Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cake Walk

It is not a proper festival without a cake walk. This end of year party is no exception. They hid the sweets under the shades on the lunch tables out in the school yard, so the sun wouldn't bake and melt the chocolates.

There is no worries however as the clouds dominated the day.  Still you can smell the water melon and the Jamba juice stand next to it.  In just a little while, miles of pizza, bread stick and salad plates spilled out also, with lines wrapping around the yard for a delicious bite.  Adding the colorful jump houses inflating like giant souffles amidst laughing children, you know the school is ending, summer is beginning, and it's time to start celebrating.

Everyone gathers around the center stage facing the soccer field lawn. The performances cast a decidedly international flair over the gray pavement and black stage props.  The Indian dancers swathed in golden threaded pink and aqua taffeta skirts, and the first grader Chinese martial artists wearing silk embroidered red dragon outfits.  Simplicity doesn't mean  ho hum however, as the group of dark haired girls in black tights and a simple red silk scarf around their waists successfully evoke the feeling of Arabian nights, to the tune of their music and the steps of their movements.

A group of fourth grade boys in drag masking as Christina (Aguilera), Britney, etc livens up the crowd with chit chat, astound expressions,  suspicious fingers and heads thrown back laughter.  They danced in choreographed steps until one nearly choked from laughing in the middle of the song, while swinging their hips in perfect imitations of the famed singers. 

The group that got everyone on their feet showed up in black and white.  They belt out tunes mimicking "Blues Brothers" and the tall guy sings, moves and looks as a dead ringer of Dan Aykroyd.  They light up the stage and the air with their steps and sangs, their jazz and their saxophones, but mostly their identifiable music.  The crowd whistled and cheered throughout, unified in their love for the blues.

But the festival started with cakes and so it must ends with them. Though neither walks yielded a win, we walk by the prizes letting our eyes do the feasting.  Never mind that our tummies are bulging, our eyes can still take in all the varieties of pink swirly icing, chocolate almond biscuits, dozens and dozens of berry and apple pies.

And the air smells cool but sweet, decidedly Americana.


  1. You got me at the opening line, and the ending was a proper farewell kiss, metaphorically speaking. This was pristine in its beauty.

  2. Love cake walks.

    When I was a child, I always won a cake every time I entered one at church festivals or fairs. I always picked the coconut cream cake...not the chocolate.

  3. honestly never heard of the cake walk festival before. (forgive my ignorance!) but this seems like a really fun even.. all the sweets and that. yum yum! :)

  4. I've also never heard of the cake walk festival before but it sounds something I would love. :)
    I loved this post, it's brilliant!

  5. "They danced in choreographed steps until one nearly choked from laughing in the middle of the song, while swinging their hips in perfect imitations of the famed singers."

    This made me laugh out loud! Oh, how I would love to have seen that.

  6. You words flow nicely. Nice blog.

  7. Wow... you write so descriptive and poetic... loved this piece... thank you for finding and following me... I am so happy you did as now I get to read your wonderful pieces.

  8. Love the post, all this talk about cake makes me hawngry!

  9. Any festival that has something to do with "CAKE' gets my vote! :-)

  10. What a wonderful way to end the school year! Makes me want to get this tradition started here in New England--I don't know of any schools here that have a cake walk.
    Beautifully written, could feel the children's excitement. :)

  11. Your ability to transport the reader to the scene, through flawless and detailed description is wonderful.

    As always, a beautiful memory. :)

  12. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comment. Robbie I appreciate hearing that as you write so beautifully yourself.

    For those of you not familiar with cake walk, it's a little game where kids walk in a circle painted (in chalk) with numbers. If you land on the called number when the music stop, you win a cake. :)

    As you can see it's one of the perennial favorites at the festivals.

  13. I've never been to a cake walk, but it sounds like fun.
    I truly enjoyed your descriptions and way of presenting the scene. :) :)

  14. Mmm, this was wonderfully evocative. I could practically taste, hear, and smell it. :)




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