Last weekend we all were able to experience a tradition which builds community and reenforces local economy. Applefest is an amazingly personal experience for the city of La Crescent and a great place to show the uniqueness of our city.
I was able to make it down this year, as I live in Minneapolis, to witness for the 25th time, this magical event. I enjoyed the moments with family members, friends, and community members. I took the opportunity to indulge and take in the festivities. While doing so I noticed a lack of local trade goods (no local beers, no local foods, all outsourced to big time corporate companies) and an abundance of products from outside of the coulee region. I am a huge fan of coming home and going to Applefest, and stimulating local economy and such, but it is hard to do so while paying for mediocre product which is available nationwide. It feels good to buy local, indulge local, and pay for product which comes from my area.
The best part about being home was I going to Leidel’s Apple stand and picking up some Hoch Family Honeycrisp Apples, I love an organic apple company that exists within a 20 mile radius of my hometown. It makes me confident that La Crescent is still progressive, and still the Apple Capital, in some ways. Possibly, the problem with stimulating a small town economy and creating job growth opportunities may be that there aren’t a lot of real life, hometown, businessmen willing to go the extra mile, and invest in what’s around them, rather than buying elsewhere and importing. Maybe they would rather outsource for financial purposes. Next year I hope to see more local product around the festgrounds. We all need a little taste of La Crescent.
(I would like to give a special thanks to Kurt A. for bringing this idea to mind. Without his mention of the lack of local beers within the beer tent I would have possibly been too drunk to remember what was said. Thanks, and Cheers to drinking locally.)