I love that the town I live in is small. It feels so remote, it's hard to believe that I can be in downtown Los Angeles in 20 minutes. One of the most adorable things about my town is the annual Watermelon Festival. It's a charming, small town affair with seed spitting contests, over-priced vendors (that I assumed shared their profits with the Lion's Club sponsors), and a Watermelon Queen.
I've taken friends and family there over the years and all have enjoyed it. But this year, I was shocked that the Lion's Club had fenced off the local park and were charging admission. Apparently, they did this last year too but I was teaching that weekend. Last year, they charged a buck... this year... double that! I was so offended, I left!
I could understand it if they charged for the watermelon they give away, but to charge to walk the midway at a carnival??? HELL NO!
I've rarely spent more than an hour there... it's small town and a small park. Eat some watermelon, chat with neighbors, buy some overpriced crafts and some food to go and I'm on my way home.
I have to wonder if this is the Lion's way of keeping our local homeless population (that often sleeps there in the park) out? Whatever the reason, it just feels wrong! No other street fair in LA charges admission! They all hope you will spend money while there.
This is just tacky and greedy!
Incensed, I drove to my BFF's house - another lovely thing about this neck of the woods, my closest friends all live within 10 minutes of my door... a first for me in Los Angeles! I dashed in and complained about the admission fee and excitedly stated, "I have to go. I'm so hungry!"
I had planned on eating lunch at the festival. She stopped me. She had cooked for some house guests who never showed up. "Sit down," she said.
She brought me an exquisite meal with apple pie and ice cream for dessert.
At least some people here still have their hearts in the right spot.