Festival of Nations

Earlier this month Anne and I completed an epic, nine-day, 500 mile, bicycle ride. You might have heard me mention it once or twice before. What has not been mentioned during the subsequent twelve days is our complete lack of bicycling, at least that is until today. If we had been smart about it, we would have biked in the morning, when it was still relatively cool, but no, we launched at high noon. Mark asked, “Is it hot enough for you, dear?” Anne replied, “That question is just so not cool.” 😉

Anyway, off we went. We rolled through the Park, accompanied by the muffled melodies of Loufest, a music festival that is ongoing this weekend. We passed the botanical gardens, as we rode up Tower Grove Ave. Two cyclists were assaulted by a group of six to ten men at this spot the other night, but that was night and this was day. We passed many other cyclists, including whole families on bikes. It felt very safe.

Our destination was Tower Grove Park and the Festival of Nations. This is the third year in a row that we have attended this festival and it has always been hot in the past, so it shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise that it was hot again this year too. The Festival of Nations has three main attractions, food, shopping and musical acts. Because of the heat, it didn’t seem as though we did much at the festival, but here is my report.

We strolled up the food aisle first. I bought a pair of Cajun lemonades. They really hit the spot. They were almost too big to carry. Anne eventually had some Thai food, primarily because the lines were short. We bumped into Jim and Diana and spoke with them for a while. Next, we window shopped the ethic arts and crafts aisle. The group that impressed us the most was Cobu. Cobu is from New York City. Yako Miyamoto, the founder of Cobu is a member of STOMP, which we really love. Cobu combines elements of the Japanese traditional Taiko drumming with rhythmic Tap dancing. I love Cobu’s motto, “Dance like Drumming, Drum like Dancing”.

On the way home, we were passed by this guy on a motorized bicycle. We were going uphill when he passed us. I accused him of cheating. We caught him at the next light and he admitted feeling a little guilty about passing us. He seemed friendly enough. He killed his engine at the light, I guess to save gas. He told us that it easily push started again, at only 5 MPH. We got 16 miles.

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