Am I the only person from around here who was over the DNC before it started? Is that super un-patriotic of me? I appreciate the effort behind the pull-out-all-the-stops CarolinaFest on Labor Day. But I’d no sooner subject my family to the “Interactive Civics Lesson” than I would to the Hall of Presidents at Disney World. I was happy that we opted to head over to “Matthews Alive,” the standing go-to for Charlotte when the DNC is NOT in town. (Think of me as the one person in the Southeast NOT covering the convention.)
It’s been about five or six years since the last time we went to the festival. My memories consisted of it being so jam-packed that we couldn’t move our stroller and the home-made soda guy being swarmed with bees, which made me want that root beer even more.
This year was a bit different, if not downright odd. I’m not sure if a big cloudburst cleared the festival right before we arrived, but that’s what it looked like on Monday afternoon. Not that I was complaining about all of the stroller room. Just a little weird.
Now that our kids are a little older, I’m glad that we stopped by the craft guild displays in the Community Hall. They really enjoyed the original paintings, photography and basket weavers, but had a hard time figuring out why the hand-made goods were so expensive. I got a kick out of my daughter quipping, “Well, time is money, right?” Right on, girl.
We swung by the Home Depot stand where kids were merrily pounding away building bird houses. Our family was hot and tired from staying up too late the night before, so the kind helper gave us a few kits to go – bonus points for extra niceness.
It’s admirable that the proceeds from the festival go to help support local good works. However, I was not at all admiring the fact that our kids had $5 each to spend and the rides cost $5 a pop. Call me cheap, but this was a bit steep for me. They instead opted to play a game and enjoy some ice cream while we listened to live music.
I love Matthews Alive and think it’s one of the better Charlotte-area traditions. I’m not sure if folks stayed away because they headed up to CarolinaFest, or headed straight out of town to avoid the “festivities” altogether.