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What It’s Like To Spend Four Days Drinking in a Carnival Beer Garden

Heaven. It’s like heaven.

Fasten your seat belts. It is upon us. The parish carnival starts today. It’s called Fisher Fest. And it’s four fun-filled, action-packed days of rides, cotton candy, games, and booze. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The Carni rolled into town on Monday and you can smell the excitement in the air. It’s party time. We have driven past everyday so far, to make sure all the rides are where they are supposed to be. We have even searched YouTube to watch what the new rides are capable of. True story.

It’s all about the kids, of course. Each of them will be armed with their all-inclusive wristband that allows them to enjoy every single ride over and over until their heads spin. It’s worth the price of admission to see the joy in their eyes.

Not that I see much of their eyes. I’m usually knee deep in empty pitchers of draft beer in the beer garden. Which are not part of the all-inclusive bracelet. It would be so awesome if alcohol was included. But I get it. It’s a fundraiser for my kids’ catholic school. They are trying to make money, not lose it, on over-served desperate housewives, like myself.

And when I say beer garden, there is nothing garden-like about it. It’s the church parking lot with a tent. But this one weekend a year, there’s no place I’d rather be.


I love this weekend. Slap a bracelet on the kids on Thursday night and catch up with them again Monday morning. When they are experiencing the worst kid hangover of all times. Make no doubt about it, Monday morning will be hell. I am not looking forward to it at all. But it will all be worth it.

I like to dress my kids in bright colors so I can find them easier. I went to the store and found the most obnoxious neon yellow sweatshirts they had. I bought four. One for each little precious angel. So I don’t lose them again this year.

I thought about having something printed on the back. Something along the lines of, “if lost, please return to beer garden”. But I thought (was told), that might be tacky. Not that I’m above tackiness, I normally revel in it. But taking it to a printer would be a pain in the ass. They should really just sell them on amazon like they do everything else a mom could want.

We take this fest very seriously in our house. We save money for it year round. When the time comes to register the kids for school, we have money set aside to buy the mega bracelets that day. We don’t like to take any chances. What if they run out? What if an emergency arises and we need that money? The only real emergency I can think of, is not having the damn mega bracelets.

A few years ago, our daughter managed to flip the double stroller on top of herself with her two siblings inside. The little one’s went flying, but were fine. My daughter, however, was not. The handle bar landed right on her mouth. It pushed her top four teeth way into the roof of her mouth. There was blood everywhere.

I totally freaked. The paramedics whisked her away and I had to call my brother Dat to come get my other kids. It was so loud when I made the call that I had to yell and I burst into tears. He stopped a security guard he knew and the guy said yes, something happened over on the north end. Dat thought we were shot. I mean, this is the south side of Chicago. He was relieved to see it was just his niece’s mouth mangled by a double BOB.

Thankfully, that was a Saturday night and we were planning on leaving early anyhow. We spent the night in the ER. A Saturday night in the ER on the south side of Chicago.  In the only ER with a trauma center. Nothing but the best for our baby girl. They made her comfy and sent us on our way to have a dentist fix her up in time for picture day.

When we woke up the next morning we all just sort of looked at each other. What should we do? Go to the last day of Fisher Fest, of course. I mean, we already had the mega bracelets. And the Bears were going to be on in the beer garden. And it’s not like there are any dentists open on a Sunday anyway. It was the right decision. And it was just her baby teeth. She’ll get a whole new set of teeth in a few years. For free.

I woke up this morning with the touch of a cold. I panicked. This can not be happening. Not the weekend of Fisher Fest. But don’t you worry. I have enough DayQuil in my system to ward off the ebola virus. I’ll muddle through. Like always.

I love to celebrate the eves. So I am going to head on down to Shelly and Quint’s so we can go over our game plan. We need a strategy. This ain’t our first carnival. We are professionals. I bought my wine juice boxes weeks ago, in anticipation. We will watch the weather forecast together and plan our our outfits accordingly.

As usual. This is going to be fun. So fun that I might not be able to write for a few days. If everything goes according to plan.

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