How did I miss talking about The Harvest Sun Music Fest? Well, I hope you don't mind the completely unseasonable photos. I've been under the weather this week and seriously need a dose of warmth. Since we're currently in the middle of another frozen prairie winter, looking at these photos I took with my phone will have to do. It reminds me that yes, the sun will shine again!
The Harvest Sun Music Fest is held every August (in my father in law's home town) kelwood, manitoba.
Well, I don't know if you can really call Kelwood a town. It's more of a rural community. There's a corner store (run by Todd's Aunt), a legion, a church, and a few other buildings that service the farmers in the area. The special part about Kelwood is that it is situated at the base of Riding Mountain National Park. That means for a prairie community, it's quite scenic. The wide open green fields and sunny skies make it the ideal spot for a folksy music festival. The camping was cheap, right on the festival grounds, and included trailers, tents and tipis all together in the same spot. Perfect!
Harvest Sun Festival is family friendly, laid back, and full of good music and even better people.
The folk fest is cool, but it's expensive and so busy you really have to keep a close eye on your kids. I don't feel relaxed there and for a family of four it's just too much of an expense to justify - especially when all our extra funds are dedicated to taking a summer road trip. But here, we had the best time just chilling out, letting the kids run wild enjoying the music, getting their faces painted, making fairy wands and painting handmade instruments. They ate from a big community bowl of homegrown apples, let the wind tangle their hair in knots and the dirt squish between their toes. They marched in a parade, made up a group song and all eventually crashed near their parents on any available blanket. Bliss.
Our family rented a century old farmhouse nearby which is beside a field of free roaming pigs. Those were some happy pigs! There wasn't enough room for us all in the house so Todd and I slept in Eggie for a couple nights while the kids crashed in the living room. In hindsight I wish I would have taken more photos of the weekend, but luckily we're already booked again for next year.
It's not a real festival until the rain pours and someone does a belly flop in a mud puddle.
Which is exactly what happened. Sunday afternoon surprised us with a dark cloud rolling in fast. It was so bizarre seeing an ominous, lightning filled cloud speeding toward us. We all rushed under the big tent when the winds hit. Wow. Those were some of the strongest winds I've ever encountered, rivalled only by the ones we faced on the very last day of the Fringe Fest where I was vending with Eggie. The rains battered down on the tent, coming in sideways so only the very centre provided shelter. The wind blew so hard that the three main support poles trembled and threatened to pull out of the earth. As the ground below us began to flood, we pilled the kids up on wood banquet tables to keep their feet out of the water, just in case lightning struck the support poles of the tent. I wrapped our 3 kids up in a blanket and tried to keep them calm, all the while pretty sure there was a tornado coming our way. Everyone rallied to keep the poles grounded and to stake down tent walls to help shelter us from incredible wind and rain. Al Simmons jumped and flapped his coat, flying on the wind and J.D. Edwards did some serious muddy slip and slide which kept us laughing despite the chaos. When the storm broke, we took a breath - threw all our soaked stuff on our soaked bodies and trudged ourselves outta there. Maybe I should have taken this as a warning for the shit storm that was to come on our crazy Yellowstone Roadtrip immediately after - but I've never been one to give in to superstition (or at times common sense). In any case, this sure was a memorable ending to a very memorable weekend. Ya can't control mother nature!
So will I see you there?
If you dig laid back festivals, you gotta check The Harvest Sun out. Maybe we'll see you there! Meet me at the restaurant in the broken down bus. The food is awesome.