A late February day in downtown Syracuse with the high temperature hitting 68º F?
Martinfest really does see it all.
This gathering of great friends started four years ago by the Martins, of course, has weathered deep snow blown around by gusting winds and bone-deep cold that made one wonder if the coffee would freeze before Bailey’s could be added as the special ingredient.
Saturday in the chosen lot across Erie Boulevard from Hanover Square the day warm for my dear wife Karen and I when we pulled in shortly after 10 a.m. carrying a dozen bagels I hand-sliced myself, a tub of cream cheese, a bag of canned goods for the food drive, and a small cooler of Blue Light.
Karen was the designated driver, so I could drink more than half the six-pack. Yee-hah!
We also sipped some IPA poured from a Growler brought from our new friend Brandon, up from Virginia with our old friend Carolyn. Both Karen and I politely put our cups back down on the cooler, and Brandon said he’d gladly drink them after finishing his.
We’d gone out for dinner, conversation and a couple Central New York craft brews with Carolyn and her new fiancé the night before, and he’s a good guy.
Host Michelle was at her finest again, handing out Martinfest shirts to all guests as is her custom. Yes, she is the Michelle who bought The Little Bitty in October. She told us how the living room and hallways will soon be painted. She’s enjoying her new home in the Syracuse neighborhood of Eastwood. We are so happy for our great friend.
Her cousin Jason Martin again cooked up fantastic breakfast sandwiches.
Of course, a generator was brought in so her brother Scott Martin could deep fry his trademark delicious chicken fingers. A charcoal grill took care of the hot dogs.
Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.
We all ate well as morning turned to afternoon.
I asked Katie Kramer if she’d ever previously worn flip-flops to Martinfest. Nope.
And then the front blew through.
Temperatures dropped to the 40s. The sky opened. Everybody crowded under the tent.
Veterans of our weather, jackets were at the ready in nearby vehicles.
That is my dear wife Karen in the orange. I dig the motto on the back, taking license from the great Gump.
Stop Forrest Stop.
While we enjoyed our different beers, Brandon had asked me how exactly we were getting away with drinking in a public parking lot. I explained how the Martins always picked a Winterfest weekend, when perhaps Syracuse officers were more lax on these types of open container laws. Knock on wood.
‘Til next year.
What’s your favorite party, and why?