By Neal Wooten
I love festivals. I always have. I used to love going to River Bend in Chattanooga. I lived in the Montgomery area for almost 20 years and never missed the Jubilee City Fest. Milwaukee, the home to a hundred breweries, has festivals at the drop of a hat: Mexican Fiesta, German Fest, Irish Fest, Polish Fest, Indian Fest, Harbor Fest, Summer Fest, and Pet Fest just to name a few.
Here in north Alabama the towns might be smaller, but we can put on events as well as the bigger cities. Fort Payne has its Boom Days celebration coming up. On Saturday, September 15, I will be at the Depot Museum all day and we will have a parking lot full of activities, many for children.
The Potato Festival in Henagar is huge. I took some friends from out of town last year and we really enjoyed it. They had some awesome performers too. And let’s not forget one of the coolest festivals on the planet – UFO Days in Fyffe. The name of the festival alone gets me excited.
That’s why I’m glad to see my hometown of Sylvania jump on the bandwagon with the Labor Day Festival at Sylvania Lake. (I grew up calling it Sylvania Lake.) This past Monday marked the 2nd annual festival, and like the first one, it was wonderful.
They have classic muscle cars, games and rides for kids, raffles, artisans, and the entire basketball court is filled with the most yummy food vendors. Unlike most places who simply call their eating area a food court, Sylvania literally has one.
And of course they have entertainers galore. From the start of the festival to the end, talented bands and singers grace the stage, which is over in the park area in the shade thank goodness. The last performer rounding out the list this year was yours truly. I can’t sing but they allow me to do my comedy routine. I performed last year too.
Mayor Gerald Craig said I was at the end because they saved the best for last. Yes, that man is a politician who can shovel it with the best of them. Speaking of which, I think every politician running for office had a tent there too, and were passing out candies and chewing gum. Luckily my vote cannot be bought so cheaply. Now if they had given away free cans of potted meat, that’s a different story.
So congratulations to Mayor Craig and to all the people who work to put on the Labor Day Festival at Sylvania Lake. Like the one last year, it was an awesome event and as good a festival as I’ve ever attended.