Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Italian Festival

Every summer around the fourth weekend in July, our town holds its annual Italian Festival. One entire street for about five blocks is closed off and vendors of all kinds line the streets peddling their wares. There are so many food stands, not all Italian foods mind you, that even if you went all three days you couldn’t sample from all of them. There is live entertainment, and on Saturday night there is a fireworks display. I have been going to the Italian Festival since I was a kid and it is something that was always a highlight of my summer. Last night, for the first time, I got to take my kids for their first ever Italian Festival experience.

We hadn’t really anticipated taking them just yet because although it is a good time, it is hot and crowded and not something that we thought they would get much enjoyment out of at this age. However, a few nights ago, Aaron heard Mike and I talking about it and asked, “So, what is the Italian Festival? Is it something that I can go to?” He seemed so interested that we decided to throw caution to the wind and take them on Friday night.

Now, we are currently experiencing a bit of a heat wave. The Weather Channel said that it was about 98 degrees out, but I know that when we passed the bank it was registering 1000. It felt like we were standing on the sun, but did that stop us? Hell no! It’s the Italian Festival for cryin out loud. I dressed the kids as cool as possible, double checked with Mike that going naked was probably in poor taste, and hoped for the best.

We somehow managed to steer the kids away from the giant blow-up bouncy ovens of heat exhaustion, and went about finding something to eat. As seems to be the norm lately, Aaron gobbled up a slice of pizza, but Elyse refused to eat. I think she was having some belly issues because in the van on the way down she informed me that her belly was full. When I asked her if she felt sick, she told me with a giggle, “My belly full…in my butt.” That’s 100% pure two year old wisdom right there people.

Not much later we decided to grab some Italian ice for the kids to try and cool them off, but while Aaron sat perfectly still, devouring his, Elyse decided that running around and rolling in the grass was more fun. Shortly thereafter, Mike decided to take Princess home and my Mom, Aaron and I stayed to pick out a souvenir and soak up a little more people watching. Possibly one of the greatest things about the Italian Festival is the people watching. I have seen some pretty incredible sights over the years, but the highlight of last night was the girl who was wearing jean shorts and white spiked heels that laced all the way up her leg past her knee. You just don’t get that everyday.

Mom, Aaron, and I walked around a little longer and then Aaron declared that, “He HAD to go home.” On the way out he grabbed another Italian ice and then savored the air conditioning on the ride home.

All in all I think that they had a good time for their first Italian Festival experience. Aaron already asked if he could go back tonight when Mike and I go with Angie and Derek, and Mal and Matt. Um, sorry Sweetie, tonight is the beer portion of the Italian Festival and after Mommy has a couple of drinks, I probably won’t be able to chase after you in my white, lace-up spiked heels.