Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hootin' and Hollarin' 2008

What happens the third weekend in the small rural town of Gainesville, Missouri (population 595) every year?

Hootin' and Hollarin'!

What, you may ask, is Hootin' and Hollarin'?

Hootin'-and-Hollarin'--an annual festival, started in 1960, that celebrates the Irish heritage of many of the residents in Gainesville, Missouri. The hill country arts and craft festival features float and costume parades, square dancing, old time music, outhouse and bed races, hog-calling contests and more.

Growing up in this rural community, I learned to value blue grass music and good community and family celebrations. Hootin' and Hollarin' provides an annual homecoming for those of us who graduated and moved away. Each year we can go back and be assured we will see many former classmates, family, and friends.

Each evening, Thursday through Saturday, from 9:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. large groups of people assemble...some to watch, some to dance, and some just to enjoy the music. I love watching the older men as they pull up a piece of plywood and clog, their feet shuffling in quick movements unexpected for men their age. Young and old gather on large square wooden skids so that the pounding feet of the square dancers can be heard. It's neat to watch each age group of dancers add in a younger one or two so that they can learn from the older generation.

Check out the video (above) and some pictures (below) so you can enjoy it, too.(if you look close, you can see the "Hillbilly Funnel Cakes" stand and the float that has an outhouse with a person sitting inside. We have a sense of humor about our cultural heritage. :)
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