Friday evenings are bliss! It's kick off your shoes, turn up the music and sprawl out on the sofas kind of evening for us. Sometimes, it's pizza night. Other times, it's leftovers night. The best times is when it is spicy Thai or Sichuan food by delivery night. We rarely ever step out on Friday nights. There are far too many cars on the road, too many people in the restaurants - yes, reclusive might define us well although we are not unsocial.
One Friday evening saw us scrambling to get to the library before it closed and we walked right into Louisville's Downtown Street Faire. Huh! I remembered reading about it in the last city newsletter. I even remembered that we forgot to check it out last summer. Friday evenings are that special. Well, they got even more special when we discovered just what the Louisville Downtown Street Faire is about!
Local businesses have booths and kiosks. They are all there: from the lovely ladies from the Acupuncture Clinic to the Italian Ice shop, not to mention all the restaurants! The local flavor is hard to beat! And the community spirit is very strong. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me nor my wallet so I vowed to return the following week.
Needless to say, the bungee jump was at the top of the list. We waited at least 40 minutes for 5 minutes of exhilirating and breath-taking fun for Medha.
That's her up there. My heart was in my shoes the first time she went that high!
I could hear live music filtering through to me from the Steinbaugh Pavilion. People were spilling out of the white tent area next to the pavilion and from the pavilion itself. Almost everyone had a glass of locally brewed beer in their hands. Small counter-high tables dotted the street, crowded with half-empty glasses of beer, hot dogs, burgers and popcorn. I couldn't wait to get nearer to the music cos the lead guitar was belting out some smashing tunes.
But we had a few other stops to make like Sparkles Face Painting, for example!
Another ten minute wait before Medha's face was transformed into a butterfly.
While her face was being painted, I wandered to the other booths and spied the lovely ladies from Market Place Bakery in their full glory. Oh yum! Just look at those goodies! They disappeared very quickly, too!
There was also an inexplicable but very alluring aroma in the air. It had enticed me on my first visit, too, and I just had to follow my nose again. It was Handmade soap. After smelling them all, I kept returning to the Chai Goat Milk Soap. It had the smell of home: spices blended together with a mild scent of tea. It's the kind of aroma I want around me when I want to relax completely. I also loved the Rosemary Mint soap, which was very refreshing. It's what I want to wake up to every morning.
These handmade soaps are made by Amy Kalinchuk aka The Old Crone, who is a school teacher in Denver. She taught herself the art of soap-making and was soon making so many soaps that she needed to figure out how to share her success with the rest of her community.
If you're local to Louisville, Lafayette or Boulder, you will want to catch her at the Street Faire this coming Friday, 5pm to 9pm. She won't be there for the last fair, which is Youth Night, on August 17th.
If you are local to Denver then you could find her at Historic Downtown Littleton Farmer's Market, corner of Nevada and Main, 9am-2pm on Saturdays till September 29, 2007. Or at Old South Pearl Street Farmer's Market, 1500 South block of Pearl street, between Florida and Iowa, 9 am to 1 pm on Sundays till October 28, 2007.
If you are not local, don't fret! She has a web site, Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap, where she sells her handmade soaps, shampoos, lotions, lip balms and more. She's thought of everything - for those of us who need to know more or dabble in some soap making, she has written a book called How to Make Soap that she sells on her web site.
Here's Amy with her wonderful wares! And she's not really old or olde!
What pulled me to Amy's booth like a magnet was the aroma. What endeared me further was that she was making this at home. And I was sold when I found out that her soaps are all-natural. She does not use any artificial ingredients, fragrances, or additives.
I was already on a high, when I decided to take things a notch higher with beer from Colorado's first micro-brewery, Boulder Brewing Company, started in 1979 by two professors from CU. The company is now called Boulder Beer Company. Their beer has won awards but what matters most is that it is smooth and the perfect ale for the hot summers we've been having. This handsome man poured out some Pass Time Pale Ale for me.
It put me in the perfect mood for the music that was growing louder and louder, with the crowds joining in and thumping their feet. It was a local band called Firefall. I'd never heard of them before. It really didn't matter as they were rocking the place with their music. According to a more informed friend of mine, they had a very popular CD in the 80's. It was Medha's first ever rock show and I am so glad that it was with us and to such excellent music!
This is a picture Medha took of Firefall's encore while seated on her Dad's shoulders! As you can see, many folks joined them on the stage for their final number!
Unfortunately, it all ended a little too soon!
While Firefall won't be there this coming Friday, another very popular band called the subdudes will be playing. If you're in the area, do stop by to check it out! There's good food, great tasting locally brewed beer, handmade soap, locally made handicrafts and a whole bunch of fun for the kids. And that is quite a bit coming from someone like me who feels that nothing happens in Louisville!