Back to work America!
The nation just finished celebrating Independence Day. The three-day holiday — for many four days, and for a few more an extended vacation — has ended. As have others, I returned to work Tuesday morning with a biy of a hangover. It wasn’t from too much alcohol, it was from trying to jam to many events into a short, three-day holiday.
Seven or eight trips to the Pickle Run Festival to take pictures, fireworks, visiting with family, caring for a sick cat, looking for a birth certificate so I can get paid this week, and having to skip a round of golf due to an injury has left me pretty much exhausted. And my work week is just starting.
But I can tell you this. There are people more tired than me this morning. And those are the folks who organized and worked their tails off to make the reincarnation of Galion’s Pickle Run Festival a success.
If you call it anything but a success, you were not paying attention.
I didn’t make it to the Graders’ game Friday night, but it seemed to be pretty well-attended based on the sound coming across Heise Park to my backyard.
The crowds were pretty good Saturday, and to my eyes, larger than a year ago. And I saw no one who was not having a good time. The volleyball tournaments, the 5K, the vendors, the cornhole tournament, the bounce houses and the movie may not have been packed to overflowing, but participation was better that last year.
On Sunday, I ventured to Heise Park early. The car show was just getting started, and they are always a success. The community church service was well-attended and as vendors and others set up for the festival’s final day, they were serenaded with some uplifting music.
I didn’t go anywhere else last weekend. For me, it was Pickle Run or bust.
The farthest I got from my home was Amann’s — or Amick’s — Reservoir to take in some of the folks taking part in the Pickle Run disc golf tournament. My greatest takeaway from that trip? Disc golf is a sport I could get into. It’s truly a walk in the park — or in the case of the course at Amann’s — a walk in the park, in the woods and along the water. And that’s something I could do and enjoy and think I might be able to become proficient at.
Anyway, the disc golf tournament was a sellout and was the leadoff to a fantastic Pickle Run Festival finale.
Then it came time for the parade. Again, I didn’t watch last year’s parade. I’m not certain why. But I did watch Sunday’s parade in its entirety. I was impressed by the number of participants and by the number of spectators lined up along Payne, Gill Avenue and Heise Park Lane who were enjoying themselves.
I watched from a spot near the Gill Avenue entrance to Heise Park. A quick head-count added up to more than a couple hundred watchers near me. When the parade ended I walked back through Heise Park and through the middle of the festival. I’ve not seen Heise Park that crowded in a lot of years.
And that was impressive!
So, kudos Pickle Run volunteers. Kudos Sarah Capretta. Kudos Galion for making this festival a success.
Independence Day is my favorite holiday. I enjoy all of the red, white and blue. I enjoy the smell of BBQ. I enjoy family and friends eating, cooking, visiting and drinking together. I even enjoy the fireworks, although it took me a half-hour to lock out the sounds and sights of the boom-booms so my pup didn’t go crazy. On that end, I think I was successful.
I also learned that trying to get a couple of good photos of fireworks with a smart phone is not as easy as I thought it might be. Pictures suitable for a website or email aren’t too difficult to come by. But sifting through dozens of shots looking for something suitable for large picture in the newspaper? Not so easy.
Anyway, as I write this column 7 a.m. Tuesday, I’m awaiting another trip to Galion Veterinary Hospital, where I’ve spent too much time in recent weeks, and then I’m off to the office.
I’ll be sucking down caffeine to get through the day, but I’ll survive.
And although my butt is dragging, I’m thankful today.
I’m thankful for my community and the people trying to make it a better place to live.
Russ Kent is the editor of the Galion Inquirer. If you have a comment or story idea, email him at [email protected]