Yorktown Harvest Fair
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“So, what’d you find out?” asked Graeme’s dad, getting down to business. “Where’d she go?” “We think she has gone to Yorktown,” said Chik-Cha, “but we did not make it all the way up there before turning back.” Uncle Haywood nodded. “Stands to reason. Ain’t the Yorktown Fair comin’ up in a few days?” “That’s right,” the elder Walsh confirmed. His square jaw was set in a grim line. Inwardly, Graeme groaned. The Yorktown Harvest Fair was one of the biggest on the prairie. Good law-abiding folk (and a few petty thieves, con artist carnies, and card sharks) came from a thousand klicks around to sell their wares, taste the food, and try the legendary gnomish rides. And Uncle Henry and the seasonal ranch hands were there, along with their market cattle and common horses. He hoped she was just going there to blend into the throng of people, maybe disappear, but . . . a necromancer used ghosts as servants and death as grist for the mill. A chill ran down his spine.The Yorktown Harvest Fair is the largest autumn event in the The Windpan, which is held annually at the beginning of September. It is of paramount importance to the local farmers, ranchers, and tradesfolk. Any surplus crops and livestock are brought to the fair to be traded and sold. The fair therefore attracts merchants, craftspeople, carnies, artists, and others looking to sell their wares or services to people with money suddenly burning holes in their pockets. The fair has a variety of attractions, such as amazing gnomish mechanical rides, a stage featuring live musicians, and a rodeo. People come from hundreds of klicks away to celebrate.
Re-establishing trade after The Cataclysm was challenging to say the least, and entirely necessary in order to restore quality of life for the farmers of the Windpan. An enterprising gnome family in the Windpan
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Yorktown was bustling with activity. Just inside the gate, food vendors were already plying their trade. The smell of corndogs and hamburgers, butter chicken and yakisoba and a dozen other things wafted over them; was that mini-donuts frying? Graeme’s stomach rumbled.The fair would likely still happen every year, even if some events didn't take place. But significant components for all of the events include:
- Rodeo grounds
- Horse racing track
- Paddocks, stalls and cages to exhibit animals for the agricultural exhibition
- Vendors stalls and carts
- Elaborate rides, such as ferris wheels and dirigibles
- Carnival booths andgames
- Public tables and booths to eat in
- A musical stage
The people at the Yorktown Fair were ready to celebrate. The harvest work was behind them now; the grain crops were in and even most of the apples were already picked. Barter arrangements made, they were coming to sell any surplus and buy what they needed, and the entertainers had come to serve them. Some were nomadic carnies; others were travelling actors and musicians who made Yorktown the last stop before they found a place to winter up. Well-to-do and dapper gents and ladies moved through the fair with Courtesans on their arms, who flourished their white fans and nodded with respect to the passing Gunslingers. The scent of mingled animals, bodies and food warred with a whiff of passing perfume.The Yorktown Fair attracts farmers, ranchers, cowpokes, bronco busters, carnies, thieves, musicians, merchants, vendors, craftspeople, and anyone with a little leisure time and money in the area. Several centers of activity include:
- The rodeo
- The horse races
- The agricultural exhibition fair
- The market
- The rides
- The carnival games
- The food court and vendors
- The musical acts
The overwhelming scents of the food court wafted in with a wave of music from the live stage. Picnic tables were laid out under an awning, populated by munching audience members. A folk band with a fiddle and an accordion were playing traditional Eastern maritime songs. Graeme couldn’t think of a more unlikely setting for them as he squinted through a haze of dust to scan the audience. No sign of the Widow. A pack of boys ran by, giggling, each with a colourful puff of cotton candy in hand. They were sidhe, which stood out in Graeme’s mind because he didn’t often see other elves, aside from his mother and sister. All the concession line-ups were long, so Graeme found one selling pho and salad rolls and got into it. “Don’t you want real food?” Woodhouse asked in a plaintive tone as he eyed a hamburger vendor.The Yorktown Fair is held annually on the first weekend of September and runs for the entire three days. The events open mid-morning and stay open late into the evening.
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Books in the Wyrd West Chronicles
#3 The Vigil
#5 The Reaping
Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West (Wyrd West Chronicles #1-6)
Gunsmoke & Dragonfire (featuring The Teeth of Winter (Wyrd West Chronicles #7)