After the parade fiasco we chose to skip a little bit of the cultural show. This would give us time to tuck our coats away and be a bit more comfortable, and less clumsy, at the show. We got some cookies, and some tickets for the many raffles held. Last year, we kept having every number around our ticket block picked for prizes. This year, none of that. None of the numbers were anywhere near ours. The prizes were, apart from an iPad given away as the final prize, apparently all from a restaurant's surplus shop. Some of the prizes were wrapped up, some not. Many were slow cookers. One, a huge box picked early, was three slow cookers in a single box. Apparently you can just go out and buy three slow cookers in one package, in case you ever need to. They also had the opposite of slow cookers, deep fryers. They were kept on opposite sides of the stage, lest they fight. Also there were some heating pads. One kid, coming up for his prize, tried to take a bundle of balloons instead of the heating pad. We wouldn't blame him for taking a bundle of mylar balloons instead of a heating pad.
The show was briefer than last year, and shorter than the year before. Of course two years ago the show went on for nearly twelve days. They may be getting better at scheduling; it ran roughly two hours and didn't have any obvious confusing patches. There was still room for confusion, though: some of the shows appeared to be rearranged from the program. The woman who last year sang ``Edelweiss'' for some reason was on the schedule again, but didn't appear this time. There is just something we never quite understand about the show, and that is part of why we don't want to miss it.
One of the last performances, and a most charming one, made use of the balloons that the kid had tried to go home with. It started as a straightforward duet. One of the performers receded, and put on a gorilla mask, which makes sense considering the year of the monkey and all that. And used the balloons as something to toss out, at a few parts of the show, and pull back. The effect was of confetti or fireworks, finely visual.
The show ended early enough that there was enough time to wander around the crafts tables. We found the stands with that paper you scrape wax off to see the rainbows underneath, and did our best making a couple lanterns that evoked the Year of the Monkey. We used monkey logos on stuff they'd given us as reference. And then suddenly they were packing up the tables.
Trivia: During his tenure as pontifex maximus, Julius Caesar neglected (except once) to add the intercalated months necessary to keep the Roman calendar nearly on track with the sun. His errors
assed added nearly two months' discrepancy between the calendar and the sun.
Source: The Calendar: The 5000-Year Struggle To Align The Clock And The Heavens --- And What Happened To The Missing Ten Days, David Ewing Duncan. (To be fair to Caesar, he was busy with the whole civil war during much of that time.)
Currently Reading: Michigan History, January/February 2016. Editor Patricia Majher.