Upon arrival, we noticed something a little...odd...
No, not whatever it is Nikki's doing in this picture.
THERE WEREN'T ANY TULIPS IN BLOOM!!
We just laughed and kept driving to downtown. So there weren't tulips at the sign. Maybe they had some good ones blooming in town. Maybe they had had some imported for the festival.
Nope. Just disappointment.
And melodrama from Nikki, of course.
Some of the flowers were SO CLOSE to blooming! We kept coaxing them to grow suddenly, but it didn't work.
The tulips seemed like just an excuse to have a festival though. The whole town of Wamego (and a lot of tourists like us) were out in the sunshine selling and buying crafts, playing games, eating delicious food, and experiencing everything that the park had to offer.
The large pond in the middle of the park offered visitors serene, gorgeous views. I bet you could get some model boats or something and zoom them all around in the water. If only we'd had one with us; I'd love to go yachting!
There were historic statues like this one around the park too. We looked at the outdoor ones and visited the Historical Society's museum (in next entry). It was so neat seeing how a town like Wamego used to be!
We started our tour of the grounds by supporting small businesses and SHOPPING!! First stop: a tent that was filled to overflowing with different kinds of jellies, jams, and quick bread mixes, all homemade.
That Peerless Pear was AWESOME. They sold spicy versions of some fruit jellies too! All were a little too spicy for my taste, but I have a sensitive palate, so don't discount them because of my review.
The business is called Sticky Spoons, and good news!! THEY DELIVER!! There were so many flavors, as you can see. As I mentioned above, they also sell bread mixes in cute little fabric sacks. OH! And they use old sugar bags as their shopping bags instead of just a plastic bag! How cool is that?!
Here I am with the owner, rocking my "best friends" ring that Lauren, Lisa, and I got at Carlos O'Kelly's the night before. (None of the rings fit Nikki's fingers, so she didn't get to be best friends with us. NYAH!)
We also visited a tent where a gentleman cut wood pieces into really cool picture frames for people's names and for pet names! Lauren was surprised and pleased to find a frame for her dog Sneakers, who's the unofficial mascot of her dog-walking and dog-sitting business Pawsitively Pooches. (Nikki and Steve use her and her employees to walk Eva twice a week, which is great, because that's 20 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday that Tasha and I get to nap without Eva wanting to play/hog all the covers.)
The company, called Name Frame Place, is run by Kevin & Deb Ledford.
They make custom frames too!
Another great vendor we bought things from was a woman named Amanda who sells chain mail jewelry! We all bought rings, but she also sells bracelets and earrings and fairie wings, and "clothes"! You can buy her awesome stuff here: http://www.etsy.com/amandalynnchainmail. Everyone should buy something from her and her husband! They make chain mail stuff together while watching TV and snuggling in the evenings. It's TOTALLY ADORABLE.
Nikki: "OMG! I'D BE THE PRETTIEST OF FAIRIES AT FAIRIE FEST!"
Hanging out with Amanda's husband, who's wearing an AWESOME outfit with the Punisher's logo on it!
After we finished spending all of our money, it was time to GET. SILLY.
Keep it movin'. Nothin' to see here. Just an armadillo on a riding mower.
Let's go knock down a building so I can scoop up the debris!!
No, Lisa!! I'm not debris!!
They had some historic re-enactors at the festival who showed visitors how settlers at the time would make clothes and go hunting for food and procure other necessities. They also had some fun games that people could play. The most popular one was throwing an axe into a block of wood:
You got about three tries to hit the wood, I think.
Lauren, Lisa, and I vehemently denied Nikki the opportunity to play the game.
Nikki: "But if an 8-year-old can do it, I can too!"
Lisa: "That's the worst idea I've ever heard."
Lauren: "If there's something you should NEVER do, it's throw an axe."
Me: "I can't believe you think we'd let you get away with this."
Disappointed, she huffed away towards the petting zoo, which the girls had wanted to visit anyway.
The petting zoo was hosted by the local 4-H club, the kids showing off their rabbits, goats, llamas, and sheep. I was distracted from the get-go by a GIANT pooch in a cute tee shirt. Turns out...HER NAME IS CLAIRE!! She's the second Claire I've run into on my adventures.
We were all very happy to make our acquaintances. :)
Lisa had been freaking out (in a mature, adult way) all day about going to the petting zoo and petting the goats. She's NUTS for goats. She took a bunch of pictures and was all smiles.
I bet she'd TOTALLY be that crazy hippie lady that raises goats in her house in the city. They work really well as lawn mowers. They'll eat anything.
After such a busy day, we were starting to get HUNGRY. The food trucks were offering delicious-smelling things - barbecue, hamburgers, sausage, hot dogs, chicken...basically nothing Lauren could eat. They also had funnel cake, and I REALLY campaigned to get funnel cake, but the second point of going to Wamego was to go to Toto's Tacoz and eat some Wizard of Oz-themed Mexican food.
Nikki's tee-shirt says, "the taco is the most versatile fruit". Lisa has a matching one, but she forgot to bring it.
The line to get food was understandably long, so we spent time looking for all the little Totos they had hidden around the restaurant. Can you spot them? (Note: Some are easy to find, and some are hard!)
There were murals all over the restaurant. It was a really bright, fun place!
Lisa and Nikki each got a Toto's taco; Lisa got hers with ground beef, and Nikki got hers with pulled chicken. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good! Lauren got a cheese quesadilla with salsa that she really loved.
It looks sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! And it was!
Nikki rated it highly on Urbanspoon.com so other people would know how great it is. Right before we left, we HAD to do a Wizard of Oz-themed photo shoot!
I'm Toto!! Lisa's an excellent lion. And Lauren looks like she'd be MUCH less annoying than the real Dorothy.
We got back on the road shortly after lunch and headed southeast towards Oklahoma City. Before I share THAT adventure with you though, I'm going to write an entry about the Wamego Historical Museum, which had a TON of really cool antiques in it...so many that I felt it deserved its own entry!