Our neighborhood Labor Day picnic was today. D volunteered to help prep and showed up at noon, only to find out that she wasn't due until 3p. However, they were looking for help in setting up the tables and chairs, so I went up and helped out. It was pretty much put together by the time I got there, but I made the lemonade and helped carry food between the clubhouse and the tent. I was happy to help out as there's a lot of work that goes into putting on the picnic. It's a lot more than just making the announcement and having people show up. I'm sure if the community knew how much work was required, there'd be a lot more involvement.
D headed over about 3p to prep and setup the sno-cone machine (she volunteered to manage this event). The kids and I walked over about 4p to help making sno-cones. They weren't too keen on walking over (it's about a 10 minute walk), but I wasn't too keen on driving as there was no reason for it. We got there and put in our time making sno-cones before being relieved by the next shift of workers. It was perfect timing as most of our friends that we invited showed up right about that time.
The party is free for residents of the community, but outsiders -- those not living in the neighborhood and therefore not paying HOA dues -- need to be invited. Between the neighbor of ours working the registration booth and our invites, we were able to have a few of our friends from outside the neighborhood attend. Both M and N enjoyed having their friends there, as did D and I. (Not that we don't have friends within the neighborhood, it's just that we're not as close to them as we are those outside the neighborhood.)
The rest of the afternoon (and evening) was spent having fun at the various booths (moonbounce, basketball toss, soccer kick, magic show, etc.) and eating two items from the carnival food group (sno-cones and cotton candy). This pretty much went on until the DJ started and the kids started dancing. N and Connor showed off their mad dancing skills on the the empty dance floor/parking lot, prompting the DJ to comment that he's never seen breakdancing to Motown before (not that it was breakdancing per se, but I'm not really sure there's a category to the way N dances).
D and N left about 830p or so, but M and I stayed late into the evening. She was having too much fun dancing with a new found friend (who shares her birthday with M and was wearing the same dress as M got for her birthday). She and I finally left about 1030p and walked home. She wasn't too keen having to walk through the woods in the dark, but the alternative (walking along Stringfellow) wasn't even an option. I held her hand through the woods, which helped her remain at ease.
Once we got out of the woods, we started looking at the stars. It was a pretty clear night, so the stars were out in mass (although the street lights didn't help the dimmer ones be seen). I tried to identify them the best I could, but I only showed that I need to brush up on my astronomy.