It was a warm, sunny day when we arrived about 10:45 am and after a stressful drive around trying to find a parking spot, settled in and immediately went to the food trucks, lol. Unfortunately, Hillbilly Hotdogs must have just been opening up because we got in the fairly long line...which didn't move for at all in 15 minutes. So, we decided to just grab some standard fair fare and go down to the riverfront to eat and catch a little bit of the Mothman Pageant activities. Before settling in, Aaron stopped to get a huge mug of old fashioned soda from Wild Bill's Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co. For $10, he got a huge collector's mug and a voucher for FREE refills all day long!
As we found our seats, we noticed that there was something going on to our left, not far from the stage and where the pageant judges were set up. There were a LOT of people milling about and a police boat in the river. An ambulance had its lights on and was standing by. Since the pageant kept going on, we really didn't pay too much attention to what was going on. Finishing up our lunch of corn dogs and cheese fries, we then went to do the vendor circuit.
Luke wanted to play some carnival games and won a few prizes and I picked up a few vintage books for less than $2! Luke and Aaron both found some treasures, as well. We checked out everything, and I was really impressed with the variety of art, books, jewelry and other items being sold, plus the array of paranormal speakers and researchers present. One of my absolute favorite booths was the PlushyBoo vendor. Jen, of PlushyBoo, was selling the coolest and cutest plush cryptid/paranormal themed figures in a variety of sizes. I really should have bought one of the three different Mothman styles she had, because by the time we came back on Sunday, they were all gone...but more on that in Sunday's blog, lol. But, if you were like me and missed her, she has an Etsy shop, too, where everything is 20% off this month! Vowing to come back in a little while to make my final purchasing decisions, we decided to drop what we had already accumulated off at the car. On the way back toward downtown, Luke convinced us that he needed to take a horse-drawn wagon ride!
The horse-drawn wagon ride was pretty awesome, but it was a little expensive. For Luke and I to ride together, it was $8, which wouldn't be that bad, except that the ride only lasted about 7-10 minutes and simply went down the street and back. Still, it was something we hadn't tried before and we had resolved to make this year the year we did all the stuff that we usually DIDN'T do during our festival visits. As soon as we got off the wagon, though, Aaron pulled me aside. He had gone back to the riverfront to take advantage of his free soda refill just as they were closing the area. What we had seen going on at the riverfront earlier was finally explained---a man had jumped into the river and never resurfaced. This must have happened right before we arrived and while we were on the wagon, his body was recovered. After hearing witness testimony and looking through the photos, Carrie and I can't help wondering if the man was the same man we had been spooked by the night before---the descriptions certainly matched up and it might explain why we felt so uneasy in his presence. But, whether or not it was the same man, our prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends, and all those involved who either had to witness the event or took part in the recovery efforts. Here's a short news article on the event: WSAZ
|Luke at Navy Poster Museum|
Immediately following our trip to the museum, we made our way down to the State Theater to hear Rosemary Ellen Guiley's talk on Spiritualism during the Civil War era. We were a bit early, so we caught the end of Susan Sheppard's Indrid Cold presentation. I'm sorry we missed the beginning, as it seemed like an excellent talk, but luckily, it was recorded and can now be found on YouTube! Anyway, I was really excited to see Rosemary this year. We are generally so busy with other things (and having an impatient child along doesn't help) that we rarely get to sit through the speakers. As predicted I really enjoyed Rosemary's presentation. I have to say, if you get the chance to see ANY of the Mothman speakers, definitely take advantage of it! There is no other place that I know of where you can see the caliber of speakers the festival brings in...and for FREE. And, even though the festival sets record numbers of visitors each year, there's still a real family reunion type atmosphere. You have the chance to get up and personal with the special guests and speakers and have a conversation with them, ask them questions, and if you'd like, buy any books/merchandise they're selling. It's just a really great experience.
But, that was the end of our experience for Saturday. By that time, we were all tired and hot and Aaron and I had some birthday party stuff we needed to attend to while Luke spent the night at my mom's, so we concluded our trip. I wasn't disappointed though....because I'd be back the next day!
Mothman Day I
Mothman Day III