Friday, September 21, 2012

The 38th Johnny Appleseed Festival

Festivals, fun as they are, can be a real trial for performers.  We're usually "dry camping" on the festival grounds, and having to cart (or dolly) all our gear to any number of stages or performance sites during the event, often struggling through the large crowd traffic a successful fest generates.

Then, there's the costuming.  Period-themed festivals require authentic costumes, which must be acquired and assembled, packed separately, then dug out, freshened up, and donned for the event.  Every evening, of course, the costumes must be shaken out or (in the case of certain clumsy guitarists) cleaned of food stains, and hung up somewhere to be ready the next morning.

This time (our 2nd year at this festival) we were already involved in the new "onshore" phase of our life, in the middle of moving in, with Judy learning her new duties, which we'll tell more about in the next post.  Then, we dropped everything, reloaded the rig to some degree, and set off for Ft. Wayne.  Three nights later, we were back, nothing left of the festival but memories (and food stains).

Here's a shot of good friends and excellent artists Jim & Suzanne, illustrating perfect period outfits and displaying her handiwork as an apple pie baker.  She shared the pie with us, and she's as talented in the kitchen as she is onstage!

A nice feature at the Johnny Appleseed Festival (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) is a tent adjacent to each stage where performers can warm up (and otherwise find comfort) in the shade and out of public view.  Really nice not to have to stand in line at the port-a-potties!

Meanwhile, the audience settles in on the "period seating."  We find festival audiences particularly attentive and polite.

Colorful and authentic ceremonies from the past really enhance historical festivals, and this is one of the better ones we've seen.

In place of the carnival rides one would find at a fair, here's a remarkable human-powered ride we've seen at another festival that meets non-motorized period criteria, still providing quite a thrill.

As volunteers wind the ropes around the mast, the seats rise.  When released, the ropes unwind, spinning the riders faster and faster.

The screams of delight sound just like the ones you'd here from a gaudy modern contraption, but with no mechanized racket!
Some performers, like Dr. Barth here, bring their own period stage and put on independent shows.

This is a great festival, with loads of great performers and craftsfolk.

To find out more about this event click here

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