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Boonville’s Old Fashioned 4th of July

What could be more American on the 4th of July than a piece of apple pie from the United Methodist Church booth at the Boonville Fairgrounds? Maybe a chicken tortilla from the Secrets of Salsa table!

I enjoyed both, as well as the laid back, all inclusive, atmosphere of children and adults, Anglo and Latino, straight and gay, High Rollers and Deep Enders, and even a couple of stray visitors from Columbus, Ohio thrown into the mix (one of whom placed third in the “Chicken Clucking/Rooster Crowing” contest).

The highlight of the early part of the afternoon was the children’s bicycle/scooter/pogo-stick/costume parade, led by the real Uncle (and Aunt) Sam with his “ban the bomb” American Flag. After everyone had some time to enjoy a lunch of scrumptious Tri Tip from the Lions’ booth, a hot dog, or a tortilla — complimented with pie, ice cream, cookies, and their choice of beverage — the games began. There were egg on a spoon, three legged, hula hoop, and wheel barrow races for all age groups, concluding in a big splash with the water balloon toss.

Things then took a slight lull until the previously men­tioned “12 and older” Chicken Clucking/Rooster Crowing contest was announced. Most of the contestants in this category were well “over 12,” and never has such a cacophony of foul fowl sounds been heard!

But the final crescendo of the day was the one every­one had come to witness or take part in — the legendary annual tug of war between the High Rollers and the Deep Enders. Our local host informs me the Women’s 18 and older contest was the best one she’s ever seen. As with the World Cup in soccer, not all matches were without controversy as to whether or not any fouls had been committed, but at the end of the day the High Rollers came away with the big trophy which will now go on display at Lauren’s until next year at this time. I may just have to come back next 4th of July to see if it stays there!

Thanks to the board members and volunteers of the Anderson Valley Education Foundation who make such a wonderful event possible. Information about the other good things they make possible for the young people of the Valley can be found on their website at: ¥¥

(Les Sauer lives in Columbus, Ohio.)

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