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Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Celebration?

Yesterday finished up our city's 91st annual West Side Nut Club Fall Festival.  We claim (and no one has proved otherwise) that it's the 2nd largest street fair after Mardi Gras.  

When CME moved here he was really confused when I mentioned a festival.  He expected "some" food booths, but was anticipating more of a Festival of the Arts like he was use to in Grand Rapids.   But alas, our city's celebration is not art...no...it's food.  Seriously.  The main theme of the Fall Festival is to fix as many deep fried things as you can possibly deep fry.  Deep fried Oreos?  Absolutely!  Cheesecake?  Without a doubt! Candy bars...key lime pie...pickles...green tomatoes?  Of course!  Deep fried Kool-aid?  What?  Yes! Deep fried Kool-aid.  And this is just a short list of the odd deep fried foods you can find there.  That doesn't even take into account the brats and burgers and pronto pups (they are different than corn dogs) and chocolate covered bacon or chocolate covered crickets.  Yes, I said crickets...as in the insect.  Oh and who could forget the brain sandwiches?  Yes, our city celebrates food.  For many non-profit organizations it is a HUGE fundraiser as well.  I probably wouldn't have gone at all, except that the boys' Scout Troop has a parking lot where we collect $5/car for parking.  It's a fantastic way for our Troop to make money.

Thanks to M for letting me borrow her picture of one of the signs for the Fall Festival!
Here's where I may step on some toes, though it's not the purpose of me saying this.  The place was packed.  The lines at the food booths were long.  I had chili (and one bite of a kraut ball) as it was one of the "safe" options for me to eat there.  But as I stood there I remembered the survey last winter when our town was designated as the most obese city in the USA. (Read that post here: Stupid Reality TV Show)  As I looked around, I felt a huge sense of sadness.  How many of these people were struggling with the hurts I struggled with for so many years?  How many were there eating all the things that they knew were bad for them because it's what our city does? How many diabetics, heart patients, food addicts were ignoring their health to take part in this "celebration"?  Maybe there was no one there that would fall into those categories...maybe I was the only one for all those years.  Maybe.

One side of the street.  The other side of the median was just as packed!

Please do not read any judgement into those concerns.  It's just I know that for most of my life, I was blind to what I was doing to my body.  It would have been nothing for me to consume enough food at the Fall Festival to get a full week's worth of calories in one evening.  Some years I'd go home and beat myself up for eating so much...letting all the worldly damaging words surface back into my mind.  If it was during one of my weight loss attempts, I'd nearly starve myself the following week to make up for my overindulgence. It was another part of a bitter cycle of battling obesity.  Granted, it's a once-a-year event and there are plenty of people who can use self control when there or have no weight or health issues.  Regardless, I'm glad that God has opened my eyes on the damage I was doing to my body.  I hope to never celebrate food again.  I hope to keep it in the category that it was intended: nutrition. 

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14


  1. It's actually the 2nd largest in the US. 3rd or 4th in the world after Mardi Gras and Carnival in France. (I think it's France).

    1. Love that my son has so much random knowledge! He takes after his father that way! :)