Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Abandoned Because?

The other day, Dave and I decided to go and see the famous Kutztown Pennsylvania German Festival. We thought it would be fun to walk around, look at cows, participate in the world famous Ox Roast (If you're a vegetarian or member of PETA, I'm kidding - but it's worth mentioning because they make a big deal out of it - so I will too.)

I ask you - What festival closes its gates at 5PM? Yeah. That's right! The Kutztown Festival. I'd never have imagined it could possibly close at 5 PM - but when Dave and I arrived at 6 PM to a virtual ghosttown of a festival (meaning: There was a tractor-drawn wagon full of Mennonite boys picking up the trash, a few vendors cleaning up, and a pen full of Palomino Ponies - and just about no one else.) Why, oh why didn't I take my camera in?

You may ask yourself why I didn't call first - Here's my reasoning: Never ever in my wildest imagination did I imagine that a festival COULD close at 5 pm. I had no clue. In fact, I ask myself many times - Am I responsible for the things I can't fathom?

Anyway, when we asked the lone vendor why the festival was closed. We expected something exotic like 'bomb threat' or 'water main break...' Instead, he waxed poetic about attending this festival since he was 11. He was now 48 - and as long as he could remember, at 5 o'clock, the festivities simply ended. He waxed at length about traditions of the festival - and in the morning by 9 AM, thousands of cars lined up for miles down the highway - just to get in. He waxed eloquently about the throngs of people that filled the pathways around the cattle judging, the quilt barn, and the festival stages... He waxed and waxed and waxed as Dave and I backed ever-so-slowly away.

We decided to investigate. Empty festivals seem perfect fodder for Stephen King novels. I looked at Dave and said, "Kinda creepy, huh?"

"This is the kind of thing that makes me wanna hightail it back to Philadelphia, Kell."

"But you hate Philadelphia."

"I know!"

We walked the empty aisles for a bit longer, and noted all the fun we may have been having, had the shoofly pie booth been open - had the lemonade stand been vending, and had the mule-drawn carousel been circling. It was eerily quiet. We half expected an ambush by the "IT" clown - or worse - Raymond the Amish Comic.

We headed toward my car, clearly curious as to how such a phenomenon as a festival closing at 5 pm could possibly happen.

Such pondering makes one (or at least two) thirsty, so we headed for a local restaurant. We asked our server, "Why does the Kutztown Festival close so early?"

"You know," she replied, "I've been asking myself the same thing for years. I've lived in Kutztown forever, and I've never been able to go because I work all day..."

When she returned with our drink orders, she reported that she discussed the matter with her co-workers. As it turns out, the Kutztown Festival has no electricity outside - so the lack of lighting forces everyone out early. Ok, if all the food is cooked with gas grills and the beer tent is cooled by generator - Maybe... but how crazy is that?

I'm thinking this is the most absurd thing I've ever heard - A festival that runs in the evening would make a lot more money...

But maybe the farmers, carousel drivers, and lemonade squeezers don't care about that... I guess that also explains why they had no fireworks show...



  • At 6:56 PM, Blogger kimmmmm said…

    I didn't think anything closed at 5 pm anymore. Hopefully you guys didn't drive too far to get to it!

  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    First look at the name of the town...'s summer when the sun goes down at 9PM!

    So why are they closing at 5PM when there are four hours left until sundown.

  • At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is open until 6:00 I know because I worked it. And in this wonderful age of lawsuits can anyone guess why they don't stay open with out enough lighting....Geeez It was open for 9 Days! 9 Days! that lady that couldn't go because she works..Does anyone think she really works for 9 Days straight..Please


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