Last Saturday Louie and Benny had a soccer game way out on the east side of town. Friends of ours with sons on the team suggested that we go to the Old West Festival afterward because the field isn't far from it. Great idea!
We needed to wake the kids up earlier than usual to get them out the door because it's a good 35-40 minute drive and the team is supposed to be there before the game starts at 9am. The first couple of steps on our to-do list for the day were done when we get a call saying that the game was canceled because the field is under water.
It stinks because we all could have used some more sleep, but it ended up working for the best because we were able to get the kids there in time to be deputized by Dodge's sheriff. The festival has a permanent town built and the kids were impressed with all the buildings and the people in their costumes.
We first saw a cancan show which the kids did not like that much. Truth be told, the parents didn't like it too much. One by one we filtered out of the saloon. Some of the shows were canceled, including the horse shows, because of the soggy fields. But there was plenty for the kids to do and see, with their favorite being The Pickled Brothers show.
Erik and Travis juggled fire batons, swords, and some stick with spiky things on the end; ate fire multiple times and swallowed a sword at least three times; both took turns lying on a bed of nails and Travis had the largest man in the audience stand on his chest while doing so. Eric had the man jump up and down on the area below Travis's belt. This brought lots-o-laughs from our boys sitting front and center.
At high noon there was a shoot-out on Main St. I use "shoot-out" in the loosest terms possible. The men who put on the show were probably in their 70s and maybe they have been doing this for quite a while and at one time it was a really good show. However, when you leave the excitement of the Pickled Brothers show to see a shoot-out, what we got did not leave the kids wanting more. Eventually it got to the point where we had to slip away and go to a booth that sold wooden weapons. Each of the kids got a pistol and they were happy.
What happened a bit later was the highlight of the day for everyone, including those who we didn't even know. Our four kids, along with the five little ones we came with and a group of kids that just happened to be on Main St. with their weapons, started their own shoot-out. A couple of the kids acted as organizers, but it was so neat to see them make up their own teams and rules and they put on a show for all in attendance. No parents were telling them where to go or what to do; no fighting over who was being mean. It was just kids getting into the spirit of the old West and loving every minute of it.
Even my lil' Annie Oakley got into the spirit of things, although her gun sounded more like Han Solo's weapon than a cowgirl's (PEW!PEW!PEW!). We'll work on that.
*Feel free to share your spellings of a laser gun's sound.