Monday, August 16, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Beer

NBarley Pop
Beer. It's a nice word. And a damn good thirst quencher. When a guy like The Storyteller, Tom T. Hall, feels compelled to write an ode to beer, you know that the special blend of hops and barley that constitute this amber current of ambrosia is otherworldly. And the beer lovers of Colorado really know how to pay homage to bonafide beauty of a beverage. How? With festivals! 
Below, you'll find a list of links to various Beer Festival-type events being held throughout Colorado in the remaining days of August.
 There you go...a short list of Colorado Beer Fests going on through August. There are more such shindigs elsewhere in Colorado in August, so if you want more info on them, Fermentedly Challenged ( I love that name) has the scoop. If you plan on attending one or all of these events, be sure to have a designated driver or some kind of alternate transportation to and from the festival. When you return home, drop me a line and tell me how things went, if you can remember. :)

Maine Minutiae : Blueberries, Highland Games and More

Every time you eat a blueberry, whether in a muffin, waffle or the berry itself, more than likely it came from Maine. This delicacy is found in the wild or commercially grown all over the state. So it's that Mainers would hold festivals featuring this delicious little blue ball of a berry. As a matte of fact, this Thursday the 19th from 10am-3pm, Rangeley will be holding its annual Blueberry Festival. The 35th Annual Machias Blueberry Festival will take place this weekend with over 250 vendors, contests, raff;es and of course a blueberry pie-eating contest. the price is right, too - FREE. Down in Topsham on Saturday (Aug 21), they'll be holding The Highland Games celebrating Maine's Scottish Heritage. While love all things blueberry and the Highland Games sound very inviting, over in Belfast (last Friday's MM subject), something that is right up my alley is happening, The Belfast Harbor Fest and 2010 National Boatbuilding Contest. As the month of August hits the home stretch and the first day of school nears (YAY!!!) , there is still plenty to do in cities and towns all over Maine. Now if they could just build a Scottish boat out of blueberries....

*Photo from

Texas Tidbits : What Do East Texans Call a Sweet Tater Festival?

In  answer to the question posed in the title of the post : if you're in Gilmer a Sweet Tater Festival is called a Yamboree! For real. As a kid, I spent many an October day at the East Texas Yamboree in Upshur County, Gilmer specifically. You see, I had older relatives, (great) Uncle Walter and his wife, (great) Aunt Vinnie, who lived in Bettie (not joking) which is near Thomas (not joking again) which is near NoDamnWhere (joking, kinda). Betty and Thomas were more like country communities as opposed to being towns. There was nothing there except a paved road. But I digress....The Yamboree is a big deal to Gilmer and Upshur County. 100,000 people a year visit Gilmer to participate in all kinds of activities and events. This year on Wednesday, October 20 here's what will be happening (I am not making this up) : Wednesday, October 20th
7-8:30am    Broiler Sifting (YP)
8:45am      Broiler Show (YP)
10:30am    Museum opens - Queen's Gown Display
11:00am - 12:00pm  Goat Weigh-in (YP)
12:30pm    Goat Show (YP)
4:00pm - 6:00pm  Market Swine Weigh-in (YP)
6:00pm    Carnival/Youth Night (CS) All Rides 1/2 Price
7:30pm    Queen's Coronation (CC)
And you thought I was kidding. Shame on you. There's all kinds of stuff going on at the Yamboree, but none even holds a candle to the Yam Pie Judging that takes place at noon Saturday the 22nd. This.Is.Serious.Business. The full, thrill-packed 2010 schedule of events can be found here. I've been poking a little fun at the Yamboree, but in all seriousness, it is a tremendous event with something to do for all ages - from carnival rides for the kids to a fiddling contest for the most seasoned of citizens. I truly believe that everything I ever experienced at this East Texas tradition made me what I yam today.

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