15 September 2014

A Sticky Story

This past Saturday I was at Sandbanks New Waves music festival, providing some children's programming. Between painting murals and helping make puppets, I took a quick break to go to the beach. You see, our annual Festival of the Stick was on Sunday, and I thought we could use a few more sticks. The beach is a great source for sun-bleached, bark-stripped sticks, and within a couple of minutes, I'd loaded up my arms with a bounty. I headed towards the parking lot, taking a shortcut along a narrow path through the sand dunes. I was almost there, when lo and behold, two policemen were walking straight towards me. I smiled as they approached; I knew they were looking for people doing less-than-legal things away from the main festival site. But I was not to get off so easily. "You're not supposed to take sticks from a provincial park" one of them said, "It's part of the ecosystem." Uh, whoops. "Do you want me to put them back?" I asked, still smiling. "No, you can just throw them in the bushes here." I did as I was told, but I held out the other treasure I'd found. "Am I allowed to keep this?" I asked.

My treasure
The cop admired my find, speculating that the jawbone was probably from a deer. "We'll pretend we didn't see you with that," he said, and we went in our separate directions. 

Thankfully, when Sunday rolled around we weren't faced with a stick shortage, because those who attended Stickfest were well aware of the cost of admission: one stick. Two by two and four by four, they pulled in to Small Pond, got out of their cars and climbed off their bikes, approaching the Museum of the Stick with sticks in hand.

Wood carving from Ghana depicting women making Fufu with... big sticks 
We had lots of new acquisitions to the Stick Museum this year, including many sticks in our International Collection. I wonder how many were acquired in less-than-legal means...

Young and old enjoyed perusing the museum, and enjoying the classic Stickfest activities of stick painting, and stick-snack eating. Dogs frolicked with sticks, kids ran back and forth to the silo, and people had the opportunity to try out stilt-walking.

It was a glorious day, filled with friends, laughter, and lots and lots of sticks. Our museum will be up for the next few weeks; if you'd like to check it out, just get in touch. We always welcome donations to our permanent collection if you've got a special stick that needs a home. Until next year, remember to stick with love...

- Martin Luther King Jr.

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