It’s coming! When I drove through town this morning, I saw American flags being put up on lamp posts, Stumptown Park getting set up for concerts, and town employees making sure everything is in working order. Yep, Labor Day Weekend is the biggest deal of the year for my town of Matthews. The Matthews Alive Festival attracts around 200,000 people.
I wrote a post months ago about the Matthews Police’s role in this event, which takes months of planning and coordination with other agencies to make sure it goes off without a hitch. This post is about the festival goers, and yes, they come in all shapes and sizes. They show up on Friday night, mostly to let the kids have fun on the carnival rides, or they want to devour the food — everything from funnel cakes, kettle korn, barbeque, to every flavor of ice cream you can dream up. Personally, I like the concerts. People bring their lawn chairs or blankets and listen to shag music, country, or traditional rock. There is even a dance “floor” up front if you like to get sand between your toes in the makeshift beach. You know the saying: Dance as if no one is watching. Well, everyone is watching because sometimes it’s just a riot to see some folks shake their booty. But it’s all in fun. The young and old alike mix it up to the beat of the music.
Friday night is just a sample of what’s in store for the weekend. Saturday morning is the big kickoff with a parade complete with floats, bands, politicians plus beauty queens waving from convertibles, and clowns handing out candy.
The Matthews Alive Festival is a good way to kiss the summer goodbye and open your arms to embrace the start of fall. I hope everyone enjoys this good old American holiday which actually has the wrong name. Shouldn’t it be called No Labor Today? Of course, for some it’s all hands on deck including police, medics, and firefighters. If your town or city doesn’t have a festival this weekend, maybe you could check out my little southern town of Matthews near Charlotte. Check it out at www.matthewsalive.org