Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wellfleet Boogies By the Bay

If you did not attend Boogie-by-the-Bay yesterday, at Baker's Field, you missed out on a fun community event, emceed by Lisa Brown, below, beloved World Music teacher at Nauset High. The all-day party benefited Friends of Our Recreation, a non-profit that provides resources for the kids of Wellfleet. This year the money raised will be used to resurface the baseball field at the elementary school. I drove down four times, and each time I was surprised by the attendance. Sure, the weatherman did not help with his forecast, but there were breaks of sun, and who needs sunshine when community spirit shines so brightly in the hearts of everyone involved?

You are probably wondering why I drove down four times, especially on a day devoted to walking. I had heard talk of a wicked hokey-pokey and wanted to take photos. What could be cuter than kids and adults snaking along, kicking their feet out to the side at the appropriate moment? Every one can take part, young and old. Bodies are all that is required.

The third annual Boggie-by-the-Bay did not have so many bodies early in the day, and, younger bodies were more interested in cotton candy and face painting. Truth be told, attendees dribbled in, a fact that made my friend Femke Rosenbaum, who had installed a fence of banners, wonder if the $15 entry fee was not a bit high? True, the goal was to raise money for the kids of Wellfleet, but had there been no entry fee, chances are more tourists would have come, rather than stand in line for lunch at The Bookstore, the crafts folks would have earned more for an afternoon of work, and the bands would have received more applause.

They deserved the applause. Every band I heard, four of the seven listed on the program, made me want to boogie. Great rhythm, great showmanship. I particularly liked Robert Graves Leonard's Slippery Sneakers, a high energy Zydeco dance band that united traditional and contemporary Cajun/Zydeco roots music. (Check out the instrument this band member was playing, attached to his chest!) Not only was there a crowd on the dance floor by 6:30. Everyone sitting at the picnic tables, or manning a crafts booth, could not stand still. No doubt Josaiah Mayo's band Squidda, which performed at 8, was just as worthwhile.

More reasons to attend? Seeing old friends, delicious fried lobster tails from Mac's Shack, Sam Adams beer, lively music to close the tourist season. I do not know whether the hokey-pokey ever took place, but everyone who stayed for dinner got to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the bay, above ...