Sunday, July 13, 2014

Independence Day Festivities

Since we hadn't experienced sufficiently large crowds since the Ren-Fest, Daughter and I decided to check out the Panther Island Cinco de Mayo July 4th celebration, the photographic evidence of which is presented herewith.

Because I'm frugal cheap, we parked in the $5 lot at the apex of Henderson and White Settlement - I couldn't discern that the $10 parking was that much closer.  Upon getting into the festival grounds, we made our way over to the Rockin' the River area, as Daughter wanted to float out in the Trinity - against my gentle, fatherly advice.  Cabela's and TRWD sponsored tubes and life vests, enough to satisfy projected demand.  If only the idiot festival-goers hadn't lashed multiple tubes together (in excess of what they were actually using), while others, after leaving the water, used them as beach chairs (also still lashed together).  One white-trashy woman - lounging like a grounded Shamu or Moby Dyck on the beach - growled and snarled at several small children who attempted to pick up the apparently vacant tubes that were lashed to her lair.  Classy, ma'am, real classy.

Clogging, er, Rockin' the River, as the rapper implored 
"Hey, evahbody, let's get stoopid".
The crowd was quite obliging.

After about 25 minutes, we located an unused tube, and Daughter prepared to go into the pristine waters, lined with grass, bark, & twig debris for about the first 16" off the beach - which I'd kindly pointed out.  As the water came up just above knee level, her desire to float the Trinity was abated by a dead fish, also floating the Trinity, and out she came.

"I saw a dead fish."

"So, you're not going to paddle across the river?"


"Well, OK then.  Let's go get you rinsed off."

We found our way to a fresh water fountain/station where she rinsed off the mineral & nutrient-laden waters of the Trinity.  In a nearby tree, we saw this visitor:

Kinda creepy.
...and this one:

Wrong event, dude.

While festival food is usually outrageously expensive, we found some affordable ice cream from a van, and a $4 chopped beef sandwich to tide us over at this FW [temporary] landmark:

Riscky business.

Several minutes later, Daughter captured a [live] baby locust/cicada.  Since we were on the north side, should I say 'chicharra' instead?

Afterward, she carefully put him/her back on a tree.  In his 
autobiography, he'll write "I had my first encounter with 
a human before I even shed my first exoskeleton."

Some people had brought their own equipment - kudos to them.

Not all attendees were human:

These fair-goers had manners.

We decided to make our way to the other side of el Rio Trinidad, a feat that took nearly ten minutes on the 8' wide footbridge, inasmuch as the seemingly simple task of placing one pie ante del otro was not well understood by the fair-goers.

On the other side, we hydrated ourselves courtesy of a TRWD potable water dispensary trailer, then perused local vendor tents.  One of the first we came to featured bandanas (no problem there), and an interesting proprietress with more hardware than a Hillman jobber, and enough ink to run the second shift of the Startle-Gram.  Lots of piercing accessories,  tricot/spandex (?) wrestlers' masks (do I even want to know what that sub-culture is?  Likely not.), and last but not least, an amazing array of crack pipes.  Stay classy, Fort Worth!

"Daddy, what are those?"

"Uh, those are crack pipes."


Daughter was going to ride the inflatable zip-line, but upon seeing a 200' line for a 40' ride, she thought better of it.  She was obviously becoming more discerning as the afternoon progressed.  We exited the event perimeter and headed south toward the 7th street bridge, observing a posse of horse riders, hoping they were giving rides.

While I've no desire to immerse myself in the Trinity's waters, I would enjoy floating the Trinity in a canoe or 'yak:

Dude, there's serious traffic about 1/2 mile ahead...prepare to portage or take alternate route.

Hey, wouldn't that be fun to ride a bike on?:

I dig bridge architecture.

As I took this photo of the Trinity Playhouse from the river levee, I told Daughter that I was sitting within about 5' of where her mother and I watched Shakespeare in the Park (Merchant/Midsummer/Much Ado..., one of the M comedies, though at the time I was more interested in my date), eating grapes and cheese, drinking wine coolers, on one of our very first dates - over a decade before the turn of the century:

Today:  All's Well  That Ends Well?
More like Love's Labour's Lost.  Sigh.

The horses we'd been following were 'parked' on the playhouse grounds.  Seven of them, but apparently they weren't for hire.  We have no idea where the riders went.

We could have gone to some pretty snazzy dining establishments along the W7 strip, but we walked to Wendy's, near University, and ate for cheap.  While development has totally changed the face of that area, the Wendy's doesn't seem to have changed since the '80s.  There were two flat screen TVs in the dining room, one with Univision or Telemundo, and the other displaying ABC's What Would You Do? Guess which one had the volume turned up?

As it was by then dark, we made our way back east, encountering a large - but sparsely packed - group assembled behind the Montgomery Plaza, waiting to watch fireworks.  We hung out there for a bit, but surmised it wasn't going to be a great vantage point, so we made our way back toward White Settlement Road.  When we got past Angelo's and Omaha's, the show was just starting.  Rather than fight the crowds back at the event, we climbed atop our SUV in the parking lot:

I think we had the best seats in the house parking lot:

Burn, baby, burn!

Bang, pow, boom! 

And the grand finale:

Glaring red rockets.


qdub said...

Looks like a great Daddy-daughter day. What a lovely girl.

el chupacabra said...

Whoa those were some GOOD seats brah. Good for ya'll.

I think there are differnet subspecies on the cicadas- the tiny ones come out tiny and big ones big.

I'm sorry and I may be wrong and couldbe convinced otherwise but until I see some clear lab test results AND update my shot record you couldn't force me at gunpoint into that river.

The Donald said...

Chupper - you may well be right about the bugs - I am a better etymologist than entomologist.

The view was great from the roof. Some car alarms in the vicinity were set off by the concussion fireworks.

Q - we made a great day of it, lots of walking. And after we got home around midnight, we watched a movie (that I actually stayed awake through...).