First, was “Ammon Days”. Ammon is the town where I’ll be teaching. Where is Ammon? Well, it’s the other half of Idaho Falls that you don’t realize is a completely different town unless you look at a map or try to google something. It has its own school district and government and everything! Atlanta folks, please note that the “Idaho Falls Statistical Area” has a population double that of Marietta. I don’t know why that means anything, but I found the number, so…. Other little known facts (until you WIki the area to get links for a blog post…), “Having more than doubled in land area and population since 2000, Ammon was among the fastest-growing cities in Idaho from 2000-2010.“…. WHAT? Well, that explains what my department chair called “the coming tidal wave” of students into the schools. Crazy!
Focus! Back to my mini-adventure… “Ammon Days” is a local day of happiness and sunshine put on by the city. Seeing as this was my one chance to go research incognito, I totally jumped at the chance. Once school starts, all the kids will know me ASAP – right now is the only time I can visit the area and check out the people and stuff without being recognized! The park it was being held in was gorgeous, and has a frisbee golf course in it… Win! As I approached the festival spot, I felt very much like I was in East Cobb – the houses got nicer, the cars got nicer, the people dressed nicer… It was uncanny, except everyone was super nice, and the weather didn’t suck. 🙂
There were probably 50ish booths set up by local businesses and crafts people, a grandstand/stage where there were going to be contests and such during the day, and all sorts of awesomeness. The city was providing food all day – brunch, watermelon, treats, hamburgers and hot dogs – and I think most people in town will have come through today. It was super crowded when I got there at 9:30, and folks just kept coming…
What intrigued me the most was the 10 am “Ping Pong Ball Drop”. Apparently, this is A Thing around here. The local festival in Blackfoot did it a few weeks ago. So did their Relay for Life. And a simple google search shows this happening all over Eastern Idaho. See, what happens is a helicopter flies over the area. And they fling out “ping pong balls” (today, it was plastic Easter eggs) either with a prize note inside or a number so you can go claim whatever your prize is. It’s only for the kids, but the crowd went crazy! It was raining Easter eggs each of the 3 times the helicopter flew over. After it was all over, everyone helped clean up, put the eggs in the designated tote bin for next year, and continued on like nothing had ever happened. Strange, but cool doings.
After visiting all the booths and meandering through the crowd, it was off to my second destination for the day. The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho has free admission on the first Saturday of every month, so I figured it must be worth at least stopping by. It was a very neat little space, and I do stress little. The whole building was about the size of a typical house!
I’m super glad that it was free admission, because if they’d charged me to go in before I’d seen the size, I’da been asking for my money back. A spin through the galleries, a mini-rant on text to a friend about modern/abstract art not being art, and a sigh of relief when I hit the plein air and watercolors collection, and I was finished in about 30 min! I’ll definitely go back when I need an art fix, but definitely will be doing so on the first Saturday of each month when it’s free………
The rest of my weekend is going to be pretty boring what with doing chores around the house, but it was a fun day to get out and play in the AMAZING weather. Glad I got more things checked off of the “try everything one time” list, and looking forward to whatever Idaho brings my way next! 😀