We recently went to the Whirligig Festival in Wilson, NC. My parents had a booth selling wonderfully designed folk art. My incredibly talented dad makes these great wooden marble chasers and bird houses and my amazing artist mom paints them! Their booth was called "Manspace"... (your not the boss of me!)
The Whirligig Festival started 3 years ago and was inspired by Vollis Simpson, a local artist who creates these huge, intricate whirligigs out of scrap metal. This year they had more vendors than ever.
We set up early on a Saturday morning and, since this festival is in November, it was quite chilly. But the sun was bright and the nippy wind made all the whirligigs spin with delight. Our booth neighbors included a husband and wife team selling a wide array of bright, colorful tye-dye clothing (of course my daughter had to have a zip up sweatshirt... but tye-dye looks so cute on kids, doncha think?) and an older couple selling sailboats and propeller airplanes made out of tin cans.
The hamburger joint down the street had refreshments for our four-legged friends, a real live pirate show complete with swordfighting and whip tricks played every hour (my daughter's favorite, of course), and music stages at 3 locations kept us entertained the whole weekend. As an added bonus, the had tons of blow-up jumpy rides for the kids!
We had so much fun setting up, talking to folks and demonstrating how the marble chasers work. The kids loved them and it was surprising to discover that many people had never seen a marble chaser before. Our family is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania - the Amish country, and we've been playing with wooden toys like this for ages. So, it was pretty interesting to see everyone's reaction.
But I will tell you my most favorite thing about the Whirligig festival was watching a local artist paint a mural of the festival on a huge canvas. He looked like an artist of old - decked out in an oversized button-down smock with a ponytail. He was amazing and it was fascinating to watch the progress of the painting.
The booth was so colorful and fun and the food was delicious. As far as I'm concerned, any festival that serves funnel cake loaded with powdered sugar and fresh Starbucks coffee is a success in my book! We had a ball...
(You can read more and view more pics from the Whirligig Festival on my mom's blog.)