The Fall Festival at the Peanut’s school was this past Saturday. “Games, Prizes, Pumpkin Decorating, Face Painting, donuts and cider!” read the 10$ family ticket we had to purchase in advance.
First off, I had to get all dressed up to go to this thing. By “dressed up,” I mean “wear pants.” It felt so good to take off that monkey suit when I got home. I’m the guy who’ll run out to his car in his boxer shorts if it’s dark enough outside.
The festival . . .
We leave the house and it is a brilliant fall day. The white bright sunshine and biting autumn breeze have conspired to clean all the corners of the world. Chasing out grime and shadows alike. Leaving good spirits in their wake.
Then we got to the festival.
They held it in the school’s quad. Quad is being used loosely here. Very loosely. As in parking lot.
They had a choose-your-own pumpkin area. There were 4 dozen or so small pumpkins resting on some sparsely scattered hay made dirty by the combination of the pumpkins, asphalt, and toddler hands.
There was a table with popcorn, about 5 dozen plain donuts, and 4 gallons of “cider.” As the label put it:
“Rudy’s! Apple cider drink. There were apples near it!”
Eh, the cider was real-ish. The popcorn was fake.
We picked our pumpkins, grabbed a donut and a cup of cider-aide, and went inside for the face-painting, pumpkin decorating, and games.
The classroom they set aside for this was decorated in the style of the neo-minimalist Apathetic movement.
My daughter wanted a lion face from the face-painter. The face-painter was a fourth grader who couldn’t attempt to give my daughter a lion face because she had been instructed to not use too much face paint on any one person.
She painted a crude butterfly on my daughter’s cheek and an even cruder elephant on the Pumpkin man. Looked like a mouse with a hard-on.
The games consisted of a raffle for a gift basket that was probably put together at a a Family Dollar ( Contents: a fall-themed, vinyl tablecloth, Ritzo’s peanut butter kupz, and creamed candy corn) and a bean bag toss through a cardboard jack-o-lantern. In that game, everyone won: a tiny container of playdoh and an amorphous silly-bandz. I think The Peanut won a Shmoo.
The decorating table for the pumpkins consisted of: 1) stickers and 2) markers that I’m positive were not washable and I suspect were toxic. I’m not totally sure about the latter as I only ate one.
That might be enough to make a lesser man ill, but I’m a fat drink of water.
Just to show I’m not the only one griping, here are some quotes from other festival goers”
“A sad little fall festival.”
“Two bit tinhorn bullshit.”
So . . . people are got their pre-schoolers up and out of the house by 9 on a Saturday in 46 degree weather with wind gusting at 40 mph to stand around in a parking lot near some dirty hay.
It wouldn’t have taken much to make it a fun festival. The high school has a pretty good art department (I know. In this day and age. That’s my city though. A quilt of a scant few sunny bright ideas surrounded by dull brown dumbness.). Why not have a couple of art students come down and help each class make decorations?
Or one to do the face-painting, at least?
Maybe for the Winter Carnival they’ll whip snowballs at the kids while we dig madly in an attempt to find 6 special prizes (individual strands of tinsel maybe? Coal?) hidden in the snow.
Maybe I'll volunteer to make decorations. I do have mad construction paper skillz . . .