Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Backlog #2: The Lighting of Fayetteville Square

The weekend before Thanksgiving, we heard via some friends (yes! we have those!) that there was to be a grand square-lighting ceremony in downtown Fayetteville. The rumors seemed to be a little grand, as I heard talk of pony and camel rides, but we figured it might be worth checking out.

As we live about 4 blocks away, we were able to wander up the hill about 5 minutes before the big event. We found the busiest crowd I've ever seen in this town (remember that I have not been to a football game) outside of the Bikes, blues, and BBQ...which was mostly people not from this town. The lighting of the square is the quintessential small town holiday activity: some city people spent over a week painstakingly stringing lights up all over the area and then the townsfolk get together to drink hot chocolate and say "oooooh" together.

Of course, there had to be some Arkansas to differentiate this small town holiday activity from similar events occurring all over the country. At our town lighting, rather than counting down from ten like normal people, we were asked to "call the hogs." Now I know that Doug did a brief rundown of the hog calling in his football post, but since that time I've been quite interested in the hog calling process. Why? Because it's really, really silly. Waving your hands above your hand and then shouting "Pig, soooie!" multiple times in a row does not feel dignified. It does not feel adult. But it does feel like a rip-roarin' good time.

Despite this, Doug has adamantly refused to call the hogs. I've tried calling the hogs in his face. I've tried calling the hogs at him when we pass each other running on the trail. I even put forth considerable effort in Albuquerque over Thanksgiving trying to get OTHER people to coerce him to call the hogs. So far, nothing has worked. Maybe I should get him to lead everyone in a hog calling before I'll actually marry him?

Anyway, after everyone but Doug called the hogs, the lights in the town square came on, and I must admit, it was pretty impressive. I mean, how cute is this:

Even better, they had a carousel of lights spinning around, where all the animals were horses except one:

I could have watched that carousel for hours. But I didn't have the opportunity, because shortly after the lighting of the square, the parade began. The parade! Now, might I remind our gentle readers that I spent six years in Chicago, where "parade" means mojitos while thousands of gay men wearing tiny gold shorts and/or exquisitely dressed drag queens throw condoms from floats.

This parade was, um, not quite that. We thankfully ran into some friends during the parade who we were able to crack jokes with. We all got a kick out of the McDonalds float. I mean seriously, when do you get to see a float with not only Ronald, but the Hamburgler and Grimace too? This is a special, special town.

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