This year I learned something new, the legend of ‘Krampus’. According to the legend (and Wikipedia), Krampus is a half goat- half demon who during the Christmas season punishes children who have been bad. Over time the legend coupled Krampus with Saint Nicholas to encourage children to be good.
For a full description please see the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus
Krampus celebrations are a big deal in Germany, Austria and other countries in the region. This was the first I had seen any celebrations in the states, and while small, was entertaining.
The group gathered in the a parking lot in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus.
Noise makers and elaborate costumes were the order of the day.
Apparently the Grinch and Mrs Grinch fit the bill as well. The costumes were great.
Three horned ladies.
The legend says they use sticks to ‘whip the children into behaving’. Clearly not a 21st century approach.
The parade went down the sidewalk for about 3 blocks.
I behaved myself.
Another Krampus monster.
Mrs Claus has a new look, along with apparently a Clint Eastwood fan. Hopefully this celebration catches on and grows larger each year – it is a nice change from the repetitiveness of the usual Christmas celebrations and festivals.
December has brought the Chinese Lantern Festival back to town. Celebrating the art and craft of Sichuan, China, the lanterns are a beautiful combination of fabrics and light.
As you enter the grounds you are immediately greeted by a canopy of lanterns.
The displays are very large – the one below is approximately 50′ across by 15′ high.
Many dealt with wildlife, most coming from the Chinese Calendar.
More nature is celebrated with giant flowers.
The Lovers arches.
This year the entertainment was moved inside, avoiding the extreme cold that often occurs in December in Ohio. These young ladies had amazing agility and strength.
The face-changing actor was the only return act from last year – still amazing.
The plate spinners. While we don’t often repeat activities the Chinese Lantern Festival will be an annual event.
A ‘cyclocross’ (cross country bicycling racing) was held on a cold Sunday in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield. The event took place throughout the streets and fields of a park.
With teams from throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond the pits were filled with an impressive collection of tents, trucks and bikes while the technicians readied them for the races.
There were numerous classes, including this one the start of a multi-group female race. This race had under 23s and over 35s.
Miles of blue tape outlined the course up and down throughout the park.
Some racers were more bundled for the cold weather than others.
Famed baseball player Satchel Paige had a quote ‘don’t look back someone might be gaining on you’ – clearly she didn’t head his advice.
A sand pit results in some small jumps, although nothing like a BMX track would yield.
It did however cause some of the racers to get a bit off course.
Given Halloween is near a couple of riders dressed for the occasion, like the human taco.
A few got hung up on a small hill and had to dismount.
Racing to the finish.
Each year for 111 years the small Ohio town of Circleville has had a Pumpkin Show in October, where people from all over the region bring their giant pumpkins to be crowned king/queen of the show.
While there is much that is pumpkin themed in reality it is about 1000 fried food stands with 20,000 fried food people jammed along the streets. But still how can you not appreciate pumpkin art as a hamburger and fries.
Combining the two big events, the eclipse and pumpkins.
The winner, 1701 pounds of pumpkin.
And when you have spent all your cash on fried things, you get in the long line for the ATM for more money under the watchful eye of a giant blow up pumpkin.
The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio was the host for the annual Gourd Show. Apparently a lot of people like making art out of gourds. With the results it is obvious there are some skilled gourd-artist around.
There was also entertainment. While we were there a band called the ‘Rum River Blend’ played a mix of acoustic rock, bluegrass and folk. Their fiddle player, Carl, was 95 years old (he was the 1948 Ohio Fiddle Champion)!
Let’s give it up for Carl!
Easton is a very large ‘lifestyle center’ in Northeast Columbus. A lifestyle center is a shopping area built to resemble an actual town, with streets going through the shops, apartments and other less traditional mall features.
On Saturday they had a chalk art contest. We arrived early on Sunday morning before the stores (and therefore the people) arrived, giving plenty of opportunity for unobstructed views of the final work. The early morning shadows, however, proved to be tricky.
The art itself was excellent, with a variety of subjects and approaches to style.
The Columbus Zoo was sponsoring a car show, which seems a bit strange, but then again they do commercialize a lot of things.
The cars were quite nice, and with the water park and other amusement rides providing interesting backgrounds, it was a good day for a car show. Plus there were animals later.