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Every vacation has memorable moments and this year the half day train excursion to the Nantahala River Gorge in the Smoky Mountains and the Fireman's Festival in Bryson City, were the highlights of my trip.
My husband and I went to the Fireman's Festival in Bryson City at 9:30 in the morning and we didn't leave until 4:30 in the afternoon. I'm a small town girl, so I've been to a lot of "hometown" celebrations. Usually I walk around for an hour and then head back home. But every single event listed on the schedule of the Fireman's Festival was entertaining, even the eight minute parade at noon.
Who would have thought that simply watching all of the fire trucks and emergency vehicles from Bryson City and nearby towns drive down Main Street, lights flashing and sirens blaring as loud as they could, would be enough for a parade. But the little kids and I were cheering as the trucks drove by.
The first event of the day was the "Catch the Spirit of the Appalachia Talent Show." Catch the Spirit of the Appalachia is an organization that works with kids throughout the South sponsoring local talent shows, and then the winners are invited to perform at a concert for an audience of over 30,000 people.
I found a great seat in the church pews set up for spectators in the old train depot--second row back--right next to a mother of one of the contestants. She was cradling her daughter's violin and bow in her arms and I smiled because she looked like a nervous wreck. But what mother wouldn't be? Whenever my kids used to be in the spotlight, thank heavens someone always taped the event, because I was too afraid to even look. What if something went wrong? And I think that's what the mother sitting next to me feared, too.
"Katlin, Katlin" the mother was trying to get her daughter's attention. "You have a bunch of fuzzies on your head. Come over here and let me see. And there's something on your face, too." Mom licked two fingers and started wiping away a last minute smudge. "Are you excited Katlin? Of course you're excited, you've been excited for ten days."
"Mom, stop! Stop talking to me, will you? You're making me nervous."
Katlin's mother sat quietly after her daughter's scolding, but she kept her eye on the three rows of trophies sitting on the judges' table. Nine-year-old Katlin won one of those first place trophies in the fiddle division. Mom was so proud!
Six-year-old Amanda could hardly reach the microphone when it was her turn, even though they lowered it as far as it would go. Arms down at her side, she stood in front of the microphone and sang so sweetly, I had tears in my eyes. It was another winning performance.
Kevin played the guitar, keyboard and mandolin, and on his last number, the eleven-year-old belted out with believability, Johnny Cash's "I've been everywhere man, I've breathed the mountain air, man," and he took home one of those first place trophies, too.
Pickin' and strumin' and singing up a musical mountain serenade. I can't remember when I'd had so much fun. It was hard to believe they were just kids. Of course I have some photos, go to:
Next week I'll tell you all about the unusual Miss Flame Contest, my train excursion and some pottery that was made in the Smoky Mountains that I bought to give away to readers. Have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
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