After spending all day Sunday outdoors at a christening party for our friends son, I thought it was only appropriate to head out to the local Our Lady of Mount Carmel festival later that evening. Girl Cub put up a fight against venturing into the unknown, but I bribed her with the promise of an ice cream cone with sprinkles, then she was good to go. I am such a sucker for photo opps like these. I just can't pass up a small town curiousity, which is exactly what this felt like to me. Turns out this is a 105-year old feast founded by local Italian immigrants and their neighbors.
Upon entering, I think we both had the sensation of entering another world...Yes, this was a bit of a Twilight Zone experience...Complete with a lawn chair audience and blaring oldies music, canned and live. It also felt like Girl Cub and I had "Outsider" signs taped to our backs. Interestingly enough, I was the only one taking photos like crazy.
The centerpiece of the feast is the grotto shrine, built by members of the society using thousands of sand-worn stones, bits of seashells, and glass. Girl Cub kept calling it "God's castle!" I don't think any of the die-hards appreciated all of her commentary. Oh, well. For a small fee, you could light a white candle and place it on the shrine. This is just a small section.
I found this very amusing and quite charming--how this section of the grotto extends into a neighbors side yard.
Best of all, my girl had a great time. She is usually game if I am. She won a few prizes, too. Who knew she was a magnetic fishing pro? And I'm sure this drippy cone made it all worth her while.