Growing up in Clayton County, there were always festivals and events that I went to with my family on the weekends. In autumn, it seemed like every weekend there was always something going on. Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons because of the time I get to spend with my family, as well as the fun festivities and gorgeous views of the river bluffs as their leaves shift from lush greens to warm shades of red, orange and gold. One festival I look forward to every year is the Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival in McGregor, set up in Triangle Park and McGregor Landing. I always look forward to the crunch of leaves along the sidewalks, artists showing their creations, and the lingering buttery-sweet aroma of homemade kettle corn.
While local musicians played their music and families roamed to look for crafted goods, I visited the vendor tents and got a look, or taste, at what they were selling. From locally produced honey to homemade hand lotion, and jewelry to essential oils, there always seemed to be no limit to what an individual maker could create. It always amazed me when a local person would see a need around them, and create something to fulfill that need all on their own. As I admired the oil paintings in an artist’s tent, the faint scent of the oil paint permeated, and gave me a feeling of comfort. One piece, in particular, had caught my attention, and I could picture it in my own home. It stood out to me as soon as I stepped inside the tent, and I wasn’t going to leave the festival without it.
With the painting tucked safely away in my vehicle, I ambled around the rest of the festival and enjoyed every minute of it. Before I left the park, I picked up a bag of freshly popped kettle corn and popped a few of the sweet kernels into my mouth. The sweet, yet buttery flavor brought back the memories of these same festival years before. It’s an annual tradition I’ve kept with me to this day and will continue for as long as possible.
Written by Jayna Felder | Photo Credit to Visit Iowa