Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dirty Dan Harris Days!

   Last Saturday we ventured just down the road to attend the Dirty Dan Festival in beautiful Fairhaven, Washington.  We saw a lot of shoppers in the town, but no real activities.  At first I was ready to call this a very lame event, but soon found out that the event started on Sunday, this year----Whoops!  Above is Dan's statue, forever keeping watch of the Village Green of his town.  Also a great place to snap a picture of him and yourself enjoying the view.   The Green is surrounded by great shops and partly covered.  It is usually the towns event hub.  The far wall doubles as an outdoor movie wall.   And the town plays family movies all summer starting in June.  I will report about these complete with a list of movies next month.  

   Sunday we tried again.   And enjoyed another sun filled day.  It has been a great trend in the past few weeks were we have OK weeks capped off with awesome sun filled weekends.    

  This festival celebrates the founder of Fairhaven.  And has been going on for six thousand years.                  
Minus about six thousand years, so for years now.  Fair warning--- for $20 bucks you can sample more clam chowder than you can imagine.  Clam chowder has a VERY distinct smell and we chose to stay away from this section of the festival.   At my last job, we had clam chowder soup on special every Friday.  When a new worker asked what the soup of the day was, I would take off the lid, and stand back.  The smell would instantly remind the new worker what the soup was.  All of this fun was in Wyoming, a land locked state -were fresh seafood is not an option.   The seafood tents are also near the beer garden.
   And now a little bit of history:
       Daniel Jefferson Harris was born on February 16, 1833 in New York.   He was a rebel, better to be left alone.  He was involved in at least four noted large legal scrapes.  Each time he was arrested, but bailed out by friends so never served any real jail time.    So the Dirty part was soon added to his name.   He was also a hard worker and great business man.  Around 1868 he acquired nearly 200 acres of land in what is now Fairhaven.  Much of this land was along this water front.  He quickly sold off the land that is now the town.   And later made a small fortune selling off the water front.   He was married for a year, before problems arose.  His wife and him separated, but made amends and stayed with each other.  Dan died in 1890 leaving an estate of about $180,000.    
By 1896, when Washington portions of Dan's estate was finally settled, Fairhaven property values had hugely dropped and his 5 heirs received only $33.93 apiece. 

    OK   wake up time!   Our daughter and I roamed down Harris street and hit incline down to the bay about time for the piano races to start.  

                   At the bottom of this hill are the 3 pianos to be pushed up the hill.

    The street is blocked off for the race and than the large crowd cheers on the runners.

  The Bellingham Terminal was our first stop of the day.  Many ships were in port to view and board. Filled with the crews who could answer any questions.  These boats are amazingly preserved and works of art even before the sails are lifted.   Several of them also had a sailing race later in the day. 

 Many vendors surrounded the terminal.  And bands offered more entertainment.  
 Displays and activities filled the inside of the terminal also. 

                           Replica of the Titanic to honor the 100 years since the tragedy.

                                                                We found Nemo!!

                                                         Rustic Coffee fueled stop ....
    This is in front of the depo leading people to Junction Coffee.  A great little shop that offers an awesome view with every coffee purchase!

 Back up the hill to the main festival.   All shops were open for business.  Musical groups kept everyone entertained in the Village Green were more vendors were out and benches were set up for all the guests.  
                                     A very busy face painter was one of the vendors.
  The Toy Garden also had a booth were kids could make there own toy.  Today's was some sort of water filled ball.   These were bouncing around all over the green.  Amazingly in all the time we spent at the festival, I saw no one get hit by the balls.  Later we roamed around the near toy store.  It is a great store with amazingly helpful and knowledgeable workers.  Rare in this day and age.  Off the green you can also roam the huge multi level book store.  Village Books is a great place to spend your time. With every type of book imaginable.  This store even has a machine that will print out the book you wrote!  Great staff and great prices also welcome you every trip.  Possibly the best thing about the store, is all of the activities.  They have free lectures, readings, open mic nights, workshops etc, something going on almost every day of the week.  The 2nd best thing is the owners of the store, it defiantly does not feel like a stuffy chain book store.   Plus the upper level houses a coffee shop if your caffeine level is running a little low.  Exit the bookstore without venturing outside, into a great gift shop.  

  People in authentic costume roam around the festival.  I believe the man in white is supposed to be Dirty Dan.

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