Three Oaks hosted Inside Out on Saturday, July 30th. The festival consisted of many of the Elm Street proprietors showing their wares, plus spaces for games, creative outlets for the kids, and live music. Three Oaks makes an effort to create a community, bringing the various residents out to experience the festival together. The festival also brought many visitors from communities closer to the lake and even from Chicago.
One of my favorite spots was the drum circle and accompanying percussion making area. Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man made homemade shakers, and eventually Monkey Man joined the drum circle. There were a few stalwart drummers who braved the heat for many minutes, while other drummers dropped in and out to get a feel for the impromptu music making. The circle became so popular and exuberant that dancing spontaneously erupted inside the circle.Despite the heat, we wandered the full length of the festival, investigating the books for sale outside the town library (and buying two). Gorilla Girl chose a box full of beads and strung her own necklace. We stopped by the tent where crowns were being made to support the Ms. Three Oaks competition. Monkey Man made a purple crown and Gorilla Girl a red (or pink, depending on the light). We visited our neighbors at Re-Imagine (and looked longingly at the pink mirror).We even stopped in at the Dewey Canon Winery and Brewery, but because we were with MM and GG didn’t stay for the wine tasting. It looked inviting, and we planned to return after perusing the menu.
It was hot, and we were cooled by sweet lemonade, enjoyed by both Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man. Of course, no street festival in the summer is complete without sandcastle building and Inside Out didn’t disappoint.
We ran into some Chicago friends at the festival, and they stopped by to visit us at home before they made the trip back to the city. They also have a home near the lake in New Buffalo, and as we talked, it was clear that they were enamored with the idyllic life in Three Oaks. They noted, “Three Oaks tries harder — the festivals, events, theater, and restaurants make this a place where people want to come.”