I think I am getting old. I remember things when they were something more than mindless entertainment. Not that there is anything wrong with mindless entertainment. I watch some pretty mindless television and partake in some fairly mindless reveries here on this blog. They have their place. And I am sure the National Orange Show (Now the National Orange Show Festival has it's place.
But let's not call it the National Orange Show at all.
I went with a friend this afternoon on the last day of the festival. We could count the homages to orange and the Inland Empire's citrus heritage on one hand. There was an art exhibit hall tucked away in a building far from the fun-seeking crowd. You really had to look for it. Really hard. It was very nice, high-tone almost. It even had a display celebrating the history of the Orange Show complete with a video showing the Orange Show's history of the decades since it began in 1911. This must have been very sad for anyone who remembers the shows of years past. Because this NOS had no resemblance to anything in years past.
It was carnival pure and simple. Maybe if you stretch the meaning of the word, it might be called a festival...but not in my humble opinion. There were rides galore, game aplenty, carny food booths with deep friend Oreos, Snickers and Bananas (no oranges), and few (very few) vendors displaying their wares and about six animals on display.
The crowd was made up of families and young people mostly, having fun and being very orderly. They had better be. We had to go through a security checkpoint where we were patted down and any of our bags searched and we had to empty our pockets. I guess such is life in the age of wars on terror...especially in San Bernardino. And I do appreciate their due diligence in trying to make the event safe and sane for all us. I do. I really truly do.
Sadly, though, I remember the Orange Shows of years ago. There were rides and such, but they were a supplement to the citrus exhibit, vendor halls, entertainment meant for a cross-section of audiences and the like. I can see why they cut it to four days. Budget or whatever, it not worth more than one visit...at least for this jaded old curmudgeon.
Yet I did get some fun shots of kids and adults having a blast and I guess that is the point. That is what a festival or carnival should provide. But don't call it the National Orange Show...with nary an orange in sight (except in that art hall exhibit I mentioned earlier). I guess I am stuck in tradition. I fear I am obsolete. I know I will not be going back to this event any time soon. It's just not my cup of tea. I wonder if the kids today would not what that expression means? Gee, I am getting old.