In Part I of this entry, I treated you to my first impressions of Grapevine’s Grapefest, a festival that was new to me, despite having lived in DFW for more than 15 years. Truth is, I don’t get over to Grapevine much, except to go to the Mall — and I’ve only been there a few times.
When last I left you, we were about halfway down the rather lengthy midway , very close to the town square. It included an attractive, old-fashioned gazebo style band shell, and this lovely piece of art, though I have to admit that this person got a better picture than I — they got the band shell in there, anyhow.
Incidentally, there was a row of shops that ended abruptly next to the square, and right at the very end of the boardwalk, on a bench, was this gentleman.
He’s one of a number of public statues scattered about the downtown area. He looks like he’s waiting, doesn’t he? I wonder what for? Maybe for the lady to finish her snack?
Just to be true to my roots, here’s a picture of the purveyors of some of my favorite food in the world. Nothing beats a good Texas barbecue. Well, okay, I admit I haven’t tried caviar yet, but I bet it would taste really good barbecued. And maybe with chocolate sauce (chocolate caviar really exists, BTW).
We eventually reached the end of the midway, which as it turned out was the part dedicated to the kidlets. Being less than totally mature myself, I ended up taking a lot of pictures here, but mostly in one area (which you’ll see in a minute). Of course there was a carnival, but it wasn’t the most active I’ve seen.
That’s because all the kids were congregating in the Westland Ranch Petting Zoo, which was just across the way from the carnival. There were lots of neat animals inside, mostly the standard small goats, rabbits, and poultry, but there were some more unusual critters, too. No dromedaries or kangaroos, sadly, but they did have this interesting fellow hamming it up. He was really quite friendly, especially since you could buy feed in little cups and bring it into the petting zoo (the zoo itself was free). He and his long-necked pals had a habit of just reaching out and taking whatever they wanted, which kind of overwhelmed some of the little kids. The human kind, I mean.
I thought this little tiny donkey (I suppose, officially, he’s a burro — or a burrito!) was also quite attractive.
He wasn’t too happy about all the attention, though, unlike the two llamas and his other pen-mate, a calf that looked a lot like Elsie’s son Beauregard, which I guess means it was a Jersey. Didn’t bother to check the aft end to see if it was a boy or a girl.
Of course you can’t have a petting zoo without a bunny or two, and of course they did; several, in fact. Here’s one example.
Now, I understand the attraction of bunnies — I don’t think I’ve met a child who didn’t like them — but rabbits are usually so scared stiff about everything that they just don’t seem to be a good choice for a petting zoo. Llamas, sure — they’re the original party animals, as long as you don’t piss them off (whereupon they’re liable to spit in your eye). I could even understand piglets (which they didn’t include, probably because they’re too lively and might have gotten out) and, yes, even poultry. They did have some chickens, which aren’t much fun (did you know chickens are stupider than most sharks? It’s true!), but ducks and geese are better. Geese are often evil-minded, but in this case their family was represented by these funny looking ducks, which had a poof of feathers atop their heads. Looks better than a lot of human hairdos, actually.
And speaking of kids, there were a lot of them in there, both human and caprine. I can’t leave here without showing you the real stars of the show. These fellows were trundling around demanding attention and feed all over the little petting zoo enclosure. Not only were there more of them than most of the little animals, they had the run of the place, unlike the llamas and such. You can see the tail-end of one in the previous picture, and there’s another in the back. There were goats — the original “kids”, if you’ll look up the etymology of the word — everywhere, and the human kids loved them. See? Here’s a pic <> of both kinds of kids.
Actually, that one’s probably a grown-up goat, or at least a teenager; some of them don’t get very big. Goats can be entertaining when they’re young, and some of them (the females anyway) aren’t too ornery when they’re older. They do stink, though. Like a goat, of course.
Anyway! After the zoo there wasn’t much left to do, so we headed back. On the way we stopped near the entrance, under the water tower, and visited the working blacksmith shop that we’d missed on the way in. This was pretty interesting. We stood for a while and watched the blacksmith work a piece of hot metal, using an interesting tool to cut it in two. That’s what’s happening here. We didn’t stay long, though, because it was getting hot, and the forge just made it worse. And of course, I was getting a sunburn.
Grapefest is over for this year, but it’ll be back in 2009 — probably on September 10-13, though the dates remain TBA at the moment. My advice is to keep your eyes on their website at http://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/FestivalsAndEvents/Grapefest/tabid/228/Default.aspx. It’s worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, and Grapevine is easily accessible from both Dallas and Fort Worth — it’s basically right in the middle, next to DFW Airport. This year it cost $8 to get in, with a $1 discount if you were over 62. It’ll probably be about the same next year.