by Denise Dykstra
Our hometown feels empty today.
Over the weekend, Martin held its second annual Hometown Day. Our town was bustling with people all day long.
The great thing about having Hometown Days in your very own hometown, is that you are within walking distance from all the fun. We spent the morning sipping coffee on the front porch before meandering our way around the corner and into the fun.
There was a car show all over the parking lots of the library and restaurant, tons of food available for anyone hungry, craft vendors, a bounce house for the kids, and people milling all around the sidewalks and street.
I’ll be honest and admit that it could seem like a small event. Small in the way we never closed a road, there were no over the top attractions, you could see all the festivities standing in one spot. But we are just a small village. The beauty of it being small is that you cannot go anywhere and not end up running into at least five people to catch up with.
The bad thing about having Hometown Days in your very own hometown is that if you feel like you need to run home and fill up your Yeti cup again, you’ll walk home and then you will find yourself also just quickly making up some lunch, then loading the dishwasher, starting a load of laundry, and refilling the bird feeders. Before you know it, you have missed a good hour and a half of the festivities. It never fails that that is when the people you had thought you would see and had not, arrived and had already left by the time you rejoin the fun.
I was asked to be a judge in the Pie Contest at Hometown Days this year. Judging other people’s pies is much more difficult than one could have guessed. Our panel of judges felt confident in our final decisions, and it was fun to watch the pies being passed out to anyone wanting a slice. The community’s reaction to the pies just further assured us of making the correct decisions in the pie contest.
At the end of the night, folks began filing to the Clippers Cafe’ parking lot with lawn chairs. On a flatbed trailer hooked to a pick-up, three various musical acts performed, and we all gathered around to hear them. Dancing in the parking lot began slowly but built up steam by the end of the evening. The local taco truck passed us food through its window for our delicious dinners.
The evening ended with much applause, laughter and chit chat over full bellies.
We arrived back at our home around the corner and set our chairs around our campfire pit. We talked about the people we had seen that day and the fun it was. We were tired, and grimy from the day, but we agreed it had been great fun. We didn’t seem to want the day to end and spent some time looking over the posts on social media that day.
I took hardly a single photo in all the fun of the day. I wish someone had taken a picture of me riding my bike into town with supplies I had grabbed from my home for a vendor who had forgotten to bring theirs. I wish I had a video of the way the fire department delivered me to my house in a firefighter golf cart so I could get said supplies that I returned on my bike with. I wish there were snapshots of all the people I was able to talk with.
I wish I could have bottled up the sound of so much laughter as friends caught up with one another. I wish I could have caught up with more people. And, honestly, I kind of wish that turquoise station wagon at the car show was sitting in my garage right now ready to take me for a drive.
It was a great day.
The next day we drove through Martin after a trip to get evening servings of ice cream. I scanned the parking lots and was struck how there was only the flatbed trailer stage left to give any passerby a hint of the fun that had been here just 24 hours prior. The street was once again empty, the parking lots bare. Only our sunburned skin and sore feet gave any indication of the fun this town was able to pull off.
To those of you who worked hard to make this spectacular event happen, THANK YOU. I can’t fathom the hours you put into it, but you made it wonderful. Thank you to our community who came out in support of a good time. Goodness gracious, we can surely have a good time, can’t we?
What are your favorite moments of a hometown celebration, past or present?
(PHOTOS courtesy of Sarah DeHaan)