All these years (four) of Tulip Timing, and I have never been to the Market! Most of the Tulip Time activities are centered around the Town Square, and although many people have recommended that I visit the Market three blocks west of the square, I have never done so.

Yesterday, while Jeremy, Liberty and I ate supper (Kimmie was off gallivanting with some friends), our pastor walked by with a bottle of "Grandpa's Homemade Elixir." I asked him what it was, and he informed me that it was HOMEMADE ROOT BEER!!!!!!

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot pass up homemade root beer! "Where did you get that?" I eagerly inquired.

"At the Market."

I looked SIGNIFICANTLY at Jeremy, who immediately understood my non-verbal communication. MUST GO NOW!

I left my cheese-fries and beef burger behind and jumped straight up off the picnic table bench.

Just kidding. I would never leave cheese-fries behind.

Once we finished eating (and hosed off Liberty) we walked waddled to the Market. When we arrived three hours later (What? You don't eat fifty different fried foods when there's a party in town?) we were astonished at all of the booths, activities and FOOD that we had never found before.

Jackpot! Jeremy hissed to me as we passed a CHEESE CURDS booth. There aren't ANY cheese curd booths on the Square (and they call this Iowa)! We had been puzzling over this missing booth for FOUR YEARS, and now we find out that it has been in the Market all this time. We did more wandering, finding more and more wonderful booths, until without warning, many of the tents started tying down their flaps.

"What's going on?" I asked one owner. "Closing time," he responded.

"Closing time?" I turned to Jeremy, "But it's only 8:00! The night is young!"

"So is our daughter," he pointed to Liberty who had been running non-stop all day long. She was leaning back in her stroller, content to view the world through half-closed eyelids.

"Impressive. Now, if we only had Tulip Time every day..." I wished. "But I haven't found the homemade root beer, yet."

I stopped to ask a nearby booth-manager if he knew where the root beer was. "Oh, somewhere off that way," he gestured vaguely. "At the complete opposite corner of the Market."

"Oh well," Jeremy gave up quickly. "We'll never get there in time."

"Oh yes we will!"

I waddled faster.

We arrived at the booth just in time to find a cleaned off table and tent flaps going down on all sides.

"Wait!" I cried out, and reached imploring hands towards the proprietor. "I heard you had homemade root beer."

"That's right," he said proudly. "And we even have a homemade song to go with the root beer."

"What size would you like?" his wife chimed in.

Jeremy and I looked at each other. "Give me the biggest size you've got!" I stated boldly.

"Oh no!" I heard Jeremy groan under his breath. The lady laughed. "We have a two gallon jug for $32.25. Are you sure that's what you want?"

"Oh. Uh, no." We ended up buying two large glass bottles with really cool stoppers for $5.00 each. And while the lady and her brother filled the bottles from a keg, the husband serenaded us with an opera-like rendition of his homemade song and its several verses. His voice had great projection, and many passers-by stopped to stare. I loved it!

We are definitely going back today for a re-fill on our bottles and to explore the rest of the Market that we've missed out on all these years.
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1 Response
  1. What fun! We had homemade root beer in Amish country last summer and I think it was fermented! My hubby liked it:D

    Btw, thanks for visiting me this weekend while I've been in bed recovering. Your comments cheered me up!


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