the blackfly festival

Blackflies.

The little biting/slashing harbingers of summer that make outdoor experiences a real challenge at this time of the year. They eventually go away, followed by a briefly magical interlude with the fireflies of late June, and then we’re into mosquito season for the duration of the next two months or so.

So why not embrace the year’s first flying pests, instead of wasting all that energy fighting them? That’s where the annual Adamant Blackfly Parade marches in. There’s a blackfly pie contest, a construction table to make your own pipecleaner and netting fly puppet, lots of music, and the much-anticipated parade.

Adamant’s resident didgeridoo master Pitz Quattrone led the pre-parade musical warmup with his Earthman Band, and then he led the parade itself as it noisily wound down the hill from the Community Hall to the Co-Op with antique cars, banners, floats, the Adamant Marching Band and the East Montpelier firetruck. I even made a blackfly mask for the occasion, since my role in these things is usually little more than lurking and taking photos. I wanted to blend in a little better this time. Not sure how well it worked (how do you ‘blend in’ with a giant paper blackfly strapped to your face?) but it sure was fun trying.

It was a perfect day, starting out overcast in the 70s and warming up to around 80 once the sun came out. (By that time I was ready to jump in the deep, inviting waters of the pond in the center of town.) And, the blackflies showed up right on cue around midday. I didn’t see a single person swatting at them.

Sumer Is A-Cumin’ In, indeed!

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