So, part of last weekend consisted of a side trip up to the Herkimer County Fair Grounds.  Lou and John, a couple of Kellen's friends from Fordham, drove up and met us at the fair grounds to attend the 2011 "Wild West Frog Fest and Rodeo".  It's an annual festival sponsored by 104 WFRG Radio also known as "Big Frog 104".  There was a morning rodeo (including bull riding), various concession stands, lots of food and plenty of beer all followed by a down home country concert featuring local bands with top headliner ... Rodney Atkins!!! 

A short drive from Red Hand, we arrived to see a large crowd and a somewhat full parking area.  We ended up parking with the rodeo competitors, their horses and their trailers.  First thing that got our attention as we approached the rodeo and concert area were the signs that said ... "NO WEAPONS PAST THIS POINT".  No bullsh*t, actual signs posted on the fences.  So we opened the back seat of the pick-up like everyone else, and left all our knives and guns in the lock box (just kidding).  The signs were a reminder that this is another "culture" up here, very different from back home.  It also made me wonder if weapons are allowed in the parking area?  Told the boys if they hit the beer truck hard be careful and not stumble into a fight.  That being said, it was a very friendly, family and real old school American celebration. 

We (Erin, Randy, Jake, Kellen, Marian and I) showed up in what has become our customary attire up at Red Hand, it's typical for the neighborhood ... country hats (camo or hunter orange baseball caps, straw western hats, outfitter hats), jeans, boots and tee shirts.  

Lou and John were also right in tune.  Lou had a pair of saddle boots that Kellen, Jake and I took notice of immediately.  While we were wearing working stockyard boots, Lou's boots were a bit more dress oriented with some fine highlight stitching.  Think I want a pair for when Marian and I go out a little more upscale.  Both the guys bought some sweet looking western hats, Lou sporting a black felt and John a molded white straw.  We all blended right in.

The local bands warmed things up while "Rodney" took off for a ride on his bike (as in Harley-Davidson).  The MC said he couldn't pass on the incredible scenery and delightfully winding country roads.  By the time he got back the party was ready to rock.  He opened the show with a personal favorite ... "It's America".  Set to a quick arena beat the lyrics are perfect for a homeland concert ...

"it's a high school prom, it's a Springsteen song, it's a ride in a Chevrolet ... it's a man on the moon, fireflies in June, kids selling lemonade ... it's cities and farms, it's open arms, one nation under God ... it's AMERICA."

He followed that up with "These are My People" and that was all the country boys and girls needed to hear, wave the flag the party was on!!!

When it all ended we drove to the Creamery for a bite and some freshly made ice cream, then back to the farm for a little poker before bed.  Woke up to a gun shot (Jake's woodchuck), Marian made some of her hunting camp chili for a brunch, we fixed the bridge, we ate, we said our goodbyes and we headed home ... a great weekend.

For more info on the festival go to:

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