Saturday we found ourselves at the 20th Annual Arcata Main Street Oyster Festival. It turns out that Arcata Bay produces 70% of California's oysters so you might imagine the abundance at this festival! While Mike partook in the consumption of those nasty, slimy creatures (he claimed they were delicious but I nearly gagged as I watched him eat them), I was happy to be a vegetarian with a really good excuse for not even trying them! I probably would have ended up like the young child I watched beg his mom to let him try one and when she did, no sooner had he popped it in his mouth did it come flying back out followed by gut-wrenching gags and vomit. Really, kid? Why would you want to eat that???
We staked out our plot on the plaza lawn early in the day and watched as thousands of people filled in around us, the smells of barbeques and beer intensifying and live music growing louder as the afternoon wore on. It was a beautiful day, sunny and actually warm during the rare breaks when the wind wasn't howling. In spite of the unappealing main focus of this event, we were longing for something to do and this festival proved to be an adequate source of free entertainment. We easily could have been spun around and dropped in the middle of a circus or an Alice In Wonderland set and not have known the difference between here and there. I sat there on the grass all day long, contently staring in amusement at all that was happening around me, occasionally wandering off to find a bite to eat or to snap a few pictures. Hoola-hoopers, jugglers, dread locks on 8-year olds to 80-year olds, wild costumes, hippie dancers and psychedelically painted faces, they were everywhere and I was in the middle of it wondering if this was for real or merely a dream that I was absolutely loving. This is certainly an interesting place, Humboldt County!