Perhaps my expectations were too high. Maybe I was not in the right mood for a barn party. But if it had not been for the people that I hung out with at the Red Barn Festival last Saturday night, I probably would not have enjoyed myself very much.
I will get the negatives out of the way so this can end on a positive note. First of all, I felt like a child the moment I walked into the barn. Do not get me wrong, I usually love pretending to be a little kid again, but the cheesy hand-colored signs advertising face painting and apple bobbing did not incite enough nostalgic feelings to draw me in.
Miniature pumpkins were available for painting but I prefer to carve my pumpkins, not decorate them with washable paint. Nor did I participate in the immensely riveting barn dances that were occurring in the center of the barn. I just was not in the mood to dance in circles while everyone else watched. Something about it was too, what is the word, conspicuous? Had my friends decided to dance, however, I probably would have joined in without hesitation. Does this make me excessively concerned with my self-image? Perhaps, but I honestly couldn’t care what y ou think of me for not dancing.
In addition to these poor activity options, there was apple bobbing. I realize that this is considered to be a necessary part of all barn parties, but how many people actually want to immerse their head in a bucket of freezing-cold water and risk frostbite? If I had really wanted an apple that badly, I could have just reached into the water and spared myself from certain sickness.
Despite these downfalls to the night, I found some of the activities to be entertaining. I participated in two hayrides, each of which only about ten minutes long. The highlight of them was discovering that there were blankets on board, but conversations with friends helped make the rides more enjoyable.
The hot apple cider was also quite tasty and, I mean, it was apple cider. I simply cannot find any reason to complain about it. A fire was also available for roasting marshmallows, and despite the lack of peanut butter for the smores, I enjoyed the messy snack all the same.
The highlight of my night, however, may have been the intense game of checkers that I played with Brooke Lacock while we were waiting for our transportation back to campus. Brooke was a worthy opponent, but my skills were just too much for her to match in the end.
Honestly, I suppose the night was not a total bust. I did get a free pumpkin to make my dorm room more festive, and the purpose of the night was to support a worthy cause. Though the event was free to all EMU students, Harrisonburg residents also attended and the proceeds from the admission fees were given to the New Bridges Immigrant Resource Center.
NBIRC is an organization that provides assistance to and advocacy for immigrants living in Harrisonburg. I was hoping to talk to a representative from the center at the festival, but was not able to find one. However, I have heard only good things about the organization from volunteers who work there and I can appreciate the fact that CAC is working to be connected to the greater Harrisonburg community.
Lauren Sauder,Sports Editor