Flying Kraut Ranzas

This past weekend my family went to my hometown to the 40th annual Odessa Deutschesfest. We swung through town a year ago but haven't been back to the Fest in many years. The Fest used to bring in close to 100,000 people during the weekend but for many years the attendance has gone down significantly. I think what draws in the most people is the Beer Garden. But since my mom doesn't live there anymore, we have no place to stay and don't even bother going in.

The parade starts at 10:00 so in order to get there early to park we had to leave home by 8:00 am. It was raining when we left but by the time we had the chairs set up in a prime spot, it was 75 and sunny. The parade route used to be 5 or more layers deep but this time there was barely one layer.

During a small town parade you will see the usual floats, marching bands, old cars, bikers, horses, Shriners, and pooper scoopers. I realize I have a new camera but I didn't put a whole lot of effort into these shots so they are a bit blurry. They  are moving targets, ya know.

What I've noticed for the first time is that the Princesses on the floats all dance now to choreographed bits along with the music. They're still strapped into their little doll stands, but the usual parade wave has been replaced by dancing. Wonder who started this?
Wilbur, the town and the pig
Dancing Girls 

These are not the front lines of the marching bands, they are the full bands. In one band that I don't have pictured, it is so small that one boy that can't even play trumpet had to march just to fill in the spaces. He just held the instrument, while others played. 

Odessa Marching Band
Ritzville Marching Band
Old cars from the Historical Society

Sounded like an old washing machine

He looks harmless
Cheered the most
And you know when the parade is almost over because they bring out the heavy farm equipment and the fire trucks.
Air conditioned cab, I'm sure

One of two trucks for the entire town

The best part of parades, or anyplace you go really, is the people watching. My daughter and I were watching this woman, obviously a Grandma, running into the street grabbing all the candy for her grand kids. It was really quite annoying watching her run up to the different entries just holding out her hands, like it was Halloween or something. I remarked to my daughter that she reminds me of what the girls from Jersey Shore are going to look like when they get old, with their fake tan and all. My daughter chimed in. "Yea, an old Snookie." So here we have Snookie in about 35 years.
An old Snookie is just as annoying as a young one
Now for the Flying Kraut Ranza part. After the parade we milled around a bit, saw a few people we knew and then decided to eat some of the local German food. Separate booths are set up so we grabbed a Cabbage Roll and a piece of Kuchen. We found a place to sit but I wanted to get a Kraut Ranza too. My daughter is such a picky eater we found her some Nachos. Really? Nachos at a German Fest, how sad.

On the way back to the table I stepped in a hole and fell, hard, on my hands and knees. I swear I saw stars. I didn't let go of my plate but the Kraut Ranza flew into the air and landed with a thud on the grass, just like I did. My head was spinning and I looked straight ahead at my daughter and husband while still on my hands and knees. My daughter just looks at me and continues to eat her Nachos. My husband doesn't even see me even though I am only about 15 feet away. I heard a voice to my left asking me if I was alright. No, idiot I'm still on the ground and no one has come to help scoop me up. Then I heard a woman also to the left say "It looks like she just came from the Beer Garden."

I looked at her with fire in my eyes and said "I stepped in a hole."

She looks at me horrified and said, "No, I was talking about my granddaughter who is just learning to walk."

I now see the little girl walking and was more embarrassed than ever. I again look at my husband and ask if he can come help me. Ohhhhh, he finally sees me and gets up to help. The whole thing probably spanned two minutes at the most but the humiliation felt like hours. I picked up my damn Kraut Ranza off the ground and went to sit down. The woman with the tipsy granddaughter came over to apologize and I said I was sorry too. 

The Ranza tasted like crap and if I had remembered how much I hated them, this whole scene could have been avoided.

It was then when I decided it was time to go and will probably never return to another Fest. We were home by 3:30 in the afternoon where I took Advil to ease my aching back and hips. Some days away from home just aren't worth it.


Grumpy said…
Just remember, a good story lasts longer than a good time. And that's a good one.
bill said…
Sometime these outings are fun; sometimes they are just so-so. What spurred my curiosity was the town where it is held: Odessa makes me wonder Odessa, Where? I'm not the smarted fish in the ocean but I have only heard of two, one in Russia, the other iTexas. You make me wish I still had a camera.
kden said…
Odessa Washington Bill. A small farming community with a population of about 1000, if they're lucky.
fernvalley01 said…
Aw nuts! that is just a sh*tty way to end an afternoon
Claire King said…
Oh kden, I adore your pics and posts. You are so real and emphatic about life. I am sorry about your spill and I think I cracked up more to know you ate the food that fell on the grass. Kraut is sauerkraut I gather but WTH is Ranza?
kden said…
Claire, I'm not sure what Ranza means since I failed German 101 miserably. But it's a biscuit type thing about 4 inches around and filled with a hamburger/kraut mixture. I like Kraut but they must use a spice or something that I don't like because they are very gross. The ingredients have also become very sparse over the years with maybe only a few tablespoons inside each one. I should have used it to stuff the hole that I tripped in.
Signe said…
You could have used Snookie's implants to fill in the hole...
Sorry about the trip though; I hate when an outing like that goes bad.

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