Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Festival 2012 Memories!

Last week marked the 91st annual West Side Nut Club Fall Festival here in Evansville (or as the kids call it, "Eville").

After parking several miles away and hiking to scenic Franklin Street, attendees were welcomed to the Festival by the lovable Unauthorized Off-Model Dora The Explorer Analogue.

Unauthorized Off-Model Dora The Explorer Analogue was apparently the Official Mascot of the Festival this year, as she was visible everywhere. Here she is with her sidekick Really Off-Model Not-Diego.


 
Of course every year the main attraction of the Festival is its tasty and unusual food offerings. Here we see one of the many exotic and delicious culinary delights available this year: the ever popular Meat Wad. If you're the adventuresome type, you could opt for the Meat Wad Inferno. Spicy!

If eating's not your thing, why not seek out some of the bright new talent on display at one of the two stages in the center of the Festival? Feel awkward and uncomfortable as you watch a six year old girl, clad in a spangled bikini and fishnet tights, belt out Gloria Gaynor's feminist anthem "I Will Survive!"

The Festival features plenty of carnival games to test your skills. Among the many prizes one could win this year was the popular cartoon character Ganjy, The Stoned Rastafarian Penguin. Uh-oh, Ganjy! Those eyes are looking pretty red! You'd better whip out the Visine before Officer McNulty sees them!


Don't forget to try out the many exciting and breathtaking carnival rides along the midway! The Festival features the scariest thrill rides in the Tri-State, assembled by a crack team of (for the most part) sober, unqualified temporary carnival workers!*

*Whoops! That's just a joke, Midway Entertainment, Inc.! I'm sure you have a highly trained staff of dedicated workers who put customer safety first! There, that ought to prevent a lawsuit.

The operative word at this year's Festival was crowds! Lots and lots of crowds. A veritable sea of teaming multitudes attempting to waddle down the street while eating a brain sandwich with one hand and smoking a stale cigarette in the other.

Franklin Street was closed to vehicular traffic for the event, with the exception of sanitation trucks. At one point I saw several garbage trucks carefully picking their way through the densely packed crowd. It reminded me of something, but I can't quite remember what it was...


Oh yeah. Now I remember.

Every year the Nut Club proudly touts the statistic that the Evansville Fall Festival is the second largest street festival in the country, right after Mardis Gras.

As always, I'm somewhat skeptical of this claim. I understand why the Nut Club latches onto it, as it's good publicity, but... it just seems unlikely.

Every year Mardis Gras in New Orleans gets around one million visitors. The Fall Festival gets between 100,000 and 150,000. That's a pretty precipitous drop off. Is there really absolutely nothing that falls in between these two events?

Maybe I'd have an easier time believing it if I had more info. What exactly are the Fall Festival people measuring? The total attendance of the week long event? Is it the amount of land covered by the booths and midway? Are they taking into account the sheer tonnage of the crowd? Are they using some qualifier to get the total, such as Second Largest Street Festival With The Word "Nut" In The Name? Who knows?

Supposedly the whole "second largest" deal was started by the late radio personality Paul Harvey. That explains a lot right there. Mr. Harvey was a popular commentator but few could deny that he was a bit...  eccentric.

"In other news: The annual West Side Nut Club Fall Festival started this week in Evansville, Indiana. It's the second largest street festival in the country, right after New Orleans' own Mardis Gras. Friends, you'll find the world's largest Festival Of Savings when you shop at your neighborhood True Value Hardware store!  Page...................................................TWO!!!"

3 comments:

  1. In past years the food booths have tried to outdo one another with exotic and unusual foods, such as Gator Burgers and various testicle-meat concoctions. This year's food was pretty standard, most of it of the "let's see if we can deep-fry this" variety.

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  2. The food was pretty boring this year

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