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Enjoy Buggy Days, a slice of Americana

By Walter Geiger Part reunion, part homecoming and pure Americana, Barnesville-Lamar County is in the throes of the 44th annual Buggy Days it has hosted. A group of community leaders, searching for a way to bring visitors – and their money – to the community came up with the idea of the festival honoring Barnesville’s heritage as the center of the Buggy manufacturing industry before the horseless carriage put an end to it all. With high energy prices and global warming concerns, perhaps we can revive the buggy factories. But, that is another column entirely. This is my 39th Buggy Days and it has been very interesting to watch the event grow and evolve. However, the festival’s core values remain unchanged. It is, first and foremost, built around family fun. Kids can cavort on all sorts of rides. They can bury their faces in a pile of cotton candy or gorge themselves on funnel cakes. They can revel in delights of a big parade winding through a still small town. They can spend their allowance dollars on handmade signs for the tree or doll house or on an old fashioned rubber band gun with which to torment their siblings. Buggy Days is about people. It is one of the best people-watching venues on the planet. Folks flock to Buggy Days from all over the southeast and from all spectrums of society. Two generations of local children now have grown up with Buggy Days. They come back to it and they bring their own children with them. The event has the warm feel of a homecoming or a giant family reunion. People see people at Buggy Days they would otherwise not see again. In this manner, Buggy Days has bonded the community to its people and its people to each other. With its arts & crafts, wide variety of entertainment and distinct food offerings, Buggy Days reminds us of what entertainment was like before we had 24/7 electronic options. There are those who would tell you a greased pig chase is inhumane. I will tell you it is pure fun. Children laugh just for the sake of laughing when they are chasing that pig and, sadly, many children spend far too little time laughing these days. Yes, this is an event that brings us together. It raises funds for countless civic, community and church organizations. It brings us together like nothing else can or will. It has brought hundreds of people to Barnesville-Lamar County who now call this community home. Buggy Days. It’s a heaping slice of Americana served up right at your front door.Won’t you come out and sample it?

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