Kenyon's Grist Mill has, after a multi-year hiatus, returned with their festivals. Knowing this, I give them a lot of credit for what they've pulled together in less than a year.
As with the Middletown Harvest Fest, Kenyon's is a great place to check out since everyone there is local. Celestial Cafe, Updike's Newtowne, and Gerb's Pumpkin Seeds are some of the small companies that give Kenyon's festival a distinctly non-global feel.
It's much smaller than the Middletown festival, with maybe one-tenth the number of stands, tents, and crowd. This is certainly a good thing since they really don't have parking for large crowds. Even as the festival was beginning to wind down, the crowds were so dense cars had a hard time making it through. The poor sap walking in front of me got nailed by a passing car's side-mirror. Thankfully, the walk is very pretty, with a large pond and waterfall adding serious ambiance to the rural, farmy exterior.
It's a fun little distraction, but there's not much here to occupy your time for more than an hour. And perhaps that's just fine. Not every event need be a multi-hour endeavor.
This greeted people as they walked over a bridge to the festival grounds.
One of the best parts of the Kenyon's festival is that everyone who participates must give away something for free. As you would expect, some were better than others. Celestial Cafe brought home the bacon with some delicious cinnamon-rum apple pancakes. Since I hadn't had a chance to have breakfast, this was a godsend.
Mark from Updike's Newtowne was also there, supplementing the breakfasty nature of the tent with multiple types of free coffee to try. Combined with Celestial Cafe, this tent was definitely the star of the show. The biggest crowds, and the best free shit.
Kenyon's shop, which is a GIANT tourist trap. Fair dinkum, their corn meal is more expensive here than at actual stores.
All credit to Sophie's Coffee, which recently started making ice cream and brought along a number of varieties to try. They had run out of everything by the second day save for the pumpkin, which was surprisingly good. A very subtle pumpkin flavor with a little spice won me over.
Also as you would expect from a down-home, farmy sort of festival, there was LOTS of crap made from more crap. I'm sure that if you have one of those rooms no one lives in in your house, you'd be on this like white on rice. I don't. So I wasn't.
They had llamas! And the llamas had eyelashes! EYELASHES! And they made the weirdest whining noise. Almost like they were trying very hard to push out a fart.
And just in case you wanted to add them as a friend, their Facebook info.
I have no idea what this guy's deal was.
Just me, but I've never understood pumpkin seeds. My dad tried so hard to get me to eat them when I was younger. Every Halloween, "hey, kids, let's make our own roasted pumpkin seeds!" And we were all like "Uhhh, ye...ah. Yaaaa...aay?"
Oh right, that's where I've seen this guy before. At every other local festival. He's damned pricey for not-very-good kettle corn. Nine dollars for a large bag of barely-salted, barely-sweet kettle corn. I pretty much paid a Hamilton for a bag of plain popcorn. Score.
Hopkins Farm had a really exciting little tent with lots of fun, homemade goodies. Including these Halloween Oreos...
And these chocolate covered Pringles. I dunno', I've never been the biggest fan of the whole sweet/salty thing. Kettle corn is alright, but even there, when I make it, it's basically a fused ball of melted sugar and popcorn and 4-5 femtograms of salt.
This was the only real, purchasable food aside from the clam cakes and chowder. It was an alright burger, but cost me $5 with nothing on it.
And to close up, these little bastards were everywhere, enjoying the warm weather and harassing you for whatever you had. They didn't seem to care what. All they knew was that you had something and they fucking wanted it.