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Pedaler’s Jamboree: Our Sound Needs Some More Mustard

May 31, 2010

After a long afternoon of playing golf and drinking beer, then helping paint a house with my sister, we found ourselves finishing the day with a friend and his almost-two-year-old daughter watching the sun set as Split Lip Rayfield brought their unique brand of bluegrass to the old Kemper Military School parade ground. Boonville’s own W.J.’s Restaurant provided liquid refreshments: $2.50 Miller Lite 16 oz cans and $3.00 beers from Boulevard Brewing Co. along with other local vendors who were selling food. Other participants, assuming they were bikers, barbecued around the edges of the field near their tents.

The venue was separated from 3rd street, which runs directly in front of the Kemper school buildings, so the activity in the back was completely obscured except for the extra foot traffic that was noticed off street. The field and accompanying hills were littered with tents like the tip-tops of hot air balloons. Children, adults, and teenagers were wandering around, some carrying towels either to the YMCA pool or showers. Some bikes were being ridden around the grounds, but most were resting or stowed on racks attached to SUV trailer hitches in the few gravel parking lots. It smelled like hickory smoke and fresh cut grass and humidity. Some faint sounds of music came from the stage off in the distance as the sound techs set up the sound as we made our way toward the stage and the increasing edge of shade.

I came to find out that it was the twentieth celebration of the Katy Trail, a railroad converted into a cross-state walking and biking trail. Once part of the larger Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the section Missouri section of the Katy has become a sense of pride and source of recreation for many, many Missouri residents and tourists over the past twenty years. The celebration was part of the Pedaler’s Jamboree and Katy Trail Celebration Ride and Torch Relay.

Since I grew up for most of my life with the Katy Trail a few hundred feet out my backdoor, I found it sort of embarrassing that I had not found out about the festival–but most of Boonville seemed to either not know or not care, because there were only a handful, if that, of people in attendance that I had ever seen before. One person happened to be the ex-mayor of Columbia, MO, whom I had only seen on television prior, and the other, besides the vendors selling beer and pizza, was a good friend whom I attended Williams Woods University with as an undergraduate, who had come in from Kansas City for a few days with her boyfriend.

Needless to say, it was an interesting and beautiful evening with my sister and friend and about six 16 oz cans of Miller Lite. Below are couple videos of the event. The girl dancing would not stop. From the moment the show started, she was dancing or shuffling through the grass taking pictures, so she made the clip a few times to hopefully add to the feel of the event. It was heavy on the children and skimpy on the hippie crowd, perfectly Americana as Wayne Gottstine described it, but with tattoos, as Eric Mardis added, both from Split Lip Rayfield.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 1:44 pm

    Not sure how I just got around to viewing this but YESSS I made the blog! So good to see you!

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