On Friday night, it was Oktoberfest at Exton Beverage Company in Chester County, and was well attended throughout the evening.
The great music was provided by the local band, Holt 45!
One of my favorite shoots of the night, was this view of these future ‘groupie’ girls, creating and holding up various signs of admiration of the band!
In one of the signs that you are getting old, and the torch is being passed to the next generation, these pre-teen fans started a very loud cheer when Holt 45 stated to play Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s classic “Sweet Home Alabama”, and then at the end, started to shouting “Free Bird”!
In the munchies department, there were Philadelphia Pretzel Factory’s nuggets, Pulled Pork shooters, Turkey Wraps and an awesome Crab Queso Dip provided by Riverstone Cafe in Exton!
Five sampling areas were setup for breweries to showcase their Oktoberfest lineups, and as any beer drinker knows, this is a great time to try something new.
I only got a chance to sample three of their offering, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Currently On Tap Burning River Pale Ale and the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, all of which were very good.
Both the Eliot Ness Amber Lager and Burning River Pale Ale had a pronounced hop taste, but had mellowed in tartness in the aftertaste, compared to local Victory’s Hop Devil (one of my wife’s favorites), and I very much enjoyed the chocolate tones in the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. If you can find a variety case…
To be honest, I had never heard of this event before and over the next couple of weeks, I tried to help keep the topic alive in my “social” network.
That being said, when Saturday arrived, the kids were very eager to go, and were having a hard time understanding that we were going to be leaving later in the day.
Our plan was to be there for the “Mass Ascension Hot Air Balloon Launch”, which was scheduled to start at 6pm.
Getting there was a breeze, and parking was the typical off-road and on to the grass arrangement.
We got there early enough that the real crows had not gathered, so we were able to leisurely walk around and check up the some of the vendors and get some food.
As we relaxed and ate some dinner, we sat in the field that was allowing folks to walk into semi-inflated interior, and watched as some people climbed into another tethered for a quick ride into the sky..
The starting time for the “Mass Ascension Hot Air Balloon Launch” neared, and we headed toward the viewing area, and managed to squeeze into a small spot.
Both Madison and Logan stretched their necks to see the balloons slowly gaining size as the handlers blew up the balloons with hot air.
We watched as each colorful balloon gained its final shape, and lifted into the air.
The last few balloons were taking much longer then the traditional ones to fill with air, and kept may new comers guessing what they were, but it was apparent that they were something complex.
Finally the Clown Head and Haunted Halloween House had taken shape, and in the spirit of the balloon, the crew added a little extra touch to the moment!
The kids had a great time, and we do plan to go back next year!
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Just got off the phone with the Head of the Photography, Peter Doubleday, and he informed me the Devon Horse Show is really cracking down on non-official photographers selling images taken during the events.
This 2-3 year old policy is in an effort to preserve the copyright value of the Devon Horse Show event.
If you take pictures, and sell them, the DHS lawyers might be giving you a call, even if you are hired by one of the Stables that are participating.
Apparently, more and more Horse show are following this trend to protect their copyrights.
Yesterday was the Annual Downingtown Good Neighbor Christmas Parade, and once again, it appeared to be a big success!
The weather was definitely warmer than last year, with the temperatures in the low 40s, and mostly overcast. (Several members from the Flickr groups I belong to, also expressed delight with the warm weather!)
Madison and I were the only ones from our family that were able to go. Logan was coughing way too much for Mom to allow him to stand around outside. (Our whole family, plus many other folks I know, have been fighting this dreadful lingering cold…)
We headed downtown around 2:15pm, with the thought of trying to avoid the hassle of trying to find parking, and to get a good viewing spot.
As we got closer, there did not appear to be much of a crowd, which made parking a breeze.
We walked from our spot at the Downing Center lot, and headed over to the center of town.
As we arrived, there were some people already there, with unfolded chairs and blankets, but not as many as I would have expected with the parade starting so soon.
We decided to walk around, and ended by stopping into the Minquas Fire House, where the Christmas Committee was hosting an Open House with Cookies and Hot Drinks.
After a few minutes of warming up inside, and some cookies, we talked back down town, and eventually staked our claim in a little spot near the Rt. 322 intersection, almost the same spot as last year.
As we waited and watched, we noticed a group of parents and kids gathering to the right of us, in front of the Coffee Cup, getting ready to perform.
As the instructors started to move the littlest members onto the street and into position, things started to get a little strange.
To the left of us, you could see that the police had already stopped the Rt. 322 traffic from turning on to the main parade route, but several Township vehicles and Police cars were still driving up and down Rt. 30.
At one point, a fast moving township pickup truck seemed as if it was going to run right into the little performers sitting in the street!
Needless to say, the spectators were getting a little agitated with what they were seeing, causing one parent from across to street to yell out: “Guess they did not get the memo!”.
The little dancers were easily cleared from the street without problems, and one of the adults from the Studio, did walk down the street, and confront an Official to confirm that it was okay to continue, and she was assured that is was.
Several minutes later, another unmarked gray police car drove back down the street, causing the kids to once again to scamper of the street, sparking an even more satirical comment “One more time!” from the same parent as earlier.
Finally, the Studio was able to continue without incident, and thrilled the crowd with their various dance routines.
On several occasions, with the music playing and the dancers jumping and spinning, children from the crowd entered the street and joined the performing Dancers.
As the performances continued, proud parents and children moved to the street to get a better view of the action, including one child, who seemed to just want to take a nap!
After about 30 minutes, the whole Troop gathered on the street to finish their performance.
Now it was time for the Main Event!
The celebration of the Holidays, is to look back to the past…
as well as what we have today…
as well as trying to remember the innocent’s of youth…
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and good food! (Think these pretzels are big enough??)
and our animal friends…
as well as the music of the season…
and the array of colors!
or the First Family of the Holiday’s, that help to bring it all together!
Happy Holidays to all!
Additional Images of this Event can be found on Flickr