Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jazz Circus Rocks the 4th

We hit the road from camp towards home to work the annual Fourth of July blowout at the Elms. It must be said that we took the scenic route as opposed to the usual interstate snoozefest and were able to pass through lots of small towns featuring several Mom and Pop joints. I wish we'd had the time to stop and check them out but we did at least snap a pic of the Tightwad Cafe and Tavern in tiny Tightwad, Missouri.

We arrived at the the hotel under a massive threat of rain following a big front that was triggered by the passing of Hurricane Alex. Keith was glued to watching the radar on his Blackberry and kept reporting updates until General Manager Eric said he didn't want to know any further. The looming rain didn't deter the crowds however as young and old packed the grounds for the evening's festivities. Bars were set up throughout and the hotel grilled burgers, dogs and brats for the much so that I had to make run for more dogs. That was my dinner....pure Fourth of July...a grilled dog slathered with French's yellow mustard.

The Dave Stephens Jazz Circus was the evening's scheduled entertainment. I had no idea what a jazz circus constituted but we were familiar with Dave and his group as they were the house band at the hotel's New Year's Eve party. The band is tight and swingin' and they have a cult following. But the circus element......well, that added a whole new, intriguing layer.

Among the highlights were a stilt-walker, a "little person" in a sailor suit driving a motorized beer cooler and a juggler on a unicycle who later demonstrated his prowess with fire as well. Factoring these in with some seriously impressive jams and it truly was a party for all ages. I had read that they recently brought the house down at donwtown jazz club Jardine's and indeed they were like nothing I'd ever seen. In their more adult-oriented shows there is apparently a more burlesque bent but this was clearly tailored to the whole family. The Dave Stephens Jazz Circus put on a brilliant show.

The rain managed to hold off throughout the performance but at fifteen minutes prior to the fireworks the sprinkles began. K was getting reports on his phone that several areas were canceling their fireworks. We were all biting our nails but the fireworks did indeed happen...and they were spectacular. We slid out to beat the traffic and halfway home the skies opened up and the rainfall was torrential. We literally eked out that display to everyone's delight.

Good show!


Anonymous said...

Man! I so wanna go to the Tightwad Cafe! It looks like a cool and quirky joint... which is right up my alley! Gotta love that, "Come on in Darlin'"

Confounded Cook said...

Yeah, I wish it wasn't the holiday and that we had more looked like too much fun!

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