Here are just a few: Indian Festival in Cave Creek, Heritage Days in Apache Junction, Festival of the New Oil in Queen Creek (an olive oil festival), Food Truck Festival in Scottsdale, Folk Fest in Gilbert, Lost Dutchman Days in Apache Junction, Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Aloha Fest in Tempe, Wisconsin Fest in Fountain Hills, Chihuahua Races in Chandler, and Japan Festival in Phoenix. Whew. I have attended a total of none of these undoubtedly fun events. But I did attend a dog show. Remember?
I think the weather contributes to the plethora of festivals. The communities have to squeeze a bunch of fun into about five months when it is reasonable to be outdoors. Mostly the festivals run from January to April or May.
Saturday Bill and I joined Bec and her family at the Great American BBQ and Beer Festival in Chandler. Saturday was our third shot at attending this particular festival. The past two years have been less than stellar festival visits for a variety of reasons (not the least of which was falling ill to stomach flu while at the event – barbecue and barf are not a good combination).
Third time was a charm for us. The weather was perfect. We got there early enough to be somewhat ahead of the crowds. Tickets were free thanks to the generosity of my nephew Erik.
There were no ostriches, Chihuahuas, hula dancers or plastic cheese hats on anyone’s head. Simply very yummy food, lively country music, and lots of beer. What’s not to love?
We weren’t there very long when a man walked by carrying a plate piled high with drippy yummy goodness; such goodness in fact that I had to stop him in his tracks and ask WHAT IS THAT? and more importantly WHERE DID YOU GET IT? He pointed me in the right direction and I ordered up some Spicy Barbecued Nachos.
These were not nachos in the strictest sense of the word – for one thing, no tortilla chips. The foundation consisted of delicious homemade potato chips (you could watch them cut the potatoes and drop them in the hot oil; it doesn’t get any fresher than that). Once the hot chips were put onto the plate, they were covered with melted cheese, onions, jalapenos, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and (to present the illusion of healthiness) finished off with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. A-YUM!
Here’s a close-up…
Here’s a little-known fact about Bill McLain. It’s not a festival unless he has a turkey leg in his hand. Festivals bring out the Fred Flintstone in him. And here’s a little-known fact about me. It’s not a festival unless I can dip an ear of corn into butter and sprinkle it with salt and cayenne pepper. So we were very happy.
I chose ribs over a turkey leg, and I always will. Turkey legs are a bit too Henry VIII for me. Bec and I split up and got our ribs from two different joints. Consumer testing, donchaknow. She won. Tom’s over Sally’s for any Arizonans reading this blog.
Our food bill:
BBQ Nachos, $10
Ear of Corn, $4 x 2 = $8
Turkey Leg, $12 (whaaaaaat?)
5 rib bones, $10
Beer, $5 x 2 = $10
Glass of iced tea, $4
Fun of eating delicious BBQ in perfect weather with great people watching, priceless
So, while we could have eaten cheaper off the dollar menu at McDonalds, it certainly wouldn’t have been more delicious or more fun. And I have yet to see any notice for the “It’s Almost (But Not Quite) Beef” Festival. But I will keep my ears open.