Most everyone knows how Georgians love their football. Football games are events, festivals if you will. It is difficult to say how many people at the games actually know the score or even who wins the game but there are always side shows to watch. For example the restroom races and the concession stand dash occurs all through the games. Football Games are such a part of my world that it will be addressed in a later post but not right now.
The thing is that as much as Georgia’s love affair with football is common knowledge their fondness for festivals is less well known. Georgians love their festivals so much that they are always creating new ones. Here is a sampling of just a few of Georgia’s festivals: There are insect festivals like a gnat festival (I am not making this up) and a mosquito festival. There are animal festivals like Donkey Days, Deer Days, and Turkey Days. There are flower festivals like the Camilla Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival and the Crepe Myrtle Festival. There are fruit festivals like the Watermelon Festival, the Strawberry and Peach Festival. There are food festivals like the Chicken Pot Pie Day and the Big Pig Jig. There are weather related festivals like Beaver Creek Day (a celebration of a town surviving a flood 23 years earlier).There are music festivals like the Mossy Creek Music Festival and Civil War reenactments. There are a lot more festivals going on throughout the year but these are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.
To the relief of my readers I won’t be addressing most of these festivals but if there is one that I do not address message me. Even if I don’t know much about I will make up what I don’t know. It should make a pretty good story.
In Georgia when you talk about festivals you have to talk about family reunions. Family reunions are a lot like festivals in that they are annual events and can last up to four days. Some families are so large that cousins can know each other for years and not know that they are related until they meet in the community one day and discover that they are cousins only after they talk about a family reunion that they both attended some 4 months earlier. I won’t do more than just touch briefly on family chalk (Kaolin) eating festivals that more than just a few families participate in. I became aware of these festivals 3 months after we had moved to Georgia. We had just had our first visit with our new family doctor when he asked us if we ate chalk. SAY WHAT? He kindly very slowly said, “I only ask you this because if you do eat chalk it thins your blood.” I found out later that eating chalk won’t make you high it just makes you feel real fine and when you are feeling that fine all ya wanna do is just sit around doin nothing.
A festival that is memorable to say the least is “The Big Pig Jig”. This is a three day barbecue contest with usually about 50 beer drinking barbecue cooking larger than life good ol boys barbecuing away. Unfortunately the only people who get to taste the barbecue are the good ol boys and the staggering judges who taste the barbecue between beers. The beer trucks travel in and out of the 2 acre site for all three days as quickly as cars going through a fast food drive in. Red necks and good ol boys are everywhere at this festival. This is the ultimate way to see the underbelly of the human condition. At The Big Pig Jig there is the highest amount of testosterone in the smallest space of anywhere in Georgia and we are just talkin about the women!
A festival that drips gratitude for all the people who came together to rebuild a town that was devastated by a flood some 23 years earlier is The Beaver Creek Festival. The way they do this is to send hundreds of plastic ducks 500 yards down a creek named after a large rodent. Most of the ducks are bought for $5.00 each by anyone or most everyone who comes to the Beaver Creek Day.
In our part of the USA the Civil War commonly called the illegal uprising forced on the south by the evil Yankees from up north is still being fought, at least by some. When the unfairness of it all becomes too much for the genteel folks down here they can always come to Andersonville for a Civil War Reenactment where the brave armies of the south almost always beat them da*** treacherous Yankees from the north. Before the battles one can walk around town drinking sweet tea and eatin gator on a stick, drink cokes from metal schooners (authentic like) see a western gun fight which is about 2,000 miles east of where these things usually occur. Just for the record the South’s gonna rise again.
Not far from where I live is a blue grass festival that I have gone to for the last two years. I keep hopin to hear blue grass music. I have heard a lot of good guitar pickin, dulcimer and auto harp playin, even some flute and celtic harp playin but no blue grass. There is glass blowin, quilt makin, corn husk furniture makin, and fishin lure makin but no blue grass playin……………….sigh
There are other festivals worth stopin by some I have even gone to. There are a few that there just ain’t no way I will ever be found at, like the dadgum gnat festival or the Mosquito festival. As I think about it I don’t think that there is a Cockroach Festival…………………………….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. If we had a Roach Stomp at night, maybe a cockroach costume contest, possibly even a cockroach callin contest. Well so that’s how these festivals get started………………………………wow.