Singing and Dancing in the Rain

HERD ABOUT IT?
by Ana Grarian

CNY is one of those places with capricious weather. This is the time when one of our local communities puts on a days long festival to celebrate the amazing variety of people and opportunities in the area. OK – they also celebrate the reclaiming of the town by residents, just after the students leave and just before the tourists arrive full blast. It is a full on explosion of the ideas and passions of community life.

It almost always coincides with huge rainstorms.

photo by ecormany 2009

This year the parade went off without a hitch. The weather was beautiful. Preceeded by a foot race and over an hour and a half long, there were scout troops and clowns, the SPCA and the vet school, a horse and wagon, roller derby women and a chain saw band.

For a great photomontage see my friends slide show at tinytowntimes.com
(http://tinytowntimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=749:2010-ithaca-festival-parade-slideshow&catid=53:sideshows)

Friday and Saturday the weather continued sunny and a little too hot and humid for me. There was rain overnight to the delight of gardeners, but sun for the vendors of food and crafts, and the musicians, dancers, etc. A totally odd bit of weather for this festival. Perhaps using the theme “Singing in the Rain” had done it’s trick to fend off the gods.
Ah – but there was still Sunday to come. Sunday the festivities move to the park at the end of the lake. A beautiful sea of green lawn dotted with soaring trees, and unfortunately, a beach that was closed decades ago due to pollution. But still – a lovely spot for families to spend the day with neighbors and friends and enjoy a party.
The food and craft vendors came. There were to be pony rides. A local medieval history group came in period garb with fencers and fighters, the King and Queen, activities for children, musicians and other medival fare. Other tents held dancers, and musicians of varied styles from drum circles to bagpipers. A large tent provided folks with information on electric cars, solar heating, sustainable agriculture, recycling. You name it – if it was green – it was there.
The day started out with rain which then seemed to die out in time for folks to set out their wares. Shortly the temperature soared and everyone was awash in sweat and applying sun screen. But there was a breeze – so- go on with the merry making. Soon the winds picked up and the temperature dove. The tornado went well to the south of town, but the winds were still enough to close down some tents. The medieval knights were doomed to return to their castles. I searched amongst the food vendors for someone who was serving hot coffee. Soon it was only cold, the winds having passed us by. Then of course, as exhibitors packed up and headed home, the rain returned.

A perfectly normal day in CNY for a festival.