Bagpipes, Deep-Fried PB&J's and Hula Hoops Round Out the Final Day of the Folklife Festival"/>
There was something depressing about the final hours of the Folklife Festival. After three days of twangy folk music, flame-grilled shish kabobs and performers willing to do anything for a dollar, the four-day event had dwindled down to loose trash, scattered bottles and empty tents. "Sold Out" signs started popping up next to crowd favorites, such as garlic fries and kettle corn. The entertainers themselves seemed tired, with many packing up three or four hours before sunset. However, that didn't stop others from finding new ways to get the crowd's attention and make a few bucks.
Nae Regrets played more like the Dropkick Murphys meets the movie Drumline than a four-man celtic-rock band on a small patch of grass. The quartet, which incorporated fast, poppy marching snare with a rolling thunder of bagpipes and punk influences, created a fun, energetic show that left Don, lead singer and bagpiper, practically screaming to get even a whisper out of his throat.
The Shameless Duo
"What do I do when I'm all alone? I masturbate," sang a man in orange cheerleading shorts and a wife beater. Operating with absolutely no purpose, talent, reason, or name, the duo did a little of this and a little of that for the better part of the afternoon. One man sing-talked while tapping on everything within arms reach while the other played an acoustic guitar that I'm not entirely positive had real strings. There were whistles, bells, a recorder and a boxing glove, all serving to give the impression of ... well, insanity, I suppose. The joke was ultimately on the "musicians," however, because no matter how many people stopped to give them a chance, they were left with nothing but sighs and raised eyebrows.
There's something oddly uplifting about African drumming. With nothing but four drums and three cowbells, the drummers seemed to elicit a little pep out of each person in the crowd, inspiring many to hop into the circle and shake everything they had. Though the set seemed a little thrown together, it was nice being able to hear them play no matter where I was at the festival.
It's one thing to see a couple people hula hooping. It's quite another to see entire groups of people at completely different parts of a festival with one thing in common -- shaking their hips. For whatever reason, hula hooping was all the craze today, with children, couples, and even grown men taking a shot at keeping the hoop up for as long as possible. It just boggles my mind how something so obscure can catch on overnight.
Three days ago I made a promise. I went back and forth a lot since then, contemplating life's many mysteries and staring at myself in the mirror. But ultimately I decided I had to do it. I had to purchase a deep fried PB&J from Peanut Butter Goodness.
I now know what it feels like to be a religious man. Warm and crisp on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside, the strawberry PB&J tasted pretty much like a funnel cake with flair. The best $5 I have ever spent.