Sea Blue Lens

Scene & Story: June 2017


Summertime Fun

La Kermesse is a festival held near the end of June every year to celebrate our area’s Franco-Americaine heritage, and it always kicks off with a block party and fireworks. In case you didn’t know it, I’m a pretty extreme introvert. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like noise. I don’t like carnivals. But for some reason, I love the La Kermesse block party!

It’s early evening and the weather is perfect. People gather in the park to listen to music from live bands, line up to buy cotton candy and fried dough, shop for souvenirs, play carnival games, and ride carnival rides. As the evening progresses, several blocks of Main Street, where it crosses the river adjacent to the park, get blocked off. The flashing blue lights of the police cars at each end add to the festive atmosphere, and the street fills with people.

And what fascinating people! Amidst the “ordinary-looking” folks in casual clothing are Goth types all in black and spikes and tattoos. Muslim women looking cool and elegant in their long dresses and hijabs despite the heat. A girl with waist-length purple hair that exactly matches her ruffled camisole top. Babies in strollers and old ladies with walkers. Men with impressive facial hair, others with impressive muscles. Kids in t-shirts and shorts rolling down a grassy slope and running to the top to do it again.

I don’t know any of these people and never see them in my day-to-day life. I suspect that all these different “types” probably don’t normally see much of each other, either. But everyone gathered here seems happy. The crowd is in a good mood, polite, having fun, enjoying themselves. People smile at each other. I notice random acts of kindness. I chat with strangers.

The sun sets in a flare of copper-colored clouds and darkness descends, and we find a spot along the bridge to watch the fireworks. Anticipation grows until…finally…the first explosion and flash of color illuminates the night to appreciative “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. For the next 20 minutes, everyone is focused on the show in the sky, climaxed by the grand finale, a riot of color and noise.

And then it’s time to join the people streaming up the middle of the street, on our way home, back to our everyday lives. Tomorrow Main Street will be filled with the usual traffic, and I will be back to my usual introverted self. Until next year, when I’ll see you at La Kermesse!

Summertime Play (with Impresso app)

* * * * *

Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 

17 thoughts on “Scene & Story: June 2017

  1. I love all the colors and people gathered in your photo! It sounds like a relaxing and laid-back sort of festival, and I love you descriptions of the diversity!

  2. This sounds like so much fun! I can’t seem to make myself go to carnivals anymore. Too many people! Maybe I need to look for a small one as a starting place and go from there. Carnivals present so many photo opportunities! Glad you’re enjoyed your evening!

  3. Fabulous festival. Love what you did with Impresso (I don’t have that one…yet) reminds me of my favorite Seurat painting.

  4. It sounds as if you have really enjoyed this carnival! Like you, I avoid crowds and noise, but you feel comfortable with La Kermesse and have described it so nicely in your text! Your photo depicts the atmosphere so perfectly!

  5. I agree with Sandra, I love the Impresso technique! It almost becomes “La Kermesse on the Grass!” In 15 years, I’ve never been there. Shame on me. I wondered where the fireworks were coming from ~ not OOB’s usual night.

  6. I am always struck by the fact that a shared experience like this can bring so much kindness from so many strangers. Perhaps the answer to connecting better to one another is more such events? This one sounds lovely.

  7. This reminds me of a time I visited my cousin on the US east coast. The towns have commons in the center of town where the community gathers for live music, food, visiting and talking. Something that is foreign to us here on the west coast. I love the idea of the east coast commons.

  8. I’m pretty low key too…not a big fan of crowds, but this does look like fun!

  9. You describe a beautiful carefree summer day. Like you I don’t like crowds, but this sounds very pleasant. In German we have the word Kirmes which is very similar to La Kermesse.

  10. Wonderful story about an annual event. Small town living is big on gatherings and special events that everyone in the town can enjoy. Your photos of the people on the lawn are really, really lovely I love what you did with the Impresso app. Summertime framers. Thanks for sharing Leon. 🌺

  11. I LOVE your photo of this fun looking event. Somehow, it reminds me of going back in time where there were so many family events like this and people out on a town square. Love the processing you did with your app too… Glad that you enjoy this annual event Leon!

  12. Great description sounds really fun

  13. Awwww I love festivals like this. Sounds amazing.

  14. What fun, Lee, and what a great place to be with a camera.
    I am glad that you enjoyed your time there.
    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  15. That looks like a really good time! Love the painting look the app gave… terrific! x

  16. I always love festivals, and La Kermesse seems like one to enjoy! Great photos which captures the mood of the festival. I also love the more painterly version of it.

  17. So glad you went! These are the bare bones of American life…the good part! Mingling with so many others, removes us from isolation and opens our minds and hearts. And I know you have a big heart and open mind or you wouldn’t have enjoy this festival so much.

    Festivals are the hallmarks of celebrating events with freedom and abandon; opportunities to let our selves free from everyday ordinariness. Thank you for sharing. smiles; sharon

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s