Archives for category: Festivals

Facing several unexpected expenses in a few months might be terrible to just about everyone, I imagine, however it was especially devastating to my husband and me because this is the first (and hopefully not last) Downtown Revival Festival – featuring our favorite band, Guided by Voices.  We couldn’t afford to go and see our favorite band on their home turf.  Ugh.  What made matters worse was that everyone assumed we were going so we got a lot of messages like “Where are you guys?” or “Come find us at the ___ tent!”  What made matters UNBEARABLE was that we could hear GBV playing off in the distance because we live downtownish.  Sigh.  It was not easy.

But rather than hang our heads, we rallied and cooked a yummy dinner with the windows open and Spotify blasting out all of our favorites from the 80s and 90s.  Dancing and singing in the kitchen to “Don’t Stop Believing” really drowns out the drums in the distance.  I made orzo and roasted vegetables from the Hope Springs Institute cookbook (you seriously need to buy this book) and drank my favorite wine of all time, Adesso Cagnina di Romagna.

We’re still bummed we missed it, but we had a blast that night either way.  It reminds me of the quote on George Takei’s facebook wall:  “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”  Our home really is lovely and we love spending time here.  With that being said, will someone please tell me how much GBV rocked the festival?

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Having never been to the Greek Festival, I really didn’t know what to expect.  Maybe some food, maybe some dancing, Greek beer?  I don’t know.

What I found is that the Greek Festival = Food, and lots of it.  Unfortunately, aside from the amazing pastry, pretty much everything had meat in it so I couldn’t indulge in some of my favorites.  However, the Greek fries were wonderful and I’m still sort of kicking myself for not at least trying the baklava sundaes (I feared putting myself into a sugar coma).

My friend, Megan, and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked around the small festival a few times – we even went through the pastry line where she picked up a variety pack for her family (she’s so nice!  I, however, bought nothing for anyone but my selfish self).

The Greek Festival was neat, but didn’t have a lot for us.  At least I can pig out all year at the Greek Isle Deli Buffet Days (first Friday of each month from 4:00pm – 8:00pm).

Every year, Dayton holds a festival celebrating Celtic traditions, food, and music at RiverScape MetroPark.  Being Celtic myself since part of my heritage comes from Wales (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau!) it’s fun to see the mix of ancient and modern.

Normally I don’t make it to the Dayton Celtic Festival because there is always so much going on in July so I’m glad we made it this year.  One of the things pushing us along was that some nice people put a Celtic Festival sign in our yard so it would be almost hypocritical not to go, right?

We saw a bagpipe group, learned about the Irish and Scottish immigrants who came to Dayton, and watched a man and woman turn straw into gold
no wait, that was the lady in Rumpelstiltskin, these people were making wool and weaving it on a loom.  Still pretty neat though.

I think a lot of Daytonians had to expand their horizons a little bit beyond Miller Lite and Budweiser because there were only three beers offered:  Harp, Guinness, and Smithwicks.

We had a lot of fun at the Dayton Celtic Festival, can’t wait to go next year!

Heedfest is the closest thing my husband and I have to a real vacation in the summer in that we both take off work for it and we try to make it as vacation-y as possible by eating at restaurants and spending time together.  We went to Butter Cafe for breakfast one morning and both ended up ordering pancakes so we called them “Vacation Pancakes.”

I had the multigrain pancakes with peaches and raspberries and my husband ordered the banana nut pancakes.  Lots of coffee and random jokes rounded out the meal and we had a blast planning out the rest of our day and laughing at each other.

Next time you’re looking to “get away” in your own home town, try pretending you’re on vacation and your brain might just believe it.

During my short time on the Vandalia Cultural Arts Committee, I met Guustie Alvarado, a glass artist living in Vandalia, Ohio.  She makes beautiful glass jewelry and artwork and sells it at fairs and festivals around the Greater Dayton Area.

When I met Guustie, she was actually creating some new pieces by using a blow torch to heat colored glass rods she had previously made in her studio.  When a bit dropped off, she would cut it loose and drop it into a special material to allow it to cool for several hours.  The whole ordeal was hypnotic.

Here are some of the pieces that I wear several times a week – made by Guustie:

When asked about her jewelry, Guustie explains that what she creates is formed by heat and gravity – natural forces.  Her one-of-a-kind pieces would make great gifts for fans of physics or anyone else for that matter.

For the first time, I went to World A’Fair despite this being the 38th annual event they’ve put on.  Honestly, I have no idea how I’ve managed to avoid it all these years.  I love trying new foods from around the world, I love crafts and trinkets from faraway places, and I love to drink – how have I never been to World A’Fair before 2011?

When you arrive, you encounter rows upon rows of booths set up for each participating country, each selling food, drinks, and souvenirs.  The constant surge of people walking every which way can be a little overwhelming – it was for me – but once you’ve had a chance to sit down and plan where you want to revisit, it becomes manageable.  I spent 4 hours there and didn’t get a chance to more than glimpse some of the booths.

Golden Llama

I ate mochi and naan, drank sake and strawberry water, and bought a miniature brass llama to commemorate the afternoon.

This year, World A’Fair was held at the Dayton Convention Center although it has changed venues many times throughout the years.  I’m looking forward to World A’Fair 2012 wherever it’s located.