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One of my favorite things about summer is all the fairs that take place during May through August. From the tiny town festivals — ours spans a small stretch of Main Street next to the old railroad station, and we have a perfect view of the Saturday fireworks from our back deck — to weeklong-plus events, there's something about wandering up and down aisles of crafts and vendors while sipping on some ridiculously large, sugary drink and nibbling on funnel cake that just feels so quintessentially summertime.

I got my full fair fix this past weekend at the Kutztown Folk Festival ( up in eastern Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania Dutch territory. In addition to packing on pounds sampling all the homemade goodies on hand, I was able to check out tons of different craftsmen on hand, from quilters to redware makers and even timber crafters, for some fun ideas for upcoming issues. Many of the artisans were dabbling away at pieces, allowing you to see their work firsthand. (See photos.) I even ran into an old friend, Bill Baumgartel, who was happily chiseling away at his treenware. (You can see more of his wooden household trinkets in our April 2009 issue of Log Home Living.)

Thankfully, some rain set in early in the day to make it comfortable enough to walk around and check out all the sites. S till debating whether or not I should have gotten that bargain of an antique rocking chair... Oh well. Guess I'll just have to go back next year.

What are some of your favorite summer pastimes?

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Comment by Whitney Richardson on July 12, 2010 at 12:56pm
Sounds like a blast, Glenn! Love the pictures, too.
Comment by Glenn V on July 12, 2010 at 12:11pm
I grew up by Le Claire, Iowa. A small town that sits on the banks of the Mississippi in eastern Iowa. It has some history in that there used to be rapids there and specialized tug boat captains used to hire out to the paddle wheels to get them through the rapids. It was also home to Buffalo Bill and Thomas Eads. The show American Pickers have their base there. Every August they have a tug of war across the Mississippi river with Illinois. A huge rope that is 2400 feet long stretches across the river. It was featured on ESPN once but is kind of boring as there isn't a lot of action. Its the only place the core of engineers allows the river to shut down the barge traffic and only for a few hours. They have a carnival and fantastic fireworks are shot off from a barge in the middle of the river with people watching from their boats in the river as well as from shore. Lots of antique stores and the Buffalo Bill Museum and a dry docked paddle wheel to explore and parade. A fun time. BTW they don't pull each other into the river.....

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