Saturday, May 9, 2009

Poke Salad Festival Kicks Off

The annual Blanchard Poke Salad Festival kicked off officially on Thursday night. Since I live in Blanchard and across the street from the festivities, I have no choice but to be involved in the happenings.

From across the street I can see, hear and smell, ugh, all of the things going on. So starting Thursday night the music starts pumping, the kids start screaming and the rides get cranked up. Ah, the smell of funnel cakes!

And while Thursday is the "preview" night, it is Friday when things really get going. Our church holds it's annual fish fry and auction. This really brings in the folks to the poke. Our church starts the night with the fish fry at the Polk Salad Pavilion on the Poke Salad grounds.

Two hours of fillets, fries and flies as everyone eats outdoors and under the fans. Generally, we all have fun, eating and visiting and just hanging out with family and friends. This year the food was great but the tea was horrible, and you know my stance on tea, but it still was not enough to spoil the fun.

Once the dust settled from the constant charge of hungry mouths, the auction gets fired up. This year to kick off the auction, the awards were handed out for the fishing tournament and of course, I was not one of the winners, but alas, the guys who won, really kicked everyones butt. Over sixty pounds of fish!

Going, one, going twice, sold, is all you will hear for the next four hours as the auction gets going and the auctioneer gets into form. Anything from live plants, to baked goods, to bicycles and boats are bid on and sold for charity. The first item this year was a hand made quilt, made by a 92 year old church memeber. The quilt sold for $500! Awesome, and the proceeds go to our world missions fund.

The auction was great and got exciting a few times as bidding got out of hand and people got overly excited. And while I did not buy anything, my family did get a few things.

As the daylight turned to dusk the humidity and heat got the best of us and we had to move. My daughter, being lured into the lights of the carnival, had to go across the street and ride.

Now, I make no attempts to enjoy crowds, especially at this event. The general public at the Poke Salad is sub par if you ask me. Dirty kids, smoking trailer trash and lots of other undesirable people. That being said, I hurried my wife and daughter though the crowds and toward the super slide. Lily had to ride the slide. So $3 later and and three tickets in the grubby hand of the toothless operator and up the steps we went. Lily led the way, being Miss Independent that she is, and wanted to slide without the burlap sack. I had to convince her that we needed it to go faster. She bought it and off we went. She squealed all the way down.

Good times were had and we enjoyed ourselves and that is what counted on this hot, sticky night. We went home, get Lily in bed with promises of the parade on Saturday.

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