Week 30 - My Story In Photos: "The Summer Edition"
Ahhhh, it feels so good to be preparing an I ♥ Faces post once more! I skipped out last week because I was busy getting my Irish on at the Great American Irish Festival. And because the theme was "beach" and I can't even remember the last time I went to the beach. It was long before I had a digital camera, I know that much, so I don't have any good beach pics.
So, here's my story. I'm not much of a summer person (which explains my lack of beach time!). I'm a pasty white girl and it takes approximately 15 minutes of sun exposure to turn me into a crispy critter (no joke, I went to Florida a few years ago and was burnt from head to toe after spending 2 hours in the pool despite applying 50 SPF waterproof sunblock before heading outside AND reapplying every half hour), thus leading me to avoid most activities requiring prolonged outdoor time. (Until late last summer, anyways, when I found 70+ SPF sunblock for the first time! It's a miracle!) The one event I really look forward to is the Great American Irish Festival, which is held the last full weekend of July. $20 for a 3-day pass...best $20 you can spend! Each day I get there as soon as it opens, and I leave when they kick us out for the night.
Why do I love GAIF so much? (Aside from the fact that it's a good excuse to strap on my kilt, tie green ribbons in my hair and paint Irish flags on my fingernails, that is?) Oh, where to start? For one thing, I love the music. All kinds of Irish and Scottish music. Traditional bands. Contemporary bands. Bagpipes. Lots and lots of bagpipes. OK, I'm not the biggest bagpipe fan out there, but it's fun to watch a bit of the pipe band competition, which culminates in a massed bagpipe march.
My favorite band, THE ELDERS
I also like to see Barleyjuice at least once during the weekend. Six guys, all wearing kilts! What's not to love?
New to this year's festival...Pogey and Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian's Wall was good but Pogey? Amazing! I think they're my new favorite band...after The Elders, of course! Super talented group of guys, very sweet and totally adorable too!
Had enough music? Go watch the dancers!
Dance isn't your thing? How about some rugby and Gaelic football?
As if that isn't enough, there are plenty of demos, displays and workshops in the cultural building...this year I attended a tin whistle workshop and planned on going to an Irish language workshop but ended up seeing one of the bands and forgot about it. Oops. Maybe next year.
And, like any good festival/fair, there was no shortage of food! The British Isles were well represented this year with shepherd's pie (I *may* have gone back for seconds), bangers and mash, and corned beef sandwiches (OK, corned beef is acually an Irish-AMERICAN food, but that's nit picking), but there is plenty of standard fair fare available as well...pizza, fried dough, ribbon fries, blooming onions, Italian sausages, Greek gyros, etc, etc, etc! And don't forget the beer! Lots and lots of beer.
Last but not least, I love the comraderie. Always a pleasure reuniting with old friends and making new ones! I got to talk with my friend Cindy (sadly, she was running around like crazy all weekend so we never got a picture together), who I met on the Elders' message board a couple years ago and haven't seen since January, and finally met Caitlin, who I've been talking to on Facebook for a while now (she's a big Elders fan too!). And much to my pleasure, Cindy, who volunteers at GAIF, snuck me behind the barricades to get a pic with the Pogey boys (again, are they not too cute? I could just eat them up!) and chat with them a bit. Oh, and just before I left I ran into Joe Miquelon, of the Elders, and he was all too happy to take a moment for a photo op...nice guy, that Joe is, and one hell of a keyboard player! And then there was Beadman...sorry dude, if you're reading this (and I doubt he is, because really, no one reads my blog), I forgot your name. Anyways, all weekend he went around giving people beads and taking pics of them. I didn't have anything to give him in return but took his picture anyways. We chatted for a while...he said he's a freelance photographer.
And that, in a nutshell, is the highlight of my summers! For more great stories and photos, click on the link here or the button at the top of this post to head on over to the I ♥ Faces blog!