Phoenixville, PA: I Love You, I Hate You
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Quick question: What bursts into flames and then regenerates?
Damn it, Spare! Shut up! I'm not talking about Dr. Who tonight. I'm talking about the Phoenix!
Ah, the Phoenix, the Phoenix! A supernatural creature that has never become bored! Sacred to the ancient deities, this bird that possesses magical powers, who dies by bursting into flame and then is born again from its own ashes, is immortality that would be bearable! All hail the mighty Firebird!
Way out on the western fringes of Philadelphia there's a little town called Phoenixville. As with many little suburban towns, it's always on the prowl for ways to bring in the tourist dollar.
One way that Phoenixville attracts the madding crowd is its summer Blobfest. Turns out the film "The Blob" was made there, and every summer the locals re-enact the famous "movie theater scramble" from the film. This is part of a weekend of Blob-related activities. And yes, my friends, this festival is already on the Johnson 2011 calendar.
On Sunday afternoon last, my daughter The Heir and I toddled over to Phoenixville from Heir's college, which is about six miles away. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a festival any Pagan would hold dear!
This coming Saturday, December 11, Phoenixville will host its 7th annual Firebird Festival. The citizens have erected a 28-foot-tall wooden Phoenix sculpture. Anyone who crafts a clay bird can place it underneath the sculpture. Anyone with a resolution for the coming year can place it in a box that will be put in the sculpture.
I'll bet you can guess the rest.
During an evening of music and drumming, this Phoenix sculpture will be set afire. The clay sculptures will be fired by the heat. And the resolutions will be transported to the bored gods. All of this a mere six miles from Heir's comfy college dorm room!
There's just one hitch. I have a long-standing reservation for a spa weekend in Berkeley Springs. Spouse and I have been planning this trip for four months. CANNOT CANCEL for a FIREBIRD FESTIVAL. @#@#$@#$@$#@$#!!!!!!!!!
Okay, Phoenixville, PA. Would you do me a favor? Would you spend a little more money advertising your calendar of events? Because this is not the first, but the SECOND festival I would have attended in your borough, my pockets stuffed with cash and my heart full of revelry ... but I didn't know! I was ignorant of your Firebird Festival until I happened upon it much too late! Now I'm sitting here staring at the fabulous agenda (after having ogled the magnificent wooden Firebird sculpture), and the long drive to Berkeley Springs now seems like a second-place finish ... and a lot farther away.
If you live in the Delaware Valley and are inclined to praise and worship the Sacred Firebird, by all means take my tip and biff on over to Phoenixville, PA, 4:00 p.m. until midnight, December 11. (One of the most compelling aspects of this fest is its complete and utter lack of any Christmas symbolism.)
And mark my words: Next year ... if there is a next year ... I will be in Phoenixville. Blobfest in July, Firebird Festival in December. This town is chippin. It needs better publicity. Oh, if only I had known!