It was a chilly night with the a clear sky and temps dipping into the lower 30’s. Luckily, because of our normal tough Wisconsin weather conditions we came prepared with lots of down clothes, gloves and hats. There were no MIDNIGHT potty excursions tonight though!
The Y opened at 5:00am during the week, so by 5:30am your humble blogger was inside, where it was warm, drinking complimentary coffee and journaling.
They have a visitor board which emJay was quick to update with our home city of Madison. Up until then there had been no Wisconsin entries. Of course there were also none for New York, Paris and Rome. We were the first!
By the time I returned to camp it was still chilly but with the rising sun things quickly warmed up. The kitchen crew of Pam, John and Patti bean preparing the morning fare . . . breakfast burritos!. YUM!!!!
Assembly line in actions . . . “Hey, no samples for the kitchen staff!”
Plenty of accoutremonts
Long time fiend of John and Diana’s, neighbor Vic, stops by to borrow a little salt.
With every great meal comes the clean up and today Larry jumped right in and took over the operation.
We headed to the concert grounds and circulated among 5 stages, checking the schedule and popping in to to see a group that peaked our curiosity.
We spent a lot of time at the Americana stage, lounging on the grass and soaking up the sun, sites and sounds. A person can work up an appetite doing that and before you knew it . . . time for lunch!
emJay and I headed to ne of the many food tents. mmmm. . ..what to order from the many offerings. We decided on the Pad Thai with chicken, and optional egg roll. I quickly learned RULE #1 of Merlefest food vendors’ or just southern hospitality in general. People here are generous! I should have asked to see the portions sizes first or checked out someone else’s order before ordering because one order to share would have been PLENTY!. Of course being from good German and Polish stock we could not let anything go to waste and before you know it we were full and heading over to see Donna . . .
. . . the Buffalo.
a great band from New York. They evidently were originally called something like Dawn the Buffalo, but everyone ended up calling them Donna the Buffalo, so they changed their name!
not sure if their fiddlers name is even Donna!
Seems like every group we have seen has been extraordinary talented. They must have quite a screening process for potential performers at Merlefesat. Any one of many could certainly be a national star and we have had many discussions’ about how quirky the entertainment field is and who makes it big and who doesn’t. There must be a measure of just plain old luck involved and being at the right place at the tight time. The digital world had definitely changed things too . . . for the better, who knows?
Americans love to shop, wherever they are, and this festival had many rows of vendors selling everything from tie dyed garments to homeopathic pain relievers to CD’s of every artist appearing at MF to the ubiquitous t-shirt vendors. We all agreed we didn’t need another t-shirt but the one with that said Pink Floyd, with a pink picture of Floyd the Barber form the old Andy of Mayberry show, was tempting!
the “official” MF vendor with personalized garb just for the festival.
The performers and fan base is widespread bringing acts and visitors from all over the country. How about this favorite NC son . . .
Our routine has evolved, after only one day of heading to the festival grounds, a short 10 minute bus ride supplied by the local Boy Scout’s troops parents ( I did check Lynn and they still need to sell popcorn too in the fall as an entrepreneurial/skill building activity). Visiting several stages, maybe having a little lunch, hitting a few more stages and then returning to camp for a little cocktail social hour to discuss the days event before heading back for the evening headliners.
Camp is a VERY quite place during the day. Oh yeah, Larry and I have been hitting the fitness center located in the Y to try heading off or at least equaling the calorie intake! So far . . .probably not even close!
Diana and John’s daughter, Cate, who lives in NC, has brought her friend Erin and the two have has joined us for the next several days. Sara, daughter number 2, was not able to join the group this year because of college. The four of them have been to 6-7 MF as a family. The is no alcohol or tobacco allowed on the MF grounds to it really encourages family participation.
Erin came prepared for the event by purchasing a new Calvin Klein raincoat, tres chiché!
Hear the crowds comments here:
Catching up on family events over an appetizer of boiled shrimp!
Cate and Erin prepare to leave for the evening events with a little “concert enhancing” beverage.
Let’ break a little more bread . . .
. . . for one more round of goodies.
It’s dark by the time we return at 10:00pm after the headlining show so its not a bad idea to have your sleeping bag ready to jump into, your toothbrush handy, etc. emJay and I like to leave our coffee cups out for the morning coffee service that is provided.
Main stage action tonight . . .
included the New Orleans Preservation Band and the Del McLaury Band playing together. A really interesting mix of music styles that were really quite complimentary.
The second headliner, Government Mule, did do much for most of us. Some thought the mule should be taken out back and shot!
Soon it was time to head back to camp. Today was BEAUTIFUL with bluebird sunny days and temps in the 70’s. It was actually too hot in the direct sun for our tender winter skin.
The rest of the festival looks like it could be interesting with increasing chances of rain through Sunday. Woodstock REDUX? We got the rain gear handy!