Even here in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont the heat index is breaking records as the entire East Coast sizzles.
Over the weekend, just ahead of the wilting weather,locals and out-of-staters gathered to celebrate the arts and sustainable energy,agriculture and the dairy industry in Brattleboro.
Sound a bit dull? Not in the Republic of Vermont, where petitions were signed to impeach Bush and Cheney and every other person it seems is an artist, writer, musician or political activist, as well as organic farmer.
Pamplona, Spain may have her “Running of the Bulls” but Brattleboro and the surrounding area has her more demure “Strolling of the Heifers”!
Streets were lined with the diverse populations that make up this unique community.
Young and old held on to black and white spotted balloons suggesting a bobbing herd of helium filled Holsteins ,as a soulful New Orleans style brass band set the stage.
Theatrical skits spoofing the highly contested nuclear plant entertained, as did unicyclists against GMOS in food production and kids carrying long paper worms promoting composting…
At last, the first band of young doe-eyed calves draped in flower garlands and gently led by their also very young owners rounded the corner closely followed by the heifers, resplendent in flowers as well, who sauntered Main Street to soft applause as not to panic the gentle beasts. Natural accidents did happen, as some stage fright occurred, to the delight of giggling little boys. Attendants dressed as black and white cows or Super Heroes quickly scooped and sprinkled sawdust to keep things moving. Behind them the high school band played “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with a ra-ra beat and cowbell percussion.
Cute…but not too… as right behind, whirling and spinning like a dervish, was a giant evil faced puppet made entirely of plastic grocery/shopping bags. It reminded me a bit of Nigerian Egungun masquerades where a spiritual whirlwind cleanses the village of evil influence. Would but all those plastic bags disappear worldwide…
Here on this red bricked, old-fashioned Main Street, progressive and traditional ideas coincided comfortably, as quality of life and responsible choices were expressed by newcomers and old-timers alike. Hope for the future was doled out with the locally made ice cream served at the Dairy-Fest, as we felt inspired and remotivated to do our parts to insure a sustainable future for our region and the planet.
Do what you can today, wherever you are, to make a difference for us all… And stay cool…