss to our area, I miss it!

No comments: