Monday, November 23, 2009
What I loved about the Outhouse Festival in Elk Falls
I love EVERYTHING about the Elk Falls Outhouse Festival.
It's a highly clever event that involves the community and is very fun for the public. That it happens in a small town of 112 is just a super bonus.
Aside from the main feature, there is an arts-and-crafts fair in the auditorium, rummage sales around town, 4-H sells goodies, there are activities for kids, and the senior citizen center, the cafe, and the the Mills' from Moline sell food. A quilt show is located in a small wooden church -- near the apple dumplings!
I felt good about buying $157 worth of stamps at the small post office and was glad for the post master's response that that would make her monthly report look good.
We got to help Dorothy -- sort of. She has run the "front desk" for so many years that you don't really want to mess up her system. It's a dollar for a button and a judging ballot. Then she checks to see if the number on the back of your button gives you a shot at the door prize table. Or, you can buy a jar of gravel from the front desk and then deposit it in the pot hole of your choice.
This is the outhouse at the headquarters and where you come later to turn in your ballot -- either at the drive through window or inside.
People come dressed for the theme.
I think there were 11 outhouses this year. The public votes for their favorites. Here are just a few:
The Greenhouse where you can get a view from the loo. The energy efficient system has the fish do the recycling.
The post office used some items laying around.
Gilligan's Island got in on the act, too.
This was the "Social Movement" venue.
And, the Dog Pound stop.
Part of the requirement is that the outhouse designers write a story to go along with their theme. The possibilities for a play on words with this subject is endless and, you can be sure, they are all used.
How such a crappy topic can provide so much relief from the hum drum world is a testament to the citizens of Elk Falls. Attendance was well over 1,000 people. Not bad for this town of just over 100.
If you want to be privvy to where small towns get their will to succeed come to next year's Elk Falls Outhouse Festival. It's held the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving each year.
KE #2 Marci Penner