We are very fortunate to live where we do. Not only do we live in a beautiful, often sunny place and are surrounded by mountains, ocean and desert all at once, we are also surrounded by art. Now, one person’s art might be another person’s garbage. I get that art is all about interpretation, but I really think that making something out of nothing, or turning something plain into something beautiful, or making music is all art. We live in an area that likes to showcase its art and its beauty and its culture by having festivals. We sometimes forget all about these, but today we went to a local festival and were reminded of beauty and joy and diversity and art.
We live in Pasadena, nestled right next to a very small town called Sierra Madre. It is known for having the world’s largest known Wistaria Vine and each year in March, when it’s in bloom, they hold the annual Wistaria Festival.
I suppose, technically, the main attraction of the festival is the actual world-record-breaking vine itself, which is on private property. Busloads of visitors can visit the vine for just $15 a piece. We’ve never actually done the tour. The first time we went, we didn’t know about it. The second time, we had two small kids and no strollers are allowed. This year, with 5 of us, it would have been enough money that we wouldn’t have been able to buy anything at the festival, so we opted to just look at the pretty pictures online. We like to people watch, see all the local artists hocking their wares, and listen to the local bands play.
We got to the park first. That’s the hub, where the “food court” is located and the bandshell is thumping with live music. Although, hearing some 60-year-old men rocking out to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” isn’t my idea of a rockin’ time, the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves. After a quick lunch, we decided to do a little browsing.
It was a beautiful, warm, breezy day and there were quite a few people there. We looked at sculpted wood, crystal jewelry, homemade wind chimes, and homemade organic soap. (We skipped a few booths, like the bedazzled denim purses and the handmade clothing that looked like it was meant for clown college. But, like I said, one man’s garbage…)
We did end up seeing some really cool stuff. Like, these vases you hang by your window.
and some handmade wooden blocks that looked like castles
We did end up making a few impulse purchases. My favorite, and one that surprised me – as my husband isn’t usually one to make impulse jewelry purchases- was this ring, made of amber. (According to the seller, millions of years old amber… not sure about that, but I’ll take it.) There were many designs, including some simple shapes, just ovals, and even butterflies, but I chose this, and if you know me at all, I’m sure you can figure out why.
Wayne also bought himself a walking stick. He used it mostly to a) walk like a pimp and b) carry stuff Huck Finn style.
All in all, it was a great way to spend a few hours of a beautiful Sunday. We even ran into 2 of our teachers, which is always fun and surprising for the kids.
Does your town hold a festival? Don’t know? Look it up! It can be a great way to get to know your town, and appreciate some art in the process. (or at the very least, the food)