It was a beautiful, brisk fall day at the Pumpkin Festival last Friday. We ate our way through the festival feasting on fried cheese, brats, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cream puffs, pumpkin elephant ears, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin peanut brittle, pumpkin coffee, and more. We had enough fair food to clog our veins for the next month.
The festival had the usual queens, parades, carnival rides, craft booths, and other distractions. This was the 105th edition of the Circleville Pumpkin Festival and after 100+ years they have learned to do it right. We were impressed by the EMTs on bicycles and an improvised golf cart-ambulance looking much like something used on a football field. The police patrolled on bicycles and another improvised golf cart/patrol car.
My niece and I wandered through the booths while her husband and four-year old son rode the kiddy rides. As we walked around the booths we were surprised to see so many with knockoff name-brand purses at ridiculously cheap prices so prominently displayed. We discussed the bust recently at a discount mall in Columbus and decided the same people must have moved out to a country fair hoping to hide in a small town. That bust netted over $8 million in counterfeit goods a few weeks ago.http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2011/oct/11/raid-finds-8-million-counterfeit-goods-ar-781910/
We found what seemed like a street bazaar off a back alley with an abundance of the knock-off purses, CDs, DVDs, sunglasses, and Nike shoes. As we were strolling down the alley a burley police officer walked by with a handcuffed man in tow. About that time we heard a loud voice and commotion coming from one end. Another voice said to an unsuspecting shopper that the purses were not for sale and wiped the whole display out with one swipe of the arm. It was at that point we realized we were in the middle of a big bust. About 7 or 8 men sat on the ground with their hands handcuffed behind them. We didn’t stick around any longer to find out what was happening. We didn’t want to be in the way in case any bullets started flying.
Later on the news we learned they took in approximately 10,000 bootleg DVDs, 2,000 CDs, 500 purses, and 300 pairs of Nike shoes. The purses and luggage carried names and logos of Louis Vitton, Coach and Dolce & Gabanna. Some booths were selling bootleg copies of feature films not yet released including this year’s remake of “Fright Night.” http://www.myfox28columbus.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wtte_vid_14125.shtml
We decided we had had enough excitement for the day and headed back to meet up with her husband and son to watch the pet parade. The parade included all types of dogs and cats and I also saw at least one lizard or iguana. (Thankfully, no snakes!)The dogs in costumes didn’t look too excited parading down the street and the cats in rolling enclosed carriages and pens were even more unhappy. But, the kids showing them off were ecstatic. Of course, there were pumpkins, real and otherwise, in the parade along with orange-clad marching bands, queens riding giant pumpkins, floats, girl and boy scouts, and military salutes.
We have been properly indoctrinated for fall with everything pumpkin orange and I think I have had enough pumpkin stuff to last me until Thanksgiving. But I won’t turn down a piece of pumpkin pie if you are offering. Pass the whipped cream please.