Summer is on it’s way and that means the start of the art-wine-community-everything-in-between fair season here in the bay area.
As a kid, my family attended the Bellevue Art & Crafts Fair each summer. I don’t remember face painting back then, but I do remember hours of wandering around the booths looking at 1970s art. Hanging macramé planters. Earth toned pottery. Driftwood clocks. Blown glass. Tie dyed clothes.
I suppose going to the arts & crafts fair each summer left an impression as I’m happy to drag my kids to these things all the time.
So, we kicked off the season with our attendance at the San Carlos Hometown days festival this past weekend.
The difference between fairs from when I was a kid and the fairs of today is that these community gatherings are VERY kid friendly. Kid food. Kid games. Kid arts & crafts. Kid rides. Petting zoos. Pony rides.
And face painting.
The glitter, the jewels, the pink and purple swirls of paint. All lovingly applied with a magical brush and a dash of fairy dust.
Face painters always have a joyful little booth. Usually under festive umbrella. Stocked with rainbow palettes of paint. Tiny jars of glitter. Paint speckled bowls of colorful plastic gems. Books of wonder; promises of beautiful face painting from those who had come through before.
You try to pass by with out the kids seeing.
But they always see.
It’s impossible not to see.
They are a hardy group of artists who often remind me of old time carnival barkers.
According to wikipedia “a barker is a person who attempts to attract patrons to entertainment events, such as a circus or fun fair, by exhorting passing public, describing attractions of show and emphasizing variety, novelty, beauty, or some other feature believed to incite listeners to attend entertainment. A barker may conduct a brief free show, introducing performers and describing acts to be given at the feature performance. Professional barkers strongly dislike the term and instead refer to themselves as talkers.”
If you say so.
Face Painting “talkers” have no problem getting my children’s attention with promises of fairies, kittens, rainbows, and unicorns.
$5. $10. $15. Sometimes a steep price to pay for a day’s worth of happiness.
Little eyes light up and the pleading begins. PUUULLLLEEEAAASE, can we get our faces painted??????
There’s no getting around it. No pretending it’s not there.
I’m a total sucker.
Ava and Mia slide onto the worn paint chipped stools. They both sit quietly for as long as it takes to transform their faces into glittering masterpieces.
Big smiles. The biggest smiles as they stare into the mirror. Smiles that last all day.
Carefully washing foreheads and cheeks at bedtime to avoid smearing any of the treasured paint.
The sweetness of my sleeping children. Tired from a long day of pony rides, face painting, and sunshine.
Pink glitter softly sparkles in the twilight.
Fairies, unicorns, and rainbows dancing through their dreams.
Happy in the thought that there is another fair next weekend.