DATES: June 3-6, 2010
NEXT YEAR DATES: June 2-5, 2011
LOCATION: Herndon, VA
POPULATION: 21,655 (2000 census)
TOWN AREA: 4.2 sq. miles
RANDOM FACT: Herndon was named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, American naval explorer and author of Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. Commander Herndon captained the ill-fated steamer SS Central America, going down with his ship while helping to save over 150 of its passengers and crew.
We got a good feeling about Herndon as we pulled into the well manicured suburb of Washington, D.C. We were in town because my college friend was hosting a party and the annual Herndon Festival was being held across the street.
We had to transit the downtown area of Herndon on our way to Phil’s. It was early afternoon and the festival was in full swing. Live music was blaring from a stage near the street so we turned off the A/C and rolled down the window to take it in.
When we arrived Phil (having challenged me to a cooking competition, where the mystery item was turkey) was already working on cooking up food with his wife, Allie. My other college buddies stood by already drinking beer and trying to figure out what was happening in the kitchen. I said my greeting salutations, grabbed a Champagne of Beer (Miller High Life) and started pulling ingredients and tools from the giant cooler I had lugged into Phil’s kitchen. I made curry turkey empanadas and Caribbean Coleslaw. Since I plan to become a multi-millionaire from these empanadas, I am keeping the recipe secret until further notice.
Although the Herndon Festival looked like a great time I can’t say we got to see much of it. The majority of the day was spent cooking and consuming the high life. The late afternoon and early evening was filled playing games from the TV Show “Minute to Win It” with a slight spin to it… we added alcohol (Serena was the bucket head champion, who knew). We had all but forgotten about the festival until the firework show started which prompted us to all to get a roadie and stumble across the street.
After a great fireworks show we made our way to the Midway where they had a variety of games. Of course, we did what most men like to do after drinking and grabbed the gun for the game where you have to shoot the red star out of a piece of paper with an automatic air rifle. That game is hard enough sober, so no one walked away with any teddy bears on that one. The testosterone kept flowing with a game where you had to throw a softball to break plastic plates; again not the best game to play while intoxicated, one of the workers almost took one off the skull. Already in game mode from the party, we walked up and down the midway playing games, having a good time until we realized we should try to get on a few rides as closing time was approaching. On the way to the rides, Serena and I being cheesy saps became distracted by the guy drawing caricatures and had to get one. This turned out to be a bad idea with the group of hecklers we were hanging with. They heckled me, they heckled Serena and no mercy was spared on the artist. By the time he finished I had no self-esteem and the rides were closing.
We made our way back to Phil’s, and on the way tried to pick up one of those small electric SMART cars and relieved when we couldn’t because a Herndon police car was pulling a U-turn to see what we were up to. We made it back to the house with no felonies and misdemeanors and continued with the theme of games and drinking. We hope to make it to this festival next year and maybe make it past the Midway.
FOR MORE PICTURES FROM THE HERNDON FESTIVAL CLICK HERE