Today I went to Magnolia, Arkansas for the "Magnolia Blossom Festival," and I also took a bike ride.
I left my house about 6am and got to Magnolia about 7:45.
As I pulled into Magnolia I realized that this was a bigger event than I had thought, my route into town was blocked by 300 to 400 runners. I turned around and made my way to the Southern Arkansas University football field where I parked my truck. I proceeded to get my bike out and get everything ready for the ride. I left town about 8am, on schedule. I left town on Hwy 61 east and in a few miles I came to the hwy 38 cut off which I took. I was pleasantly surprised to find no traffic on these roads as I pedaled east to hwy 98. Once I reached hwy 98 I headed south to the small town of Village, kind of a Redneck feel to the place. I stopped for a break at an old store in Village, long since closed. After a break I headed toward Magnolia on hwy 36, still good roads and no traffic, perfect riding conditions. I don't know how I missed it but I was going to take hwy 25 south but somehow I went right passed it and ended up taking 36 all the way back to town.
As I pulled back into Magnolia on hwy 82 I ran into a roadblock, the parade was going on, a nice cocky policeman directed me to another route to the town square, I finally made it.
Before I made this trip I asked several folks about the Festival but no one I talked to had been so I figured it probably wasn't to large, I was wrong, the place was really happening.
I found me a spot in the middle of the action in the shade where I could sit and people watch. There was a lot of people to watch, very interesting, I also talked to a couple who had won 3rd place in the "World Championship Steak Cookoff," several years earlier but the lady told me now they like to have their steaks at home in the air-conditioning. I didn't realize the "World Championship Steak Cookoff" was such a big deal, there were 97 different entries in the cookoff and there were cookers everywhere, completely surrounding the square. I found some folks with a booth who let me leave my bike with them while I looked around and then after a bit I headed back to the truck and my return to Linden.
I had a great time and I will probably do this route next year with a few changes now that I realize how grand an affair it is.
See you in Magnolia, Arkansas next year