Saturday, I took a (very long) detour on the way home from studying/coffee and walked through downtown Elgin’s Art & Soul on the Fox festival. It was fantastic! I had passed through the festival last year while out for a run, but hadn’t really stopped.
Booths lined Grove and Spring Streets, and DuPage Court held a stage and a variety of food and drink options. I bought a few pairs of earrings and almost bought a ring, before I remembered the pretty inlaid mother-of-pearl ring I bought in Istanbul on a similarly humid day that I’ve never been able to actually wear.
Besides the plethora of fun jewelry, there was a wide variety of art, from oils and photos to mirrors and pens and kitchenware. As I travel, I try to buy souvenirs that I can see or use daily. I have watercolors from San Francisco, clay puppets from Greece, painted frogs from Cancun, a little diorama from Krakow, a tile adorned with whirling dervishes from Istanbul… but I have nothing from the place I actually live. One of the artists helped me fix that, as Elginite Steve Sturgill had some great prints of local landmarks on display. I was struck by a print of the Tower Building, with bright hues that will look great in my living room. He also had some nice prints of Metra trains that are far better than any of my feeble attempts, so I picked up one, as well. He said the Elgin prints had been selling very well all day. How many other towns can do such brisk business selling photos of their landmarks? (Heck, how many towns have recognizable landmarks?)
While wandering, I ran into several friends and neighbors that I stopped to chat with, and I waved hello to several others. Live music wafted through the streets. Finally, I grabbed fresh squeezed lemonade for the walk home through brilliant sunshine.
It was hot and sticky, and I got home two hours later than planned, but it was a great summer Saturday. I’ll definitely go back next year.