Hats, Boots and Hoopla

Clearly I am behind the times here in La Conner. My head is in the sand. I am too much work and not enough play. I am – as my Grandmother would say – a girl in need of a party hat. (Her name was Elise Mersereau; she was a Seattle beauty with a twinkle in her eye and a dandy box of dress-up hats.)

I’ve just read the La Conner Chamber of Commerce newsletter, thinking that perhaps I would catch up on a bit of town news and see if there was anything interesting that I should know more about.

Well, this girl not only needs a party hat, she needs to dust off her riding boots, pull out her college Shakespeare Cliff Notes, and hang the red, white and blue bunting on the porch. And that’s just for July!

Here’s a quick rundown of what I’m going to try to accomplish in July:

Celebrate July 4th in the style suited to the Best Tiny Town in Washington. From the community parade (starting at 11:30am), to the La Conner Fire Boat display on the channel, to the family fun at Pioneer Park (including face painting, games, and a rollicking watermelon eating contest), you’ll not find a more quintessential July 4th celebration anywhere.

Lasso a painted cow (well, okay, the cow is wood and doesn’t move very fast) – which might just land me a snazzy piece of art – at the 4th Annual Cash Cow Art event, sponsored by our local Kiwanis Club. Each year features a different farmland animal theme and is an interpretation of the animal in any media. The first year was the cow, the 2nd year was the chicken, the 3rdyear was the pig and this year is the turkey (that’s a whole other story, for another blog). I have it on good authority that if an artist has a particular affinity to a previous year’s farmland animal, they can use that animal in their art each year … meaning that this year you might not just see turkey art while out and about in town. Since the beginning of June, 30 artists have been exhibiting their work in local shops all over town. The event culminates with a terrific art auction at 3pm on July 9th at the La Conner Fruit and Produce Market. Proceeds benefit the La Conner Kiwanis Club’s scholarship program. Big clap for these folks who are truly committed to our local kids.

Revel in some Shakespeare by attending either As You Like It (a madcap story of love and intrigue) or Richard III (a dangerous story of deceit and power), presented by Shakespeare Northwest at their new Rexville Blackrock Amphitheatre. If, like me, you’ve never experienced Shakespeare outside (or even inside for that matter!) – I’m told it’s as good as it gets in terms of summertime entertainment. I cannot wait to do this!

Picnic in a grassy field as I root for my favorite horses (oh, and riders) during the Pacific Northwest Polo Association’s Governor’s Cup on July 30 & 31. If you’ve not experienced a live Polo match before – this is a fabulous introduction to the sport. While there, look around for local photographer John Holtman, who captures the spirit of horse and rider in stunningly beautiful photography. You’ll find the fast action at George Dill’s farm along La Conner-Whitney Road. Now – where are those boots of mine, and I wonder how dusty they really are…

Experience history, culture and tradition during Canoe Journey 2011, July 25-31. Hosted by the Swinomish Tribal Indian Community, nearly 130 canoes from the Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Oregon, and California will land along the Swinomish Channel. If you haven’t yet taken the time to see the ‘cedar hat’ pavilions along the channel, come take a look. They are absolutely gorgeous. And if you’re a boater on our waters that week, keep an eye out for these truly magnificent canoes and their graceful paddlers … offer them a wave of support, then slow down and throw no wake, please.

I don’t know about your plans for July, but I know I’ve got a lot of playin’ to do. And I haven’t even looked at my options for August. Why not take advantage of some of the amazing events we have for you (heck, take advantage of all of them!) – whether you’re an aspiring Townie like me or a tourist just begging for a reason to come visit our gorgeous valley.

Oh, and bring your party hat. You’ll fit right in.

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