By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
It seems like I?ve been attending a lot of town festivals this year. With the Henry County Fair, Winfield?s Crooked Creek Days, Salem Old Settlers and now the Old Threshers Reunion, I?ve spent a lot of time walking around festivals this summer.
I don?t remember attending too many festivals when I was growing up (then again, it wasn?t part of my job description then), but over the past couple of years I?ve grown to love them, and I must admit I?ve become a bit of a festival junkie. Something about the atmosphere draws me in, and I find myself waiting for the next opportunity. I?ve even been known to attend random small town festivals for towns I have no connection to whatsoever (Milton Fun Fest 2011 ? I went, I saw, I bought the t-shirt).
So as Mt. Pleasant has been preparing for its grandest of festivals, I?ve found myself getting caught up in the Threshers hype, which has only intensified as campers have rolled into town and garage sales have popped up like dandelions.
As I journeyed to the county courthouse for a meeting on Tuesday morning and noticed the white tents being erected on the town square, I found myself composing a little song in my mind ? It?s beginning to look a lot like Threshers! On my way back to the news office, the vendors on the square seemed to have doubled and green space was hard to spot.
By Wednesday?s parade, everything seemed to be in full swing, and now we are smack dab in the middle of the grand event, and even though there?s thunderstorms forecasted for this weekend, I?m walking on sunshine.
I absolutely love events like this. I love the bizarre things that are celebrated. I love the tradition. I love the general atmosphere that completely consumes you ? the sights, the sounds, the smells. It?s not just something you attend. It?s something you experience.
What I?ve noticed during my various festival experiences is that you don?t experience it alone. Even if you walked through the entrance gates by yourself, which I usually do, once you?re there you?re not experiencing it alone. You?re there with hundreds or even thousands of other people. People you do not know. People you will probably never speak to in your life. But for one brief moment in time and space, this event connects you to those hundreds or thousands of other people.
And maybe I?m just being young, idealistic and way too philosophical, but I think the world could use a few more experiences like this. Meeting and connecting with people at a festival such as the Old Threshers Reunion can give you a new insight on life and allow you to escape the doldrums of your everyday, boring, festival-free life.
So that is what I am doing this week and what I?m challenging you to do this weekend. Even if you?ve lived in Mt. Pleasant your entire life, embrace the experience with enthusiasm. Get caught up in the craziness. Live in the moment. Before you know it, everything will be routine again.