Known in my part of the world as a caterpillar, this humble creature has had made quite the impression on the residents of Beattyville, KY. Every year, on the forth weekend in October, people gather from surrounding counties for the infamous Wooly Worm Festival.
To give you a little background, our first foray into the cultural hotbed that is Beattyville was to get a classic Kentucky breakfast from the Purple Cow diner. Rubber eggs, plus deep-fried frozen potatoes, plus stale biscuits, plus half a liter of gravy, plus 4 strips of bacon plus toothless, hallow-cheeked, malnourished, over-all’d, obese patrons, plus rundown, reused MacDonald’s booths, plus 300 cow figurines, plus a waitress with a heavy, barely comprehendible accent equals a very interesting experience. More than half the population of Beattyville is under the poverty line. Evidence of this is visible throughout town, with abandoned storefronts, rundown vehicles, and unfinished construction projects.
|Luncheon meat selection at the IGA...scary to say the least.|
Not knowing what to expect by way of the wooly worm, Marshal and I stop by on opening night. We park behind the IGA and make our ways down to the festivities. Booths selling deep-fried everything, toy guns, religion, and merchandise emblazoned with the confederate flag line main street. People of all ages are walking around the grounds taking in the sights, sounds and tastes. Hankering for some down home cooking I grab a pulled-pork sandwich from the Hillbilly Grill. Although tasty, it only provokes my hunger. One of the deep-fry booths advertises deep fried pickles. How can I say no? Five minutes later I’m handed a basket full of golden brown deliciousness with tartar sauce on the side. They were tasty, but not something that you need to eat twice. I finish the meal off with some onion rings the size of a Frisbee, a nut encrusted cinnamon roll, and surprisingly good cappuccino.
Sated, we walk around a bit more and run into our campground neighbors Adam, Karen, and Joe. Together, we make our way down to the stage where a high school cover-band is destroying Nirvana. A quickly vanishing seated audience responds with forced applause. In an attempt to rouse the crowd, inspire the band, and have a little fun, Marshal and Karen start moshing on the otherwise empty dance floor. This debauchery lasts a couple songs, leaving the scene much the same as they entered it. Who knew the residents of Beattyville wouldn’t appreciate a good mosh.
With the chill of the evening setting in we headed back to camp, satisfied that we took part in the exciting event that is the Wooly Worm Festival.