Ah, fest season. My favorite time of year. Every suburb and city in the area has one throughout the summer, and if they’re your thing, you can fest hop every weekend if you know who’s holding what, when. Lots of regional food, local bands, fireworks displays, art fairs and carnival rides. I personally can’t get enough of them and fill up as many weekends as possible walking down main streets and getting my fair share of food on a stick and rocking out to the local tribute bands. And I’m not the only one!
I was recently in my hometown in Wisconsin visiting my parents and at our favorite haunt, a great Mexican restaurant, they had “Sawdust Days” buttons for sale at the hostess station. Every year our town holds its own festival, and as a way of raising money in advance, sell buttons at local stores and restaurants. These buttons serve as admittance, and they’ve been sold every year since I can recall. The neatest thing to see, as a result of these pieces, is the older gentlemen who show up year after year wearing or somehow displaying their collection of Sawdust Days buttons, collected over the past 30+ years, each one unique from the other, and all telling the story of our city.
I won’t be around for our annual fest this year, sadly, but as a show of solidarity, and as a souvenir of my hometown, I bought a button anyway. I have nowhere near as many as some of these guys with their long beards, suspenders and endless stories, but I’ve got a few buttons, and I keep them the same way people save movie stubs, photo booth cards, and other small tokens of life. They’re a good reminder of where I came from, and that’s a good thing to remember.