Neither rain nor shine or dead of cold will prevent these dedicated kids from attending Grundy County Corn Fest.
The day starts off sunny and warm, yet every weatherman in Chicago is predicting rain and wind gust exceeding 40 mph around 2:00 pm. The first show is a little windy, but nothing that prevents me from performing, but as the day went on, the weather turned. The clouds thickened, you could smell the rain in the air. When I checked the radar, I was located at the cusp of a large green blob, with a dash of red inside the green and I had a 1:30 balloon show.
Time to toss a tarp on the equipment, sit back and read my Kindle, the afternoon performance has a very good chance of being rained out. I just had to sit tight for about an hour and the storm would pass and the rest of the week was rain free.
As I sat, protected from the steady rain, I noticed a lady in a red poncho heading towards the stage. She turns around and heads back. “You got to be kidding me”, I thought. That can’t be a school showing up for the 1:30 show. It’s raining, windy, the bleachers are drenched, the sound system is covered in a tarp, the stage is not covered, and it’s raining steadily. And to my surprise here comes a group of little kids marching towards me with rain coats, umbrellas, and a group of adults in tow.
Well its tradition for local schools to have field trips to the festival and this year’s rain and wind wasn’t going to stop this school. As I look around I see only one spot that was dry and sheltered enough to do an improved balloon show.
So huddled under a couple trees, rain dripping from the leaves, I proceed to entertain 25 dedicated kids and adults who came out to see Magical Balloon-dude Dale. Each child was included in the show and they left happy and wet, but for this school, the tradition of coming to the Grundy County Corn Festival was not lost just because of wind and rain.