I must say I’ve had my share of festival goings, soaking up sights and sounds of “Dead Head” Music Festivals. I know some of you will know what I’m talking about. Music festivals where days run into nights that ran into days again, with people whose names I can’t possibly remember, sleeping in backseats of cars, or not, because for hours on end, you rode on or the back of a Harley to get there, walking and standing in 100 degree weather in overcrowded festivals or fields where everyone’s scent is “Stinkin’ Sweat” or “Eau-De-Bug-Off”.  How about showering or just rinsing off with the help of a hose or water gallon just to get the “muck” off? Oh, and who can’t forget the mile long, stretch forever line at the Porta-Potty or sometimes having days long picnics with soggy sandwiches or burnt tailgate BBQ’s. The music festivals were a formative part of many of my decades as yours I’m sure, then there comes a time in everyone’s life where you realize after too many drunken hazes, that you’re simply too old for that crap, and the shocking clarity at the end is that you swear to yourself you’d never do that again!

All jokes aside, music festivals are the most the most amazing experiences one can have. It’s a passing ritual.

When is one ever too old for music festivals?  The sights and sounds of musicals around the country, expressing your artistic side at festivals that tout art?  Indulge your taste buds with the best foods summer festivals have to offer.

When I told Mama I was putting aside my cast iron skillet article for this, she said, “One doesn’t have to worry about what to do this summer,”  “Just open the paper, It’s full of things to do and places to go.” Nothing matters as much as deciding What and Where to go during festival season.  As far as awesome opportunities and experiences, making sacrifices is the only thing you need to worry about while passing up on two or three others.

This summer boast an arsenal of Music, Food, Entertainment, Games, Parades, Fireworks, Festivals, Crafts and Cookouts. Let your hair down because there is something for you even if it means sleeping a good 6 hours so that you can be up for 16-20 hours tomorrow.  June brings a beginning to summer-filled press, the “Toes-in-the-Water” activities, unified with school letting out and parents readjusting their schedules. For June you’ll find the smaller types events more locally designed and executed, in preparation for July.  By now E-Mail boxes, Post Office boxes and spot advertising cards have started to flood in your boxes and newspapers. When planning your summer calendar don’t let yourself get too stressed out, with so many fantastic things going on to choose from, the only mistake you’ll make choosing is to stay home.

Brace yourself for the inevitable barrage of special clothing and the opportunity to howl at the moon and going all in, because we never really outgrow the giddiness of the anticipation of a road trip or going to a festival or a concert.

In being such a big month, July brings a Hodge Podge of activities in full swing. Families head for the Coast, Mountains, favorite cities or states where all calendars are overflowing with activities for everyone.  As you’re rushing to finalize plans for the upcoming vacation or stay-cation and try to decide which outing is befitting, choosing which one you want to attend becomes a challenge. You can’t be everywhere at the same time. Maybe now early planning for next year.  You can let your hair down in NY, Cincinnati, Seattle, North Carolina, Iowa even here in Maine and get your fix of hard core rock to old school, pop, country, evening swing and chamber orchestra music and get empowered and feel lifted. There is food festivals, dog parades, craft fairs, special outdoor movies, giant yard sales, field cookouts and much, much more.

As we swing into August, generally too hot across the country, most of us retire to cooler areas, and in preparation for fall. The garden floodgates have opened.  Farm stands and Farmers Markets are offering up their bounty and with all the going on’s of all types of events, there is an abundance of State Fairs all over the country, often where the smells of popcorn, funnel cakes, and sausage dogs fill the air and can be smelled miles away, there is bound to be much traffic in that direction.  Becoming increasingly commercialized over time, County and State Fairs, summer festivals of any kind can be a fantastic way to spend some time on your vacation. They all have something in common-attendance doesn’t come very cheap and often the whole experience become a bottomless pit of money. With tickets, travel gear, food and then factoring travel, lodging, parking, you better be prepared.

The people at Offers.com have listings of events in larger markets, going on’s everywhere and an opportunity to snag tickets at discount prices.  Attending small town events, they suggest you embrace the spirit of the local people and join in their creative endeavors and support their creativity.  In larger cities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the price tag, fortunately there are ways to save money without sacrificing the fun. 1. Skip the Hotel.  Hotels manage to increase their cost 55% higher and when closer to the venue, hike their rates as much as 75%. Camping can be an option, AirBnB and house swapping could be options as well.

2. Festival food often overpriced and expensive, where in addition to your lineup of entertainment can put a dent in your budget. Food ranging from grilling to gourmet and satisfying to every taste, curbing your appetite before hand can help. Vendors know festival goers are willing to pay for an accessible meal. Check the venue website and inquire.  See if you are able to bring in food. At some places you may be able to pack snacks and drinks, non perishable foods or pack a picnic basket as well as eating well before hand can help you with overpriced grub from vendors.

3. Travel home, stay with Grandma and GrandPa, and take in sights from your early years as kids when you all packed up the station wagon and hit the trails with Mom and Dad, or take day trips that will bring you back home later after you’ve had so much fun.

If maybe you’ll splurge, no sweat, if at all fails, let it be just enough to enjoy the season with no regrets.

As always you can reach me at  [email protected]   Happy Festivaling, Happy Fooding. Make sure you take in a Funnel Cake…I found that I can’t make it the way it is at the fair.  Enjoy sausage and peppers, fresh curly fries, cotton candy, corn on the cob, street style. And last but not least…Place a bet on the favored horse in the third race for me. And for the last words:

~Clean Eating Journal.

Day 1: I am a goddess and my body is a temple.

Day 3: Well, that was fun.        Chrissy Teigen

 

Festival Food Recipes

Chunky Fresh Guacamole

4 Ripe, fresh Avocados, Seeded and peeled

1 fresh Lime, juiced

1 Med. Chopped tomato

½ c. chopped Red Onion

2 fresh Garlic cloves, minced

1 Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped

½ c. chopped fresh Cilantro

¼ tsp. Cumin

Place avocados in a bowl and mash them with a fork, leaving some chunks.

Add all remaining ingredients, mix gently, well. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.   Serve with fresh corn Tortilla Chips.

Best when made closest to serving time. For storage, place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the guac and then seal in airtight container.

Classic Lobster Roll

¼.  cup Mayonaise

¼ c. fresh Lemon Juice

2 tbsp. Chives, chopped

1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Kosher Salt and Pepper

8 Split-top Hot Dog Rolls

Baby Lettuce Leaves

Combine Mayonaise, Lemon juice, Chives, Dijon and Salt and Pepper in a bowl.  Add cooked lobster meat (cut into large pieces) and gently toss to coat.

Grill buns with butter in non-stick skillet until golden brown.  Line each roll with lettuce and fill with the Lobster Salad.

Old Fashioned Lemonade

Yields 7 cups/Prep time 15 minutes.

1 ½ C. Sugar

1 ½ C. Fresh Lemon juice (From about 10 lemons), plus 2 lemons sliced

Berries and fresh Mint Springs

Combine sugar and 1 ½ cup of water to boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat and simmer until sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool completely. In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, 1 ½ cups of sugar syrup aand 4 cups of cold water, (add remaining sugar water for sweetness, if desired).  Refrigerate until chilled. If you make those giant ice cubes with the sliced lemons in the muffin pan we talked about recently, it will look fabulous!.. Enjoy…

Thanks to: Carlson Yarbough, Consultant, Offers.com

The many many publications with fun filled calendars and AAA Travel Guides


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