Sunday, May 29, 2011

Now that's community

Yesterday, the family and I headed to a local jamboree in Ringgold, Georgia called 1890s days. I imagine at some point it was a celebration of the town's heritage, but now it's a string of craft booths and elephant ear vendors. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I didn't see much going on from the 1890s.

I think, most importantly, it was really nice to see the town band together and continue on with this traditional festival in the wake of the devastating F4 tornado that ravaged the area last month. My nearby town was just hit by some uprooted trees and blown off roofs, but Ringgold was almost completely wiped off the map. Even with the pain of lost property and lives, it's nice to see that the organizers got together to make this festival happen, to not only take their minds off of what happened, but also to allow others in the area to come see just how bad it really was for them.

Anyway, we had fun. There was a bluegrass contest where people came from all over the state to compete with their fiddles and acoustic guitars. That's the kind of thing I really enjoy the most, because these people have some real talent. It's still so surreal to me to be at an event like this and see people in the audience with overalls and straw hats.

In the 10+ years I've lived in Tennessee, one of my favorite things to do is attend small-town events like this. I love real farmers markets made up of real farmers, flea markets where locals back their trucks up and sell second-hand items for dirt cheap in an old gravel parking lot, and jamborees with talented musicians and friendly people. And I look forward to many more!

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