Oktoberfest in the Depot District

As a photographer I have a bias toward encouraging any activity that might help create a photograph. If I had the choice of any, it would have to be a street festival where the community would participate and music would fill the warm air. Indiana weather is also not like weather in California where there are really only two seasons: dry and wet. From June through September, Indiana can have thunderstorms on Thursday, heat and humidity on Friday, and Saturday may be glorious and wonderful. This was almost what we have experienced this last week (without the humidity) and just in time for the Depot District’s Oktoberfest, the weather was perfect. Richmond Baking must have been making shortbread cookies too, so besides blue skies and 70 degrees, we had the sweet smell of animal crackers wafting through the streets.

Music, flowers, books, arts and crafts… local organizations all had booths, the Depot stores were open, and everyone had the chance to meet up with friends. In a town where everyone is a relation or friend there are a number of people I have missed seeing. So besides the chance to make photographs of kids enjoying the trains the Railroaders had running, or kids getting their faces painted, or kids eating ice cream out of waffle cones, I was able to ask County Commissioners and City Officials informally those brief nagging questions that bothered me. These were issues that were not worth a call or travel to their office during business hours, but were easily addressed in the street with friends under a wide open sky.

And then there was food. I vicariously enjoyed the ice cream (until I lose 50 pounds it is off limits) and sandwiches and kielbasa and slaw and barbeque, but did indulge in the wraps at the Co-op table that were assembled by chef Jen Ferrell of “Who Cooks for You?”
It was an amazingly beautiful day; a party where we all were invited to enjoy the gift that we all shared: living in Richmond.

As I wandered home at dusk, I passed the Depot that has sat neglected for three decades and is now being restored, and I heard the band playing at Rick Parker’s beer garden across the street. A hundred grown-ups were dancing and laughing and singing together in the streets of Richmond’s Depot District and I realized they were dancing to the “Hokey Pokey”.

A few photos from the event are posted at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/richmond-in/

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One Response to “Oktoberfest in the Depot District”

  1. […] can read Jim’s full blog post. blogs, community, depot district, festival, Oktoberfest, reflection, […]

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