I was really looking forward to this festival, as the silliness potential was off the charts. Yes, it was a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, but one moonshine joke and it would have all been worth it. Sadly, I actually have a "real" job which required me to work late the night before and delayed my departure this fateful day. Apparently all of the silly games took place in the morning and I missed the cow chip throwing, lady nail driving and even the skillet toss. I did speak to a reporter that promised to forward me pictures, so check back for an update.
Yet, there was still a festival to be had. I was hoping for some roast possum, squirrel or any other type of roadkill animal but there was none to be found. Instead I came across this barbecued beef sandwich which tasted suspiciously like a sloppy joe. It did have actual pieces of beef (or so I was told) and it was pretty delicious. I definitely would have had another. This festival only allowed local non-profits to provide food, and they kept the proceeds. It is a great idea, unless you are there for the food. Culinary creativity did not reign.
Corn on the cob goes hand in hand with Summertime. Grilled corn reminds me of backyard BBQ's with my father at the grill. Alas, this corn was boiled. Boiling may be the worst cooking method for anything not named pasta. The corn was rather tasteless, but it was nice to eat an ear while sitting on a bale of hay in the middle of nowhere. I choose the typewriter method to eat my corn, how about you? What is the right way? My method wasn't the fastest last year.
Now this was more like it. I could see a person hanging a pot over this fire to be, and preparing whatever poor critter happened to cross their path. Instead it was just left to my imagination.
Bennett Springs Park was beautiful. The park has its own trout hatchery which brings in fishermen from around the region. Pictured here is a dam that was more picturesque than pictured (if possible). You can see the anglers in the water just above the crest where the trout would congregate trying to avoid being swept over the edge. The water was so clear you could see all the fish swimming around 3-4 feet below, and I got a better look as many of these anglers caught their dinner.
Festival Trinket of the Week: I was hoping for something whittled, made out of a jug of moonshine or something with a crafty saying on it. Instead I found these finger puppets. This is Yoda, what I expected to see here, and a penguin. Fun, but somewhat disappointing; my apologies.
Video of the Week: The
This festival started out as a one-time silly thing to raise some money for the city, but it was so successful that this was now their 37th year. Somewhere along those years this festival may have lost some of its soul. Don't get me wrong it was a great festival, but when you name something Hillbilly Festival you kind of expect to see some....well Hillbillies. Maybe Lebanon, MO has gotten awful tony for a mining town in the last 37 years. (If you knew that was from Tombstone then this clip is for you).
I guess I was just expecting more. With a name like Hillbilly Days, I simply thought hi jinx would ensue, but maybe I missed it in the morning. I think I was thinking of the cult classic movie "Dancing Outlaw" when I went. Don't worry, I have the whole film if you want to see more. Or, maybe I was even thinking of Cletus from the Simpsons when I got in my car to drive on down the road.
I was wondering where the term "hillbilly" came from, and was sadly not surprised when
So this festival wasn't as hillbillyriffic as I had hoped, but it was a beautiful day and drive. I will have to return to Bennett Springs State Park to canoe or fish some day, as that water looked amazing. This was also the first festival I had spoken to a reporter and a promoter. Maybe this site can actually be somewhat professional? I hadn't ought done do such a fool thing. If you want to see the hillbilly dictionary too, click here.
P.S. I'm thinking of a new Shorter Website Name to change to. Any thoughts?