Saturday, August 16, 2008


There's a lot to do this weekend in NW Ohio. All of the venues I am writing about occur within an hour's drive (the way I drive) from BG. In addition to the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival and the Pemberville Free Fair, there are:

The National Tractor Pulling Championship, in Bowling Green, Ohio which I have never been to but since I live within 2 blocks of the grandstand at the Wood County Fairground, I can hear the roar and smell the exhaust well enough from my back yard:

Here is a shot from across the street from the fair grounds--a short 4 minute walk from my house:

Corn City Festival in Deshler, Ohio. These are photos from last year. I don't think we will be able to attend this year.

Steamed corn in the husk:

Over-sized ear of corn made out of MANY 1 gallon and 1/2 gallon milk bottles (I love folk art):

I'll have to see if I can make it to the International Festival at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg, Ohio today. I have "real" work I need to do before the semester starts like finish writing two syllabi and prepping for two new courses: Cultural Anthropology and Minority Groups. But what better sets of data can one research? I guess you could ask me where the distinguishing line between work and play is here...but as an academic who works with an expanded definition of "academic" I can blur that line as long as I produce something useful.

On Sunday, we will be at the Birmingham Ethnic (Hungarian) Festival in Toledo. If you remember Jamie Farr's character from M*A*S*H, Corporal Klinger, you have heard of Tony Packo's Hot Dog Stand in the Birmingham neighborhood in Toledo. Tony Packo's anchors the festival at the intersection of Front and Consaul. There's an amazing story about this festival, peppered with a dose of intrigue, literally about taking back the street and preserving the neighborhood from "urban progress" and those who want to "improve" a public/ private space.

Hunky Turkey Sandwich (flame-roasted jowl bacon, onion, green peppers, tomato, and a liberal dousing with rendered jowl-bacon grease on crusty Vienna Bread, two douses if you want it "Hungarian" style:

When we think of the average work-a-day Joe as the repository of culture, these types of events gain traction and one may ask, what is it about this festival that generates such interest and what does it do for those who organize, participate in, or attend this festival?

Best, NC


Shan said...

Nathan! It's good to hear from you! I'm glad you left a message on my blog! It's cool how everyone is getting in touch with each other since they started the 20 year reunion website. (Speaking of, I haven't looked at it for a while. I guess I should go and see if there are pics from the reunion on there.)

Michelle said...

We almost had a posting jinx here except that I am a little behind and I don't have the academia "excuse" for consuming what I consume at festivals. I just took a bunch of photos at the SW WA fair and will post them. Sometime.