Monday, June 23, 2008

Almost Social

This weekend, I attended not one but two festivals.

Chicago loves their summer festivals. They have a ton of them every year and every year I've promised myself that I'll go to at least one. But every year I've ended up in my apartment watching DVDs of the first season of Soap instead, only to vow (again) at the end of the summer to make next year different.

This year, fortune placed a festival literally one block away from where I work - the Taste of Randolph festival. With Katie taking classes at UIC over the summer, which is in the area, it was the ideal time to actually make good on that vow and finally be social.

We ate and drank and listened to live music and milled about with the other Chicagoans and all around had a good time. And I went home proud that, after living in this city for nearly three years now, I had finally done something authentically Chicagoie.

Then this weekend we went out to the suburbs and on Sunday we decided to go take a walk around Geneva, one of the far far west suburbs of Chicago. We take these little health walks because I'm a lazy, lazy bastard and Katie is desperately trying to help me correct this.

As it turned out, Geneva was finishing up their "Swedish Days" festival. It had never occured to me before that Swedishness is something to celebrate, much less for several days, but lo and behold the town was more or less shut down for a nice long Swedish Day parade.

They really went all out too. There were little folky booths everywhere, a little carnival with a tiny ferris wheel, and a funnel cake place too. Because it's not a party without funnel cake, ladies and gents.

It was a cute small-towny deal, and it reminded me a lot of growing up in Clarkston and the Labor Day parades and festivities.

My only knock against Swedish Days was that I could have used a little more Swede. I was expecting more tall blond people, maybe some meatball booths. Lingonberries, etc. I was also hoping that everyone would have either a viking helmet of a chef's hat. Alas, there were only a handful of nordic looking persons, and none of them were wearing helmets.

But it was still fun, and I feel like I've fullfilled my summer obligation to go out amongst other people to act like a real human being. Now I can go back to my usual summer ritual: Katie begging me to go on health walks while I watch DVDs of the first season of Soap.

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