One Saturday in Appleton

Appleton rocks, especially this past Saturday where, within a two mile stretch, you could watch a National Tree Climbing Championship, attend the first annual Irish Fest, walk through a peak-season Farmer’s Market and enjoy Rhythms of the World, a celebration of multi-cultural generosity and transcendent beauty.

After all of that, we were also lucky enough to attend an open house for one friend and a touching memorial service for another.

It was a glorious day to celebrate life, adventure and friendship.  Sláinte!

As Irish luck would have it, the Tree Climbing Championship took place right across the street from our house at Erb Park, so I strolled over several times to check out the action. One of the more unique athletic events I’ve attended, it definitely deserves its own post. I’ll write more about that on Wednesday. In the meantime…

Irish Fest, with its thick beer and cheeky ballads, arrived in Appleton at the perfect time, as summer winds down and winter looms. It did my somewhat-Irish-depending-on-which-relative-I-talk-to heart good to see Jones Park hopping, and there’s nothing like a little Gaelic Storm to get your toes tapping.

Facing the same volunteer shortage as other festivals and events, Irish Fest blazed forward, powered by the extreme dedication of the people who were able to donate their time. At one point, a volunteer rushing from one tent to another to deliver food, paused briefly to link arms with me and dance a little Irish Jig. The whole festival was a delicious (sure and begorrah there was corned beef and mashed potatoes too!), rollicking good time.

Saturday morning we headed down to the Farmer’s Market, which looked incandescent in the September sun. The tomatoes! The sweet corn! The leafy green vegetables! The flowers! The sticky, smiling children!

A delightful show on the Houdini Plaza stage caught our eyes, so we sat down for a little while and took it all in. Rhythms of the World featured musicians and dancers from Trinidad, Bali, Mexico, India, Polynesia, Laos, India, the Phillipines and more. The event also included both a food and blood drive and raised funds for World Relief.

I didn’t bring my camera to all of the activities, but I did to some. So, I am going to let my photos tell the rest of the story.

I hope you all had a spectacular Saturday as well.

I’m guessing this adorable little girl and her mom performed at some point during the day, but they were just enthusiastic fans when I saw them.
Dr. Sridhar is doing double duty here as the photographer and Appleton Rotary Club District 6220 Governor.
Beautiful dancers waiting in the wings.
They perfectly expressed the concept of reciprocal community pride.
My camera and I really enjoyed ourselves.
I didn’t get to see these ladies dance, but they were kind enough to pose for me.
Meanwhile, at the Farmer’s Market, an explosion of color that marks the harvest season greeted us all.
And, down at Jones Park, Irish Fest offered music, food, beverages and some Gaelic education. (I had no idea why the flag was orange, white and green. But, now I know.)
I loved seeing the park hopping again.
And, speaking of hopping, the National Tree Climbing Competition involved some of that too. I’ll tell that story on Wednesday.

2 thoughts on “One Saturday in Appleton

  1. Spent a wonderful Saturday morning with my daughter and a former roommate of hers at the farmer’s market in Madison. After lots of walking, we ended up sitting on on the patio at Monona Terrace overlooking beautiful Monona Lake. It was an awesome day.

    1. I love the Madison Farmer’s Market too and having a drink on the Terrace. Glad you had a great Saturday!

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