Sunday, October 26, 2008

Festival Schmestival

Well, we drove the 2 and a half hours to Kimmswick for the APPLE BUTTER FESTIVAL. Wow. That's really all I have to say. Wow. Kimmswick is a quaint little downtown block. Ummm....but seriously? It's not a rural's not deep in the hills. It's freaking in the middle of suburbia. Arnold, Mo....which is in (or near) ST. LOUIS COUNTY. No wonder it attracts over 100,000 people in a weekend. They all just live down the street!

It was elbow to elbow people. The freaky preppie ladies that hold the kitchy crafts for Halloween and Thanksgiving to heart! The bikers who came for the BEER and Scarface King Sized Blankets. The grandma types, the crazies, and then us. Me and Mr. Perfectly. Practically holding hands with the residents of St. Louis county.

What amazed us the very most were the buses. THEY HAD SCHOOL BUSES AS SHUTTLES. We paid some biker dude $10 to park near the festival. It probably wasn't even his property, and we contributed to the beer and barbeque fund, but what the hell. The buses picked up the retirment communities and preppy moms at a church and/or school parking lot and dropped them off at the edge of town. THERE WERE AT LEAST 4 BUSES running ALL THE TIME. They'd drop a group off, and the block line of people waiting to go back to their cars would load up. Over and Over and Over.

People were LINED UP like I said, at least a block long in two different spots with their kitchy treasures and SHAMWOW towels waiting to go back to their cars. It's like they ran in for the goods and then spent their festival day waiting in line for a bus.

Oh, and they try to FOOL you.....where we came in, there were at LEAST two locations selling apple butter. I PAID ATTENTION and it was purported 'Amish' apple butter or other packaged apple butter. It wasn't the KIMMSWICK apple butter. We finally found the pavilion where they were making the apple butter. They had an open flame, a HUGE copper pot and some dude with a wooden paddle stirring it, and letting the guests of the festival stir it as well. I did have a moment of clarity, though. When reading the online stuff about this festival, I somehow was thinking they SOLD the apple butter they were making on the spot. I could NOT figure out how they'd can and preserve it safely.....Duh. It was my blonde moment. Obviously, the big copper kettle they had going could not POSSIBLY provide apple butter for 100,000 people! They have it PRE PACKAGED according to their recipe THEN sell it. I felt sort of stupid at that point.

I found what was probably a Mennonite (as opposed to Amish) run booth selling artisan goat cheese. They SUCKED ME RIGHT IN with the orange/cranberry flavor. $9 for maybe 6oz of cheese. I think I got taken....right along with the other suburbanites. I looked EVERYWHERE for my garlic grater booth, and it wasn't to be found. This was the booth I saw at the Olde Type Apple festival a few weeks ago. I should have bought them then, but didn't. Oh well.

I also looked for slumped bottles, but not as earnestly. I went to a local paint your own ceramics place, and she will be doing bottle slumping and said for a nominal fee, she'll slump MY bottles too (hopefully soon). So, if this plan comes to fruition, Internet, you all may getting cheese boards for Christmas!!

It was still a fun way to spend the day with Mr. Perfectly. What? OF COURSE I have photos!! Would I not have photos?

Here's ME!!

Here is the Apple butter pavilion---I really am not evil..I just look like it in the photo!!


Artisan cheese:

Okay, take a look at the far left. See all the people facing one direction in a line? That is ONE bus line. Oh, and towards the middle left? The cart the little lady is pushing? Yeah, they either were renting or selling those so people could stuff their purchases in them and go buy MORE!!

We'll keep the Kimmswick festival on our list, but man. What a long trip to spend with SO MANY PEOPLE......

Happy Sunday Afternoon!


Anonymous said...

In the past, I have visited the Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival with my sisters and sisters-in-law. We always had a great time, but were unable to go the last couple of years. We were surprised by the number of vendors there this year. This used to be a craft fair, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Too many vendors selling stuff that was probably purchased at a local dollar store to be resold at high prices. We were all very disappointed and do not plan to return the this festival in the future. We will, however, visit Kimmswick on other weekends when things are pleasantly uncrowded.

Perfectly Shelly said...


I'm so glad you stopped by and commented....I love comments!!

It was a lovely day, and Kimmswick is a lovely little community...but the vendors, as you say, are so COMMERCIAL. There were no less than 3 vendors selling the 'shamwow' towels, or was sort of weird!

It was so crowded the day we were there.......and the vendor booths are crammed together, so there wasn't alot of space to just stop and look.......but overall, it was fun and I'd go back.......the apple butter is GREAT!!

Kristen said...

It reminds me of the Freyburg Fair they have the first week of October in Maine, except it's not apple butter. It's sort of a meat festival where you can go and look at the nice cows and then ten feet away they serve em' up any way you like.

I think I like the apple butter idea better.

Teresa said...

You are correct about the goat cheese people. They are Mennonite, not Amish and they are from Bloomsdale, MO which is where I live. They are my cousin's next door neighbors. Their cheeses are delicious, but quite pricey. That Apple Butter Festival went insane several years ago and it just isn't worth the trouble to try to go anymore. You are also correct about the St Louis suburbanites. They have ruined most of the small town festivals that are within an hour to two hour drive from the city.