America the Beautiful: Sputnikfest

Every so often you run across something that reminds you about what America really is. Not the politics in DC, not the politics of anywhere. Not the disappointing media, or travesties of Hollywood.

Real America is something Garrison Keillor whishes he’d thought of. For instance, a work friend today told me about Sputnikfest, a Festival that takes place every September in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  This festival is the sort of combination of Awesome+Adorable that the Japanese strive for in anime. This is not a town in Middle America celebrating the Reds, of course. This is a town in Middle America celebrating the breaking of the Reds’ toy. See, back in 1962, a piece of Sputnik IV crashed into the middle of the road in this town– you can even get your picturetaken at the very spot of impact!

Check it out. . . There’s a Miss Space Debris Queen. There’s a Cosmic Cake Constest. I thought things like this were only ever done by the Mineral City Coffee Club and the Mineral City Ladies Guild. Sure, we have a Strawberry Festival every May, but somehow that doesn’t seem the same. We’re too suburban, I guess. . .