festival – noun | \ fes·ti·val\

: a time of celebration marked by special observances
: an often periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus

I like a good festival. The greasy fair food, the amateur entertainment, the vendors selling things you never knew you needed until you see them hanging in a miniature tent. I’ve braved shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, weather ranging from hot and muggy to so cold you think you’re fingers are going to break off from frostbite, and traffic I thought I’d never see the end of all in the name of a good festival.

My home state has plenty of great festivals to visit: from Strawberry Festivals all over the state each spring, to the Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County and James Dean Festival in Fairmont each autumn. Some cities name their festival after themselves, like CarmelFest, which takes place around the 4th of July each year. Other festivals spring up around major sporting events, like the Indy 500 Festival. And Indianapolis boasts several ethnic festivals, including Greek Fest, Middle Eastern Festival, and French Market Fest.


I’ve also attended a few festivals while traveling, including the Mater Fest in Canton, North Carolina, where I learned about the delicacy called Mater Pie, and the Feira da Malveira in Portugal, where all kinds of interesting things happened, but since I don’t speak Portuguese, I’m not sure what they were.

And I don’t want to forget to mention the festival right here in my very own city of Frankfort: the annual Hot Dog Festival. Yes, you heard me right.

There’s another festival I attend as often as I can that’s a little short on elephant ears and craft booths, and the entertainment is more professional than amateurish, but it’s a great time all the same. On Wednesday, I’m leaving for the biannual Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. I likely won’t see any tenderloins as big as my head, but I will have the chance to catch up with friends from around the country who also are attending the event. And while this festival is woefully lacking in clowns and magicians, I can guarantee lots of laughter and frivolity, amid all the serious literary discussions and stuff. Of course.

I probably won’t win any prizes knocking down bowling pins or popping balloons with a dart, but I have a feeling I’ll win big at the Festival this year. I’ll be back next week to tell you more about it.

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Photo by Andrea Enríquez Cousiño via Unsplash. Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.