BerryFest 2018

I skipped a week, but I’m back. Don’t fret, fans.

It’s an interesting thing when your family goes out of their way to take you to weird events because they think it will make “good content” for your blog. It’s also interesting when your family is not wrong about this.

A few weekends ago I was in Charlotte, on a last minute trip to see my brother and family. I spent all day Saturday with my brother and dad, mostly riding around doing what we love to do…looking at real estate. We looked at everything from fancy model homes in new suburbs to rundown, ramshackle houses up for auction. I guess when you grow up in a suburb you just learn to love looking at houses, since it’s really all there is to do, besides going to Sonic or hanging out with your friends in the grocery store parking lot on a Friday night (yes, this is really what we did for fun).

After a day full of house hunting just for the fun of house hunting, we got a call from my brother’s friend asking us to meet them at a Strawberry Festival in South Carolina. How cute does that sound!? We decided to go since David thought it would be “good content” (I wasn’t quite sure what he meant), and I thought it might be charming. My dad was just along for the ride. Plus, we all like strawberries.

Ok, I want you, dear reader, to a take a moment and see what comes to mind when you hear ”South Carolina Strawberry Festival.” Think about it for a minute. What’s the main attraction you might expect from such a festival?

Yes, you’re exactly right: Strawberries.

Nope, none. They were out. They did have strawberry shortcakes, strawberry flavored drinks, and donuts cut in half with strawberries and whipped cream inside. Those all count as fruit in the south.

And what else would come to mind?

A charming town, nice southern people…amateur wrestling?

If that was what you thought of, then you got one thing right.

After wandering around the festival grounds for a little bit, we stumbled upon a wrestling ring and spent the next 30 minutes watching what was in store. It was absolutely not a waste of 30 minutes of my precious life. It. was. incredible.

Two men called the AWOL were introduced by the announcer yelling, “These guys are so mean and so ugly that they have to wear masks!” “Oh wow, masks!” I thought. “They must be mean.” They were. “And they must be ugly.” I couldn’t really tell.

 Is he ugly? We'll never know.

Is he ugly? We'll never know.

They came out to the ring, and the crowd (quite a diverse crowd at that) was yelling and boo-ing. They greeted the crowd with a great first impression, yelling, “Hey all you Fort Mills rednecks! Shudddupp” Then one of the AWOL crew looked over at a little kid, yelling, “Hey kid, I pooped a bigger turd than you this morning. Shuddduppp” in a long drawn out southern accent. This was followed by other amazing insults like, “Hey Grandma, you’re so old that you fart dust. Shuddddupp.” You get the formula here.

I had tears of joy in my eyes witnessing this beautiful scene, looking over at my brother mouthing “OMG, great content.” I had goosebumps. I could have never expected this from BerryFest. It just felt so good and so American.

 Shit's about to go down.

Shit's about to go down.

Next, the good guys entered the stage—two fat, fat young men in tight, tight tights. They were called “Pure Raw Talent.” I guess pure raw talent only gets you so far since AWOL won the round. The young kids in the crowd were faced with the sad reality of life— that it’s just not that fair and sometimes the bad guys win. But alas, Pure Raw Talent were the winners in our hearts.

 I risked my life, and the lives of small children for this shot of poor iPhone 6 quality. Yeah, not even a 6s. 

I risked my life, and the lives of small children for this shot of poor iPhone 6 quality. Yeah, not even a 6s. 

We stuck around for a second, thrilling match where we were #blessed to see old, washed-up Bobby Fulton (I’ve done an embarrassing amount of Googling on him now) take on a young, buff man in a very tight mankini. I pushed my way through the crowd, elbowing small children aside, to get a close-up pic here. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to get up in on that sweet, sweet wrasslin’ action. This time the bad guy also won, but there was redemption! The call was overturned, because Karma, bitches! Good ‘ole Bobby won!

After all this excitement, we ventured out to get food, trekking across the festival, stopping to ask anyone who might know where we could find any remaining strawberries. At this point we were #blessed enough to bump into Strawberry fest royalty — Miss, Ms., and Teen Strawberries! And a real-life walking strawberry man. I congratulated them on their crowns, and got my photo taken with them (and my dad). We asked where we could get some strawberries. The queens pointed us in the direction of the one strawberry tent that they thought might have some berries in stock. It was all the way across the fuckin’ festival.

 All weekend my dad was asking what the difference between Miss and Ms. Strawberry was. Not a clue. 

All weekend my dad was asking what the difference between Miss and Ms. Strawberry was. Not a clue. 

 That's not strawberries. That's pork. #coachella

That's not strawberries. That's pork. #coachella

We traversed the Berry grounds all the way to the one last tent with a glimmer of strawberry hope to find ZERO strawberries. I did get a pork chop sandwich though--a close second.

We decided to get going because the rest of the family back home was starting to get jealous about all of the awesome shit they were missing out on (namely, wrestling). We didn’t want to be bad family members.

While I wasn't quite ready to leave, I did leave the Berry fest with some unexpected learnings:

  1. Never judge a festival by it’s name.
  2. If grown ass men can put tights on and go play make-believe in front of 100+ people without shame, then good for fuckin’ them and I should really go after my dreams, because these dudes are showing me up.
  3. Get there early next year before the berries run out.

Berryfest 2019. Who’s in?