I recently visited Keller, which is located in Tarrant County between Dallas and Fort Worth, for their yearly Wild Wild West Fest. Why? Because some kind reader used that Skribit app over there on the right to ask me to! Can’t turn down a kind request like that. Well, I didn’t know quite what to expect, never having been there before; my only exposure was from the materials on their website, in which they make it clear that the festival’s paid for only from vendor fees, never taxes. That made me wonder if it was worth going so far to what sounded like a podunk event.
It was, as it turned out. Wild Wild West Fest wasn’t the biggest festival I’ve ever been to, but they put on a good show. I even won some money — but more about that later.
The city of Keller itself is far from podunk; it’s a good-sized city with shopping centers, a vibrant town center, and plenty to do. We actually had a little trouble finding the festival, because the town was so busy and the signs pointing to it weren’t copious. Eventually, though, we discovered that the Wild Wild West Fest was in Bear Creek Park.
The first thing that caught our eyes as we pulled in was the tractor pull; the rest of the festival was nestled amongst the trees along Bear Creek, and so didn’t seem nearly as big or interesting, at first glance, as it actually was. The tractor pull was interesting; despite the fact that I consider myself a Southerner, I’ve never actually been to one before. There weren’t any outrageous huge tricked-out farm tractors here — they were more on the lines of garden tractors, or the kind you use to mow a big lawn. The folks took it seriously, though; most of the tractors had corporate sponsors.
Here’s how it works. They’d peeled back a section of turf 200-300 feet long and 20 feet wide, leveled it all out and cleaned it up nicely, and then marked the edges with white lines. This is what it looked like. You see all those pavilions on the other side? They belonged to the various pulling crews. There were quite a number.
The tractors were attached to this huge, heavy sled that they had to pull from one end of the track to the other. <> All they had to do was stay between the lines. It wasn’t easy; the sled was heavy indeed, and sometimes didn’t want to go where the tractor wanted it to. Fortunately, the guys got a do-over if they needed one. This guy did, but then he proceeded to pull the sled just about to the end.
After we got our fill of tractor pulling, we moved on to the festival proper. It was modest, but enjoyable; it was pleasantly cool, due to the location, and in addition to the ordinary festival stuff we got to enjoy the ducks, turtles, and fish that frequented the creek, not to mention the trees and grass. There were plenty of people there, but it wasn’t too crowded.
They had the standard jump-houses and inflatable slides for the kiddies. Here’s something I thought was hilarious, and I’ve seen its like at festivals a lot lately. It’s an inflatable rock climbing structure. Yep, inflatable. How bloody sturdy can that be?
In a sense, most of the festival was geared toward kids — it was certainly family-oriented. We didn’t quite make it to the stick horse rodeo, but we did get to visit with the Magic Indian.
They also had a small petting zoo, mostly goats and geese, as well as something I see very rarely: pony rides! Of course, I would never inflict a poor pony with my robust adult physique, but I do like to look at horses. This little guy was particularly attractive.
We wound our way through the park examining everything from sculptures and dancers (there were a lot of those) to Sandy Candy (edible sand used for sand paintings) and political screeds. Here’s one I thought rather to the point, and I agree with it wholeheartedly. Where was Congress when I needed $10,000 last year? Hmmm? Corporate welfare on an insane scale, though, that’s just fine. But I’m not bitter.
Oh yes I am.
I’m not a Republican and I certainly wasn’t registered to vote in Keller, but I agree wholeheartedly. The bailout might be necessary, but it could have been handled better — if only our dear President would stop sucking up to the people who put him in office. I mean, he didn’t even bother to pick a logical bailout plan. Gosh, is it any wonder why he has the worst approval rating ever?
But on to a less politically-charged subject. I found this fellow amusing:
Not really big on the whole chiropractic thing, however. Please explain to me how the hell anything but a few minor bone and nerve-related ailments could be aided by cracking someone’s back? Everyone I’ve talked to who went to a chiropractor felt worse afterward, not better.
Oh, and here’s the best part of the Keller visit — I actually won something! Not much, but it was cool indeed. A place called American Bank was having people pull these little keys out of a container, which you could then try on the lock to a wooden chest they had on their table. Mine actually opened the lock! I got to pick out one little velvet bag (there were six or seven) and keep the prize — they kept the bag. My prize was a two-dollar bill. Haven’t seen one of those in a while!
Well, folks, the Wild Wild West Fest is over for the year, but it’ll be back in late September of 2009. Keep your eyes on the City of Keller’s festival page for more details; it’s located at http://www.cityofkeller.com/index.aspx?page=592. The festival’s free, so if you’re in the area next year, don’t miss it!