We're getting out of town this weekend (*yay!*) to go build a float made of begonias. ("huh??") It's the Begonia Festival. This is something my Mister has done for decades, and I've joined in just about every Labor Day weekend for the past eleven years, ever since we've been together.
We're headed to Capitola (just south of Santa Cruz), where Toby grew up... where they have this delightfully hokey, small-town festival around the begonia flower (they're grown nearby). Think canoe races, sandcastle building, horseshoes on the beach. Afterall, this is the part of California (semi-)famous for its festivals: garlic, artichoke, etc... Ah, if only begonias were good eats.
Anyway, my father-in-law, Nels, has been working hard on the framework for a fabulous biplane (the festival's theme this year is "Capitola Takes Flight") -- see photo above with kids for scale :)
Soon, it will be covered in chicken wire, then absolutely smothered with begonia blossoms, and then set afloat on the Soquel Creek (it's a nautical parade). Saturday morning, our crew will go and pick every single flower (I'll be on baby duty) in the nearby fields. It's a lot of work--we need about 20,000--but it's a labor of love. Every so often, the number of floats declines and the end of the Begonia Festival is predicted. Thankfully (for I love a small-town festival), that hasn't happened yet.
If you also love a little local color, check out the article about our float and the festival.
(And if you're around, stop by!)
photo from Nels, featuring The Two Zacks