This weekend was the annual Gala Days events for small town Montana. The way I heard the story is Gala Days began as a way to raise money for the pool. Someone got the idea that the kids would benefit from the pool and thus the fundraising began. Except Gala Days is about more than money to help the community. It is a celebration of life in small town Montana. Remember any chance we get to come together for fun-we embrace it.
Friday night kicked of Gala Days. At 7 p.m. the local drama community hosted a dinner theater. A grilled chicken dinner was the appetizer for a night of entertainment. I had the privilege of being a member of the cast. People laughed and seemed to enjoy the show. And not because an occasional line was forgotten. For the younger audience an outdoor showing of a movie shown on the side of the firehouse building came with popcorn and sweet treats. We are far enough north that the sun doesn’t set until well after 9 p.m. So all of us were up late that evening.
That was just the beginning of the fun. Saturday morning we had a cancer walk, a parade, a three on three basketball tournament and games, complete with prizes for the kids. No Gala Day anywhere is complete without the pie contest, face painting and petting zoo.
Ingenuity is a character trait of people in a small town. As proven by the bench design contest. People designed park benches that could be placed throughout the community so people could sit a spell and enjoy the scenery.
By 2:00 sunburned people functioning purely on a cotton candy, snow cone induced energy rush were getting tired and things wound down. Just enough for them to go to the second showing of the play in the high school auditorium.
If we were smart we wouldn’t have spent so much time playing in the sun. Where is the fun in that? So line delivery mishaps and costume malfunctions happened. Picture my fake beard getting caught in another character’s fake wig in front of the audience and you get an idea of what our friends and neighbors saw.
A visitor gave feedback that summed up the weekend. “It was fun experiencing it, it was more fun watching the reactions of the people who knew the cast.” And this person got it!
Gala Days isn’t about money, it isn’t about the attention you get when you are in the parade, or play, or winning one of the many contests or raffles. What makes the day special is our community comes together and individuals say “this is one way I can make you smile.” And guess what-smiles happened.
I try to keep this blog around 500 words so I’ll close for now. And I close with the wish that you can see when someone around you is trying, in their own special way, to bring you a moment of delight. And when you see it, you’ll smile so deeply that you’ll be able to see that in spite of the literal and metaphorical mosquitoes, sunburns and gastric disruptions (that’s what we felt on Sunday) life is truly wonderful.