Being in a small town is certainly different than living in the big city. Generally most everything shuts down at noon on the weekends in Sokolov. On Sunday after church you can walk downtown, see next to nobody and have lunch in a restaurant by yourself.
And then sometimes small towns like to have giant festivals. Hornicka pout 2009 (Mining pilgrimage?) came to Sokolov this weekend and it was rocking.
Sokolov has some large mines near it and they used to be (and some I think still are) a large part of the economy here. This weekend was a festival to celebrate the town’s mining heritage. Each square (we have a “new” and “old” one) was packed with people and tents filled with food, beer, colorful wigs, cheap toys, colorful gingerbread and neat handicrafts. Stages were set up with live music and dancing throughout the day. Tons of display owners were decked out in medieval clothing. On the edge of downtown next to a park, a massive fair was set up with carnival rides and more food. There were at least three full size bumper car arenas.
My roommate, Derick, our fellow teacher Kathryn and I walked through and experienced it all. It was pretty awesome to see our fairly quiet town bustling with crowds and activity. One cool part was I ran into quite a few of my students. While at this point we aren’t much beyond the “Hello, how are you?” point of things it still nice to see faces you recognize in a foreign land. So that was a cool weekend in Sokolov.