These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

migrant fair

i've atended the migrant fair for four years now, i think. yeah, i went to my first one at west ottawa in 2004 and have been back every year since.

the event usualy takes place late on saturday and features games, food, music and informational booths. to me, it's gotten bigger over the years (the fifth one they've held).

the migrant fair is meant to welcome back migrants to the area who've been gone for the winter. the migrant season is just beginning, having started a few weeks ago, with migrants trickling in since mid-february.

after trying out the fair earlier in the day or later in the season, it's now in late march and late in the day. this allows the migrants who're already working to come home, get ready, and attend with their families. it makes it more of a family event. it's nice, too, to see fathers, mothers and kids alike at the fair.

the fair gives migrant families a chance to get together and to get to know each other. as i was told before, once the migrant season gets under way, the families don't get a chance to interact because they leave for the fields early in the day and come lhome late, tired and ready for the following day's work, after spending time with their own family.

while music played, there were families eating, talking, with kids walking around, playing with the clown, playing games, going on the moon walk, and just having a good time.

the fair reminds me of one of the fiestas held in south texas (minus the booze), where families are gathered for a good time. the camraderie in the room is good.

while i didn't try the food (which was fine, because we went out with D and Mig later for a late snack), it sure smelled good.

that's another thing i like, the unselfishness of the sponsors who helped the west ottawa migrant program. they donated food and money and even volunteers (holland christian brought over 50 students to help out with games). that makes me feel good that migrants are welcome in the community and not seen as a hindrance.

viva los mexicanos!


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