Circuses, Carnivals, Country Fairs, and Feasts...!!!

By
Title Insurance with Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.

As a kid...I remember once a year the circus coming to town...and a highlight of the event was watching the circus elephants erecting the tents bright and early in the morning...this was almost as exciting as what went on INSIDE the tent! The clowns, the acrobats, the jugglers, the fire eaters, the magicians, etc...all set the pace for every weekend beginning in early spring and going through Labor Day!  

Then there were the 'firehouse' carnivals...these would last a week or more near the end of the school year or closely thereafter...and would supply side shows, games of chance, lots of fast food, kiddie & adult rides and raffle tickets for just about anything from Afghans to Chevrolets...  

Of course, the Country Fairs or County Fairs or State Fairs occurred all throughout the year and combined many of the activities from the circus, carnivals, etc...into elaborate displays intended to excite children and adults of all ages...there was something for everyone it seemed at these events...!  

But the most unusual and memorable and enjoyable of events were the 'Feasts'...these were small, concentrated, mini-celebrations celebrated by many ethnic, religious, and fraternal organizations..of course the distinctive character of each event derived from whatever hosts were sponsoring it or putting it on...specialty foods and dishes, culinary delights, picnic style events, horseshoe contests, quoits, ball games, and other family activities...  

These 'feasts' for the most part would revolve around a particular 'Saints' feast day or a day celebrated by a specific church or fraternal organization's name sake...and boy were these a good time...funnel cakes, pork sandwiches and roast beef sandwiches served on special Italian rolls, fried dough, potato blintzes, and other ethnic delicacies...mmmmmgood!  

Usually these would wind up as the summer heat was winding up...but in my area of Pennsylvania, there was something to celebrate nearly every weekend!!! Or at least until Eagles Football began in September!

Now, if you were lucky enough to be raised in the same town I was, and you were of Italian/American descent, and you went to one of these events sponsored by the local Italian/American fraternal organizations or 'clubs' as they were called, and it was winding down and everyone was letting their hair down and expressing their deepest ethnic 'soul'...you would likely hear something like this played by local musicians...

                                                  

Comments (8)

Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Fran - Personally, it sounds like a blast.  Where I grew up (Clarion, Pa)... we had the Autumn Leaf Festival once a year.  I still try to go back when I can.  Sounds like I need to take a trip to Limerick...

Aug 23, 2008 01:17 PM
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ

Jason,

Many of the 'feasts' I attended as a kid are still held the same weekend every year!!! It's a great heritage!!! Thanks,   Fran

Aug 23, 2008 01:19 PM
Becky Cook
EXIT Realty Services- New Paltz, NY - Highland, NY
Ulster County, NY- New Paltz, Highland, Marlboro, NY Real Estate

A couple of months ago, the local Italian Center honored my great uncle for all his years and years of service.  The whole family went as well as members of the order- it was loud (that was just us talking and laughing), the food was delicious, and the music was just like your youtube clip.  I am only a quarter Italian- and my kids are only a eighth Italian- but it's the part of my heritage that I connect with the most.  Thanks for the reminder!!

Aug 23, 2008 01:20 PM
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ

Becky,

That's all it takes!!! LOL, Thanks,   Fran

Aug 23, 2008 01:27 PM
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Feasts ... love them.  Especially now since I have been on mashed potatoes and ice cream since Tuesday!  Really enjoyed this great post Fran.

Aug 23, 2008 10:10 PM
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ

Susie,

What kind of diet is that...I like them both, but couldn't visualize eating only them!!! Thanks,   Fran

Aug 24, 2008 01:31 AM
Barbara Carter
C21 Alliance Realty Group - New Paltz, NY
Serving Your Real Estate Needs in the Hudson Valle

Fran- These are great memories. I love the song- My mothers side of the family always had the music blasting at family picnics and parties- The songs now bring back great fond memories. My husband and I go to this little Italian restaurant that plays a CD of all the songs- (I have to contain myself from belting it out!) You didn't have any Nazzaro's in your heritage did you? ;)

Aug 24, 2008 03:47 AM
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ

Barbara,

Not that I know of, but if you go back far enough we're ALL related!!! LOL, Thanks,   Fran

Aug 24, 2008 04:01 AM