The weekend before 4th of July is traditionally reserved for our Archey Fork Summer Festival. We all gather downtown at the park, enjoy over-priced carnival rides and food, a fishing derby, an awesome car show, local musicians and other lovely small town mayhem. It's awesome (except for the heat this year) and one of the highlights of our year.
I've included a ton o'shots below that give you a flavor of my small town...
Saturday starts off with a fishing derby for the kids. The Game and Fish Commission stocks our pond for us. There are 350 hungry catfish waiting for the killing to begin!
This year we had a great place to fish. Usually we dam up a small creek (Town Branch) that runs through the middle of the city. Last year the dam broke twice and the Mayor decided it was too dangerous to try to do that again this year. The city was going to have to pay almost $10,000 to come up with some dam system that we could re-use but there was nothing in the budget for it.
One member of the city council wanted to build a pond, but again money was an issue and we weren't sure there was time to dig a pond even though we have a great place for it. Turns out a business in the city who uses a lot of excavation equipment volunteered to dig our pond for us at no charge to the city. It's probably a $40-60,000 project that got donated for free to the city. Oh it's the awesomeness of small town cooperation!
Julius sits on the bank and waits for a catfish to bite. He's never caught a fish before.
We use "power bait" which is very smelly, but catfish like smelly stuff. In fact, the city was giving out free bait when kids signed up for the derby. It was basically fish blood and guts and pieces of crawfish pressed into this tater-tot shape powerhouse of horrific stink that you could smell all the way to the parking area. I got tickled because my brother's girlfriend, when she finally realized what smelled so bad, pointed to my brother and said, "Oh, I thought it was you."
Julius catches his first fish!!
For some reason, Julius felt compelled to poke the fish. I was having some trouble with the fish lying around gasping. Fishing seems really barbaric, to me, if one is not properly prepared. I would have rather had a stringer or bucket. It's still a little cruel, but I don't have a problem with it if you are eating the fish. It's food, it's natural. I was hoping he would just measure it and release it but he wanted to keep it. We actually ended up giving it to an old man who was there with his granddaughter and I'm sure with this one and the others they caught they had a great meal!
Mary (my brother's girlfriend) and Tristan check out the fish. All morning Tristan carried this fish in a bag and kept walking up to other people who had fish demanding that they put their fish in his sack.
A guy is there with his snake. His girlfriend had a tiny snake that she was wearing around her neck.