ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we visited the Indiana State Fair for $2 Tuesday. (There will be another one next week.) We had a lot of fun. The weather was sunny and temperate. So we got to stay until our feet wore out -- we were there a little over five hours. \o/ It's highly recommended if you are in driving distance. Total score: 8/10.

Read more... )
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For about three years now, my partner Doug has been hankering after Mister Softee, a soft-serve ice cream truck that he fondly remembers from his childhood. Mister Softee of Central Illinois has a Facebook page so you can find the truck. Today they were parked all day at the Warrensburg Corn Festival. So we went, and drove an hour to get ice cream ... and it was the best street fair we've been to. Tiny little thing -- no more than 5-6 vendors, maybe 6-8 food and beverage places, a midway with a handful of rides, and miscellaneous entertainment. But I give them 10 out of 10 points. Let me explain why...

Read more... )
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Today we went to the Fall Fete at at Embarras Ridges hosted by Grand Prairie Friends. A few dozen folks gathered in a clearing which has a fire circle and a shed. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, had a potluck for sides and desserts, and made s'mores. :D Last year I noticed that the wildcrafted offerings were the most popular, so I brought a mulberry crumble, and sure enough the plate came home empty. \o/ Plus we spent a couple hours talking with other local folks about nature topics, the group and its sanctuaries, social issues, and all kinds of other fun stuff. In a group of charming, like-minded people I am quite sociable. Over the course of the evening we rambled through several conversations ...

Read more... )
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Yesterday we visited Urbana's Market at the Square followed by Common Ground food co-op in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. You may have seen my dessert recipe "Strawberry Fog" which was inspired by this shopping trip.  The farmer's market has a Facebook page with updates so that you can see what is currently in season.  (Common Ground is also on FB.)  I'm finding this very convenient for planning ahead! 

This year the market is offering a new service: you can buy tokens with a credit/debit card, or with the LINK card for food assistance.  (There are two different types of tokens to distinguish these.)  All vendors take one or both types of token, depending on what they sell, which makes it much easier to shop there.  There is also a "Sprouts at the Market" program for children ages 3-8 that teaches about food, cooking, farming, and related topics.  If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area, please help spread the word to interested people.

Walk with me... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yesterday we visited Urbana's Market at the Square followed by Common Ground food co-op in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. You may have seen my dessert recipe "Strawberry Fog" which was inspired by this shopping trip.  The farmer's market has a Facebook page with updates so that you can see what is currently in season.  (Common Ground is also on FB.)  I'm finding this very convenient for planning ahead! 

This year the market is offering a new service: you can buy tokens with a credit/debit card, or with the LINK card for food assistance.  (There are two different types of tokens to distinguish these.)  All vendors take one or both types of token, depending on what they sell, which makes it much easier to shop there.  There is also a "Sprouts at the Market" program for children ages 3-8 that teaches about food, cooking, farming, and related topics.  If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area, please help spread the word to interested people.

Walk with me... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yesterday we visited Urbana's Market at the Square followed by Common Ground food co-op in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. You may have seen my dessert recipe "Strawberry Fog" which was inspired by this shopping trip.  The farmer's market has a Facebook page with updates so that you can see what is currently in season.  (Common Ground is also on FB.)  I'm finding this very convenient for planning ahead! 

This year the market is offering a new service: you can buy tokens with a credit/debit card, or with the LINK card for food assistance.  (There are two different types of tokens to distinguish these.)  All vendors take one or both types of token, depending on what they sell, which makes it much easier to shop there.  There is also a "Sprouts at the Market" program for children ages 3-8 that teaches about food, cooking, farming, and related topics.  If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area, please help spread the word to interested people.

Walk with me... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yesterday we visited Urbana's Market at the Square followed by Common Ground food co-op in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. You may have seen my dessert recipe "Strawberry Fog" which was inspired by this shopping trip.  The farmer's market has a Facebook page with updates so that you can see what is currently in season.  (Common Ground is also on FB.)  I'm finding this very convenient for planning ahead! 

This year the market is offering a new service: you can buy tokens with a credit/debit card, or with the LINK card for food assistance.  (There are two different types of tokens to distinguish these.)  All vendors take one or both types of token, depending on what they sell, which makes it much easier to shop there.  There is also a "Sprouts at the Market" program for children ages 3-8 that teaches about food, cooking, farming, and related topics.  If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area, please help spread the word to interested people.

Walk with me... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today Doug and I went to the Broomcorn Festival in Arcola, Illinois. They have about six blocks of street closed off for food vendors and other merchants. There's a small midway with rides on a perpendicular street at one end, and some of the side streets have additional attractions.

The biggest tent, down one of the side streets, has the broom-making demonstrations and brooms for sale at bargain prices. These are real broomcorn brooms with solid wooden handles, plain or fancy. Some of the brooms have straw that's dyed red, green, blue, purple, or some combination. A few of the rainbow brooms are partially trimmed, with broomseed still in the inner straws -- those would be ideal as handfasting besoms, if anyone is shopping for such. The demonstrations are also fun to watch.

I scored some terrific bargains shopping for other things, too. One is an embroidered t-shirt with a forest scene and cardinals on it; those are going for $5.99, and embroidered shirts usually start at $20. There are also a couple of different booths selling stones and jewelry suitable for magical/spiritual uses. One has mostly jade pendants and some fiber-optic glass. The other, Earth and Beyond, has assorted rocks, fossils, jewelry, and other goodies. Sadly I didn't have enough to pick up one of the Flexi-8 hair barrettes, but I'll be watching for that booth at future festivals.

Most of the food is standard fair food. However, there's a booth selling blackberry shakeups. That's well worth a stop. So is the one selling apple dumplings topped with vanilla ice cream. Last time I had one that good was at the Apple Dumpling restaurant!

The weather was lovely today -- cool and partly cloudy. I managed to walk around the whole event without getting overheated or exhausted. I am well pleased.

If you like street fairs, this is a good one. You can still catch it on Sunday.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today Doug and I went to the Broomcorn Festival in Arcola, Illinois. They have about six blocks of street closed off for food vendors and other merchants. There's a small midway with rides on a perpendicular street at one end, and some of the side streets have additional attractions.

The biggest tent, down one of the side streets, has the broom-making demonstrations and brooms for sale at bargain prices. These are real broomcorn brooms with solid wooden handles, plain or fancy. Some of the brooms have straw that's dyed red, green, blue, purple, or some combination. A few of the rainbow brooms are partially trimmed, with broomseed still in the inner straws -- those would be ideal as handfasting besoms, if anyone is shopping for such. The demonstrations are also fun to watch.

I scored some terrific bargains shopping for other things, too. One is an embroidered t-shirt with a forest scene and cardinals on it; those are going for $5.99, and embroidered shirts usually start at $20. There are also a couple of different booths selling stones and jewelry suitable for magical/spiritual uses. One has mostly jade pendants and some fiber-optic glass. The other, Earth and Beyond, has assorted rocks, fossils, jewelry, and other goodies. Sadly I didn't have enough to pick up one of the Flexi-8 hair barrettes, but I'll be watching for that booth at future festivals.

Most of the food is standard fair food. However, there's a booth selling blackberry shakeups. That's well worth a stop. So is the one selling apple dumplings topped with vanilla ice cream. Last time I had one that good was at the Apple Dumpling restaurant!

The weather was lovely today -- cool and partly cloudy. I managed to walk around the whole event without getting overheated or exhausted. I am well pleased.

If you like street fairs, this is a good one. You can still catch it on Sunday.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today Doug and I went to the Broomcorn Festival in Arcola, Illinois. They have about six blocks of street closed off for food vendors and other merchants. There's a small midway with rides on a perpendicular street at one end, and some of the side streets have additional attractions.

The biggest tent, down one of the side streets, has the broom-making demonstrations and brooms for sale at bargain prices. These are real broomcorn brooms with solid wooden handles, plain or fancy. Some of the brooms have straw that's dyed red, green, blue, purple, or some combination. A few of the rainbow brooms are partially trimmed, with broomseed still in the inner straws -- those would be ideal as handfasting besoms, if anyone is shopping for such. The demonstrations are also fun to watch.

I scored some terrific bargains shopping for other things, too. One is an embroidered t-shirt with a forest scene and cardinals on it; those are going for $5.99, and embroidered shirts usually start at $20. There are also a couple of different booths selling stones and jewelry suitable for magical/spiritual uses. One has mostly jade pendants and some fiber-optic glass. The other, Earth and Beyond, has assorted rocks, fossils, jewelry, and other goodies. Sadly I didn't have enough to pick up one of the Flexi-8 hair barrettes, but I'll be watching for that booth at future festivals.

Most of the food is standard fair food. However, there's a booth selling blackberry shakeups. That's well worth a stop. So is the one selling apple dumplings topped with vanilla ice cream. Last time I had one that good was at the Apple Dumpling restaurant!

The weather was lovely today -- cool and partly cloudy. I managed to walk around the whole event without getting overheated or exhausted. I am well pleased.

If you like street fairs, this is a good one. You can still catch it on Sunday.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today Doug and I went to the Broomcorn Festival in Arcola, Illinois. They have about six blocks of street closed off for food vendors and other merchants. There's a small midway with rides on a perpendicular street at one end, and some of the side streets have additional attractions.

The biggest tent, down one of the side streets, has the broom-making demonstrations and brooms for sale at bargain prices. These are real broomcorn brooms with solid wooden handles, plain or fancy. Some of the brooms have straw that's dyed red, green, blue, purple, or some combination. A few of the rainbow brooms are partially trimmed, with broomseed still in the inner straws -- those would be ideal as handfasting besoms, if anyone is shopping for such. The demonstrations are also fun to watch.

I scored some terrific bargains shopping for other things, too. One is an embroidered t-shirt with a forest scene and cardinals on it; those are going for $5.99, and embroidered shirts usually start at $20. There are also a couple of different booths selling stones and jewelry suitable for magical/spiritual uses. One has mostly jade pendants and some fiber-optic glass. The other, Earth and Beyond, has assorted rocks, fossils, jewelry, and other goodies. Sadly I didn't have enough to pick up one of the Flexi-8 hair barrettes, but I'll be watching for that booth at future festivals.

Most of the food is standard fair food. However, there's a booth selling blackberry shakeups. That's well worth a stop. So is the one selling apple dumplings topped with vanilla ice cream. Last time I had one that good was at the Apple Dumpling restaurant!

The weather was lovely today -- cool and partly cloudy. I managed to walk around the whole event without getting overheated or exhausted. I am well pleased.

If you like street fairs, this is a good one. You can still catch it on Sunday.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we went to the Arthur Cheese Festival, which also runs Sunday and Monday.

We watched a performance of the Joey Kelly Circus, a little family circus with a big history. (Joey Kelly is the grandson of one of the most famous clowns in the world, Emmett Kelly.) It featured Joey the Clown, Lindy the ringleader, Nathan the juggler (quite good already, and he's only 12), and Bethany the acrobat (on both aerial silks and trapeze).

The festival had a good selection of vendors -- better than recent years, actually. I bought several yards of fabric (variously $1 and $.50 per yard, wow) and a hurricane lamp candleholder, plus a packet of "Habanero Hot" dip mix for Doug. The latter booth had a wide selection of different-flavored dips available for sampling. We also admired the contents of a blacksmith's booth; good prices on the decorative ironwork, just a bit out of current budget range. Plus we ate lunch and bought a funnel cake for dessert.

Central Illinois folks who don't have anything to do this weekend, consider dropping by the Cheese Festival. It's fun.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we went to the Arthur Cheese Festival, which also runs Sunday and Monday.

We watched a performance of the Joey Kelly Circus, a little family circus with a big history. (Joey Kelly is the grandson of one of the most famous clowns in the world, Emmett Kelly.) It featured Joey the Clown, Lindy the ringleader, Nathan the juggler (quite good already, and he's only 12), and Bethany the acrobat (on both aerial silks and trapeze).

The festival had a good selection of vendors -- better than recent years, actually. I bought several yards of fabric (variously $1 and $.50 per yard, wow) and a hurricane lamp candleholder, plus a packet of "Habanero Hot" dip mix for Doug. The latter booth had a wide selection of different-flavored dips available for sampling. We also admired the contents of a blacksmith's booth; good prices on the decorative ironwork, just a bit out of current budget range. Plus we ate lunch and bought a funnel cake for dessert.

Central Illinois folks who don't have anything to do this weekend, consider dropping by the Cheese Festival. It's fun.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we went to the Arthur Cheese Festival, which also runs Sunday and Monday.

We watched a performance of the Joey Kelly Circus, a little family circus with a big history. (Joey Kelly is the grandson of one of the most famous clowns in the world, Emmett Kelly.) It featured Joey the Clown, Lindy the ringleader, Nathan the juggler (quite good already, and he's only 12), and Bethany the acrobat (on both aerial silks and trapeze).

The festival had a good selection of vendors -- better than recent years, actually. I bought several yards of fabric (variously $1 and $.50 per yard, wow) and a hurricane lamp candleholder, plus a packet of "Habanero Hot" dip mix for Doug. The latter booth had a wide selection of different-flavored dips available for sampling. We also admired the contents of a blacksmith's booth; good prices on the decorative ironwork, just a bit out of current budget range. Plus we ate lunch and bought a funnel cake for dessert.

Central Illinois folks who don't have anything to do this weekend, consider dropping by the Cheese Festival. It's fun.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we went to the Arthur Cheese Festival, which also runs Sunday and Monday.

We watched a performance of the Joey Kelly Circus, a little family circus with a big history. (Joey Kelly is the grandson of one of the most famous clowns in the world, Emmett Kelly.) It featured Joey the Clown, Lindy the ringleader, Nathan the juggler (quite good already, and he's only 12), and Bethany the acrobat (on both aerial silks and trapeze).

The festival had a good selection of vendors -- better than recent years, actually. I bought several yards of fabric (variously $1 and $.50 per yard, wow) and a hurricane lamp candleholder, plus a packet of "Habanero Hot" dip mix for Doug. The latter booth had a wide selection of different-flavored dips available for sampling. We also admired the contents of a blacksmith's booth; good prices on the decorative ironwork, just a bit out of current budget range. Plus we ate lunch and bought a funnel cake for dessert.

Central Illinois folks who don't have anything to do this weekend, consider dropping by the Cheese Festival. It's fun.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For the second part of my event report about the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, I'll be covering the entertainers, local color, and other tidbits. This section contains many photographs of faire attractions. There is one weekend left in this season, June 7-8, so if you haven't visited the faire yet there is still time. Also most of the merchants and entertainers can be found at other faires and festivals throughout the summer; look on people's websites because many of them list their upcoming appearances.

Come see the shows! )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For the second part of my event report about the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, I'll be covering the entertainers, local color, and other tidbits. This section contains many photographs of faire attractions. There is one weekend left in this season, June 7-8, so if you haven't visited the faire yet there is still time. Also most of the merchants and entertainers can be found at other faires and festivals throughout the summer; look on people's websites because many of them list their upcoming appearances.

Come see the shows! )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For the second part of my event report about the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, I'll be covering the entertainers, local color, and other tidbits. This section contains many photographs of faire attractions. There is one weekend left in this season, June 7-8, so if you haven't visited the faire yet there is still time. Also most of the merchants and entertainers can be found at other faires and festivals throughout the summer; look on people's websites because many of them list their upcoming appearances.

Come see the shows! )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For the second part of my event report about the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, I'll be covering the entertainers, local color, and other tidbits. This section contains many photographs of faire attractions. There is one weekend left in this season, June 7-8, so if you haven't visited the faire yet there is still time. Also most of the merchants and entertainers can be found at other faires and festivals throughout the summer; look on people's websites because many of them list their upcoming appearances.

Come see the shows! )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This year, my partner and I went to the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire with several friends. There were some general challenges, beginning with budget issues and the weather, compounded by faire management. The main perks were some excellent shopping discoveries, and getting to see friends we don't see very often.

I'll post the faire report in sections, beginning with an overview and the merchants. There are photos under the cut.

Read on! )

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