Yesterday was the last day of the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival -- the second of these festivals that we've been open for. This is a weekend-long reggae and world music festival attracting thousands of very colorful people to our small town. The streets are parked up, people with dreadlocks and more colors on together than I have in my entire closet walking around, and the intermittent smell of fried foods and weed wafts through town.
I do enjoy reggae - it's nice to open up the winery windows on a nice weekend and listen to the music. And I don't begrudge anyone the right to come enjoy a 3-day concert and have a good time. However, the presence of several thousand new-age hippes and reggae enthusiasts makes for terrible business, and that's when I begin to feel like the curmudgeonly full-time resident of a tourist town.
They serve great food inside the fairgrounds, along with beer and wine. Therein lies a problem -- our local restaurants do a terrible business during the weekend because festival attendees eat and drink inside and locals don't go out in Boonville because there's no place to park. Wineries here in town sell little wine because who wants to pack a bottle around and have it sit at your campsite in the summer sun? But plenty of people want to taste - only if it's free, of course. And the music's good, but when 1 a.m. comes along and your bed is vibrating with the drums, then it's not so fun anymore.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but it's an interesting study in human behavior and a chance for us to decide if it's worth being open next year or if we should close on Sunday so we can enjoy Father's Day too. Chances are we might. But for right now I'm sighing in relief because, so far, no one's vomited in the bathroom (yes, that happened last year), and I see cars streaming out of town in long lines. That means that tomorrow morning I can actually get a dark chocolate mocha at Mosswood without waiting in line for an hour (vendors shut down last night). Hooray!