I saw hot air balloons as I walked Duke. My neighbors are obviously show offs and I’m inviting myself to ride in their hot air balloons soon. Seriously, how cool is that?! Anyways…..
Ever since I stepped foot in Mount Dora, since day one, people have gone on and on about the Craft Festival. Folks were saying that hundreds of thousands people would visit this itty bitty town over the weekend. The actual number that’s been thrown around is 200,000. It’s not that I thought the people were being deceitful, I just couldn’t imagine that many people fitting in downtown Mount Dora. Did I mention that Mount Dora’s population is 12,655? WELP, THEY WEREN’T LYING! Five blocks was a sea of people, just like the picture above. Even though there was an abundance of people, I didn’t run into one nasty person. You know what else was nice? I didn’t hear profanity, no one was drunk, and everyone was pretty happy. Now, I don’t run around like a nun, but I’m used to going to the mall, or out in general and people say repulsive things in front of children or the elderly. People from all walks of life showed up to this event, which was another thing I appreciated.
Let me back track a bit. I’m going to start off with the parking situation. I’m under the age of thirty and don’t have a disability, so I didn’t think that I needed to take the shuttle bus or park near the festivities. I parked by my old condo, which is four blocks away from 5th Ave (main area). It wasn’t a big deal. Finding a spot was rather easy. I parallel parked in front of a home, which is allowed in downtown Mount Dora, as long as you don’t park where there are No Parking Signs or blocking driveways. This was the second time in my life that I’ve ever parallel parked. I am every stereotype you can think of too.
Here is the first tent that I approached. From far away, they looked like Paról, Filipino Christmas Lanterns. It turns out, they were puzzle lamps, and not really my style.
There were heaps of food vendors that sold Funnel Cakes, Gyros, Arepas, etc. I couldn’t get pictures of them, or most booths because of the amount of people. Over four hundred vendors brought their goods to the festival. Many of them were artists. Even though I was in a sea of talent, nothing really moved me. The day before, I got my hair done and my stylist asked if I was attending the “Crap Festival”. Keep in mind, he’s also under the age of thirty. We’re very modern, and very simple. I didn’t want to go into the festivities with a negative mindset, so I pulled out $100 in cash hoping to buy a piece, hoping to start a tradition. I’m disappointed that I didn’t find anything. Next year might be another story!
Here is the Capital Bee Company of Savannah, Georgia.
You could sample their delicious raw honey
Everyone was so nice, I really enjoyed talking to them.
This is what won me over, Raw Handcut Honeycomb. The girl mixed it with apple or cheese, I chose cheese. It was to die for, so I bought a honeycomb. I’d like to make note that “honey” used to gross me out as I child. I thought it was vile. Well, it turns out that the crap that my mom purchased from the store was basically cooked sugar. Please try raw organic honey, it’s life changing. There’s so many health benefits too.
Another random shot of the sea of people. I believe this was from 5th Ave/Alexander.
WINE JELLY! It was tasty, but I wasn’t moved. Next!
Do you see the guy wearing the Kool-Aid shirt in the pic above? One year, we bought my brothers and cousins in Philly Kool-Aid shirts because we would yell “OH YEAH!” “KOOL!” every other second. We are an annoying bunch.
I had so much fun at the Hey Mon! booth. Naturally, I asked to sample their hottest sauce and had a field day. It was just right, it was like I was back in the Caribbean. I often find myself in this scenario: Picture me eating hot sauce, laughing it up, and talking. Groups of people always come around, try the same sauce and choke. When I was in the Bahamas eating Roti, this lady from ATL tried the hot sauce I ate and she was mad at me. The same thing happened at this booth, ha ha! Hey Mon! had very tasty mild sauces too, but I love heat. The owner was from Trinidad, the best sauces I’ve had were made by Trinis. In fact, the best Roti I’ve ever had was from a lovely lady from Trinidad. I bought his special hot sauce, a ginger beer (non-alcohol beverage), and sorrel (hibiscus) drink. I believe this company is in Tampa, FL. You know what else I love about Hey Mon! ? His products are Fresh From Florida. LOVE!
I had a nice time at the Mount Dora Fall Craft Festival even though I didn’t buy any crafts or art. I’ll most definitely attend next year. I’m overjoyed that this little city has visitors and vendors from all over the world, it truly fills my heart. I hope that everyone who was a part of this event enjoyed themselves and come back next year!