Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lupus, Missouri: The Chili Fest, Part 3: Before You Die

Lupus, Missouri. Lupus Chili Fest 2013.

Not long before the Lupus Chili Fest on October 19, I saw a list of Places You Must Visit Before You Die. Can't find the exact source, but there are many of these kinds of lists, and most of the usual suspects were on this recent one, too, now lost - the Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, etc. ....

I'd say: Add the Lupus Chili Fest to one's life list of things to see before one dies.

You can't substitute big-time music events for this and get the same experience. The Lupus Chili Fest is all about small scale with big sound. Heck, the town doesn't even really advertise the event; it's mostly about tradition and word of mouth.

Lupus, Missouri. Lupus Chili Fest 2013.

It's a festival where one of the music venues is in a garage where the musicians and the chairs are set up admidst typical garage stuff that has just been pushed out of the way a little bit to make space.

Where every person jammed into the garage is hopping or tapping or swaying, where the band members break into pleased grins because of the enthusiasm of their audience. Where, at one point, a guy in the audience calls out after a particularly terrific riff, I'm so happy!

Where the main stage has a bonfire in front of it and a barn with multi-colored vines behind it, and where the train roars by every so often about 500 yards away.

Where people camp along the river in tiny tents or RVs. Or in their cars.

Lupus, Missouri. Lupus Chili Fest 2013.

And where volunteers serve up homemade chili made with donated beef and other goods.

Lupus, Missouri. Lupus Chili Fest 2013.

It should be on everyone's bucket list.

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