Well, at least the food was edible.
My retired parents flew into Dubuque to see us. I thought Taste of Dubuque would be a great event to wind down after a day of travelling. That the kids could get ‘kid food’, like pizza, and the grown ups could get other food.
I had been warned, however, that it was geared towards drinkers. I waved this off, though, figuring we’d be ok. There was a kids area, right?
Well, once we found the trolley stop (not one trolley stop downtown was marked), we chugged over to the festival. The kids area was a bouncy castle, and…I guess some sort of putt game and a fishing game. Not too much, but a nod to families, I suppose. I think there was a ‘sucker wheel’ or something, too. Well, we weren’t there for games so the lack of kid’s activities was acceptable.
Of course, we had to do a bathroom run, which was firmly in BEER STAND TERRITORY. Still, no lines, clean, limited smell, and nice hand sanitizer stand right there. Then we went back to get food.
There were lines everywhere, which was encouraging. The food was typical fair/festival stuff, I thought perhaps some of the restaurants would use this as a chance to show off, even outdoors, and have something a bit more unique. Coming from NYC, though, we’re a bit hard to impress, to be honest.
Then my parents took the kids to look for a table and some chairs (which you think would be standard at a festival all about FOOD), and I spied a pepsi stand. Strange, honestly, that the individual stands didn’t also sell drinks.
You needed a ticket, a beverage ticket, even for soda. Or water. You couldn’t just buy it. I can understand needing the control for the alcohol, but can’t you give non drinkers a break? I guess not. I was not willing to go on TWO lines for a drink, so I went to find my family.
Well, they were under a tent (the only shade available), sitting on the ground. A gaggle of volunteers had a group of seats, while my parents sat in the dirt. I don’t mind my kids sitting in the dirt, but I really think that volunteers are there to help the general public, and the tourists, and letting an older retired couple sit on the ground is pretty appalling. I was embarassed for my new city that they could just sit there and do that. I really think that the only reason people volunteer is for the free t-shirts (which are usually pretty entertaining).
Eventually a different group of people got up, and we got to sit. No tables, but we sat. We then left the festival, and let me tell you, my dad’s back was still in agony the next day. (In a forum on the thonline website someone said you are expected to bring your own seating. I did not see one person carrying their own seat around.)
I think the Dubuque Historical Society has something to do with this, but I’m not sure. If that’s the Mississippi River Museum people, the ones that don’t like disabled people going to their museum (which is why we didn’t renew our membership — we’re not welcome), then I guess I’m not suprised.
Dubuque looks really, really ugly right now. In NYC, my parents would have been offered a seat. For all that they say about rude New Yorkers, this festival was one big exercise in rudeness.
But hey, the beer drinkers were happy. Beer makes this city go round.