festinate.

[v. fes-tuh-neyt; adj. fes-tuh-neyt, -nit]

verb (used with object), verb (used without object),festinated, festinating.

  1. to hurry; hasten.

adjective

  1. hurried.

The town of Ketchum has been gearing up for a Wagon Days Festival. But hurried and hastened it is not.  “Meandering musicians” litter the town. They have to dodge 200 or so camp chairs that have already been set up on the sidewalks for tomorrow’s Wagon Days Parade, the largest non-motorized parade in the Northwest.

I meandered to the Ore Wagon Museum to witness the “Cowboy Poet Story Swap” because how could I miss that? I was the only gal under the age of sixty who got the memo. One cowboy’s poem was so moving, there wasn’t a dry eye in the chilly cabin, even his own.

In front of me, a woman in a frayed leather jacket was knitting a sweater with quiet wooden needles. The man next to her wore a button-up with an elk embroidered on the back. Big cowboy hats obscured my view. This all made me think, how did I get here?

A cowboy poet approached the microphone; he had his cane tied to his belt loop. Public speaking was not his specialty and I made sure to smile at him when he looked my way to provide a bit of encouragement.

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On Saturday, coffee shop lines were full of people in scarves and hats as folks geared up to watch the parade. Amidst all the chairs that had been there for hours and hours I find a poll to lean against that was in the sunshine with the mountains in the background. My pumpkin spice latte is getting cold because it’s a really chilly 55 degrees. The announcer loudly states, “Hold on to your cowboy hats, ladies and gentlemen! That parade will start in less than an hour. But the streets are still open. Be careful. Be like this gentleman in front of me in the bright yellow jacket. Way to go, sir. Have you ever been to a Kenny Roger’s concert?”

He rambles on. The people watching is the top-notch. Everyone is so thin, zipping from one place to another on their bikes or with kids on their hips. It’s chilly so puffy vests are a plenty. One dad rides with two little toddlers in a cart behind him and they look impossibly cute in their helmets and covered in blankets.

As I am writing notes on my phone, a guy about my age walks up to his dad and says, “Dad, here’s Governor Schwarzenegger.” I figure he’s kidding until I hear Arnold’s voice. His friend asks if he’s been shooting much skeet lately and Arnold’s response is, “they only shooting I’ve done has been on the movie sets!”

He isn’t a tall man; but he wears a tall cowboy hat, an over-sized belt, and big boots. He shakes everyone’s hands, introduces his lady friend, and tells them he hopes to see them soon. I sit about three feet away and just gawk.

The parade begins and it’s the most charming parade I’ve ever seen. The horses are stunning. They do poop a lot, wherever and whenever they wish. Luckily, there are good looking hockey players skating around with shovels to pick it all up.

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Kids wave from their wagons. Adults wave. I wave back. The lady next to me, one of Arnold’s friends, asks if I would like part of her sandwich. This town is special. The festivate without festinating.

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