A few awesome friends of mine have a longstanding Labor Day weekend tradition of getting their asses down to Schlitterbahn before we settle in for a, short and mediocre "winter." No matter the motive, it's a trip well worth a few hours flying south down Interstate 35 on a Friday.
This morning, one of the aforementioned posted a short quip on Facebook alluding to a billboard boasting an Oatmeal Festival. Yes, oatmeal. Off I went to the Google.
It exists. The Oatmeal Festival is a collaborative effort between the city of Bertram and Oatmeal, Texas. Apparently, Oatmeal is considered an unincorporated community, meaning they aren't recognized as an official city. The festival is an annual silly attempt by Bertram to help put their neighbors on the map. Lost? Me too. Bertram (and Oatmeal) are right outside of Austin. If you leave now, you could probably catch the tail end of the opening night festivities. I am so tempted.
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The 35th annual Oatmeal Festival starts at promptly 5:03 p.m. (more on that later) with a barbecue dinner at the Oatmeal Community center; once you're full of 'cue and the clock strikes 6:33 p.m., head on over to the Miss Oatmeal pageant. Ladies, the fun doesn't stop there because the cake auction will be fast approaching once Miss Oatmeal is crowned.
The festival is sponsored by Three Minutes Brand Oats, which explains why each event starts at three minutes past the hour. In addition to a pageant, other attractions include a Cow Chip Kick Off (kicking cow shit for distance!), Egg Toss, Oatmeal Box Stacking (I'm getting in the car), Goat Pill Popping (seriously, I will pick you up at work) and a Washer Tourney. There is no way this won't be awesome. Oh, and there's a parade. About oatmeal. With floats and costumes and goats and children and animals wearing clothes and animals wearing oats.
The pièce de résistance: Grits are banned inside the festival. But that won't stop a masked man in a cape who walks around during the parade tempting children with grits; they call him the Grits Guzzler.
I fully support Bertram's position that Oatmeal should be on the map. Mostly because I want to go to there. Tonight.