Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

And So It Begins - interPLAY 2012 Is Here!

You know what I love? I love interPLAY. In fact this is perhaps one of the events in Fort McMurray I get most excited about, and really it's because it's one of the first events I ever attended in this city, a decade ago when we first arrived.

When we came here the Intrepid Junior Blogger was about to turn 3. We got off the plane in early August, and didn't even have a place to live. We stayed in a temporary spot while we house-hunted, and days after our arrival we checked out this little street festival on Franklin called interPLAY - and we fell in love.

I have photos from that first year, photos of the Intrepid Junior Blogger much tinier than she is now, and with her face painted as Spider Man (don't ask, I'm not sure why she chose that face painting). I remember her excitement over the very concept of a street festival. I remember balloon animals and street performers and ice cream. We have attended every year since, often planning our holidays so that we did not miss interPLAY, and every year we have enjoyed the festival.

Last year at interPLAY things had changed considerably from that first year we attended. interPLAY was no longer down on Franklin, but instead at their new home in front of Keyano. And the Intrepid Junior Blogger had no interest in face painting, instead choosing to spend her time playing laser tag until she was sweaty, exhausted, and could find no one interested in falling prey to her assassin techniques. And while there was no face painting she is more interested in street performing than ever, hoping to one day launch her own street performance act, and ice cream is forever a favourite for her, regardless of age.

interPLAY kicked off again this weekend with the second annual interPLAY Film Festival, an event organized by my dear friends/family at YMMPodcast. Last night I was delighted to take in some of the second night, an eclectic mix of comedy and horror independent short films. I roared with laughter at "Felt Up", and almost died snorting when "Steel Viper Force: Rise of Fiero" screened (tough to explain, but the cheesiest, funniest, most clich├ęd little piece of film I've ever seen, so brilliantly done that I almost fell off my chair, and inspiring a deep desire to attach those huge wooden salad forks you see in restaurants to the front of my car - long story, that). Tonight I am beyond excited to see the awards, more films, and even more importantly the results of the 48-hour film challenge, where local film-makers have a mere 48 hours to write, cast, film, and edit a short for competition (I'm betting there will be a lot of bleary eyes and caffeine-induced jitters in that group tonight).

And for the next few days I will be in a house that is interPLAY-obsessed, as the Intrepid Junior Blogger is once again anxious to see the street performers and eat ice cream. Every other year I have attended the plays alone, but this year she will come with me to some, having developed an interest in drama in recent years. Just as with every other year I will try to convince her to get her face painted and she will roll her eyes at me, weary of a mother intent on keeping her a child forever. We will shop in the marketplace, and, tonight, she too will attend the film festival, her first ever attendance at such an event.

You see, that's the thing about interPLAY. When we first arrived here in Fort Mac interPLAY was a family event we attended together. Over the years, though, it's like the event has become a family friend. It's the family friend that only comes around once a year, never stays long enough, and then departs leaving you anxious for their next visit. And I admit it. Every year we totally love the stuffing out of interPLAY, just as you do with a beloved family friend you only see once a year. This year will be no different, people. Don't bother calling us at home or dropping by our house - we won't be there. We'll be hanging out with our old family friend interPLAY. And if you haven't met it yet then this is the year to welcome a new family friend. C'mon out to interPLAY, Fort Mac - I hope to see you there!

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