Second Annual April Fool?s Festival in Tryon

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, April 3, 2008

&bsp; Once upon a time there was a St. Patrick&squo;s Parade in Tryon. But business owners like Kathleen Carson felt a bit foolish parading in the freezing cold for the small crowd that remained loyal to Tryon while others ventured to Hendersonville and other &dquo;larger&dquo; Irish celebrations in the area. So last year the April Fool&squo;s Festival was born. By moving the parade a few weeks, the Tryon merchants found the sunshine they were looking for to help celebrate all that is wonderful and creative about this lovely little hamlet. Bill Crowell recalls a bit of confusion over the change causing it to be misquoted as the &dquo;St. Fool&squo;s Festival&dquo; by some citizens who remembered the old parade. Last year&squo;s &dquo;Leader of the Pack&dquo; Kathleen wishes to reassure people that the festival is not meant to poke fun at any particular person or saint, but to celebrate our own &dquo;foolish&dquo; eccentricities that make this town a vibrant arts community.

The winter months slow down as people beat the cold by staying off the streets, but as we leap into spring it&squo;s the perfect time to go for a stroll downtown and rediscover what this community has to offer. The local business owner&squo;s like Jody at Isadora&squo;s Closet and Bill Ingham at the Gallery Coffeehouse have done their spring cleaning and offer a fresh look at their goods and services. The galleries like Upstairs Artspace and Simply Irresistible open their doors with new and exciting exhibits of art work. Old friends meet and greet while listening to music and visiting the local vendors. Most small business owners don&squo;t have the time to organize an entire festival for the town, so this year they split up the work and are hoping the community will join them for an even more festive day this year on Saturday, April 5 from 10 a.m. ‐ 5 p.m.

Starting at 10 a.m. Merle Norman will be bringing some music to their end of the street from the Christian rock band Worship Warriors. The Gallery Coffeehouse offers another stop in the middle of town with live dance music created by plectrum banjo, trumpet, and clarinet from the Dixie Rhythm Aces. Local artists and community organizations like the Rotary Club and Foothills Humane Society set up along the sidewalks to share their work and information about the services they bring to the community of Tryon. It&squo;s not too late to give a phone call to Jody at Isadora&squo;s Closet (828-859-9581) and find out how your group can add to the festivity of the day.

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Everyone with a foolish notion to join the parade is invited to line up at the corner of Trade and New Market at 12:30 p.m. Tracey Daniels from The Polk County Library will be bringing the Bookmobile down to the parade and encourages children interested in joining the parade to dress up as their favorite storybook character and join the library staff. As for the other entries in the parade&ellip;who knows what you&squo;ll see? Last year Asheville artist Bob 7 made an appearance with his Emerge-N-See Art Ambulance. Tryon juggler Kevin Bradley performed from atop his unicycle. Mill Spring artist MONA!, while always festive and colorful, was even more so for the occasion in her unique art car. Former mayor &dquo;write-in&dquo; candidate, Claude Warren built a balloon
octopus for his kids to guide down the street. Buck&squo;s pizza had a brigade of pizza slices marching in step while handing out goodies. Simply Irresistible owner Kathleen Carson led the motorcycle pack on her creatively decorated bicycle with its basket full of pink flamingos. So, dig out your favorite foolish ideas and join in the fun, or line up to watch the procession down Trade Street from New Market to the Fire Department at 1 p.m. For more information about joining the parade call Cindy Viehman at 828-817-4993.

Immediately following the parade the outhouses racers will line up to see which team can push or pull their outhouse up Trade Street in record time. Foothills Realty has their second place outhouse from last year on display on the sidewalk if you want to get a look at the competition early. Last year the Rotary Club created a lovely outhouse but ran into some difficulty getting it to move fast enough. Call Jody at Isadora&squo;s to get the rules and details about entering the race.

Bring a chair, or make reservations for the deck at Kyoto&squo;s to sit back and enjoy the music starting at 2:30 p.m. in the Shops of Tryon parking lot. Bill Crowell &dquo;entertainment committee of one&dquo; has rousted the Lone Derangers to rock the afternoon away. The band of local professional musicians creates a lovely Americana folk rock sound with Doug Dacey on vocals and guitar, Jay Lichty on vocals, electric banjo and mandolin, Stan Halbcat on vocals and upright bass, Andy Costine on vocals and guitar, Charles Wolff on drums, and Gerald Ellenburg on resophonic guitar. Sit back and relax on a lovely spring afternoon with this fun and entertaining group. In fact, those foolish enough to get comfy and wear their pajamas to the concert will be rewarded with a free ice cream cone from Simple Simon&squo;s between 3 and 5 p.m.

All in all, the April Fool&squo;s Festival is a chance to celebrate the spirit of our town&squo;s unique treasures and share with your neighbors what makes Tryon the &dquo;friendliest little town in the South.&dquo;