Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 Fire Ant Festival

The 2014 Fire Ant Festival almost wasn’t. Friday’s lip sync contest was cancelled due to terrible rain. The fireworks were postponed until Saturday night.
Wyatt and I got up early Saturday morning to help direct the Turner County Council On Child Abuse’s Fire Ant 5K run. It was miserable. It was chilly and raining fairly steadily, but we still had 50+ runners show up. I stopped by McDonald’s on the way to the race. I had a sudden realization and texted my SIL Amanda:
Me: The irony isn’t lost on me that my overweight self is drinking a Dr. Pepper and eating a McDonald’s biscuit watching all of these skinny people run by me.
Amanda: But think about how chafed they’ll be in a few hours from running in the rain.
Me: You’re right, plus not a single one of these folks look happy. Isn’t running supposed to pump you full of endorphins?
The race went well. The winner ran the race in 15 minutes or so. The final person came in after about 45 minutes. I thought they might be slow as turtles but they had beat every single person that DIDN’T participate!
After the race, I headed home with Wyatt and snuggled down to get a nap. There was a tiny chance that everything would clear up. When we got up later that morning, Justin had gotten home and the sky was full of sunshine and good forecasts for the rest of the day. We got to enjoy the festival, visiting the vendors, checking out the great crafts, and visiting with folks.
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Wyatt loved what I call the hamster balls on the water. He wouldn’t stand up in it, but he floated along happily, giggling at his echoing voice in there.
Justin and I found a vendor that casted ant mounds in recycled aluminum. We watched a video on YouTube about how this is done before and I was definitely interested in getting one. The company mentioned in the video has their ant mound castings for sale for up to $1500. When I wearily approached the vendor and asked him how much they were, he told me any where between 3 and 30. I gasped, “HUNDREDS?!” He laughed and said, “HA! No, dollars!” I definitely got one! It is neat to have something so unique, something so “Ashburn’s Fire Ant Festival-y” for our house.
This was also the first year I was able to be a judge for the Strawberry Cook Off sponsored by Calhoun Produce. My mama has been in charge of the cook off for 20 years now and I was always helping serve up desserts. I was lucky to get to sample the cakes! Amanda entered three categories so I judged the one category she didn’t enter. She racked up too! She got first place for her strawberry cheesecake pretzel ice cream {DIVINE!!!!} and second place for her strawberry banana pudding.
Saturday night the Cook-Perry family went to Olive Garden for Amanda’s birthday. On our way home, I saw flashes of light on the horizon. Justin and I realized it was the postponed fireworks. We were almost five miles outside of town and we parked right in the middle of the dirt road and watched them for 15 minutes. It was amazing to put the windows down and see the fireworks dancing on the horizon in the middle of the country. After the fireworks wrapped up, we proceeded home, only to come across two fox pups in the dirt road. Justin got out to look at them and they almost came to him. It was his better judgment to leave them alone. You don’t want a fox mama tearing you up for messing with her pups. The funny this is that we really know now, “What does the fox say?”
Sunday, we rested up and visited with Aunt Kimmie before she headed back up to New Jersey.

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