This has been an especially busy October with the arrival of my baby niece, Berklee, and many obligations at school, due to being a senior parent. With our football team on the cusp of becoming top in their class and preparations for the school play, there's been precious little time to devote to writing.
One of the highlights of our community during this time has also been a large fall festival. The entire county, as well as alumni from far away, gather to celebrate the open doors of Autumn. This photograph was taken early in the day, when chairs are set up hours before the parade starts to ensure the best seat in town. Once it begins, people sit or stand five deep for a two-mile stretch along the sidewalks as colorful floats, flashy bands and pretty girls make their way down the street.
Five girls from the community college vie for Queen of the festival, where one is crowned at a coronation, and girls from the surrounding communities are chosen to represent their towns during the entire celebration. It is a time for laughter and long hours, banquets and dances, and lots of smiling and waving!
I could've chosen a demure photograph where the girls are in their sparkling gowns and posed smiles, but to me this captures the essence of fun at the festival: foamy hot chocolate on noses on a crisp fall morning before the parade begins. I love that my daughter doesn't take herself too seriously, and though she knows when it's 'proper to be proper', she also recognizes when it's OK to wrap herself in laughter and embrace all those around her.
So here's to queens and tiaras...and feeling comfortable in an evening gown, but being at home in a sweatshirt...