What is it about twisting and spinning that brings out the kid in all of us? The Blossom Time Festival in Chagrin Falls, Ohio seems to be a celebration of the beginning of summer. Memorial Day weekend, sunshine and mild temperatures, the smell of caramel corn, funnel cakes, and cotton candy…and the sound of the carnies enticing children and young men to win prizes filled the town. This is iconic Americana, scenes from old movies and stories of days gone by. Familiar yet unfamiliar as I watched people on a ferris wheel in the middle of town. This county fair-like experience is different where I live. Our fair has a specially designated space…more like an amusement park, where you pay admission and stay all day, separate from the daily goings on of the town. I love this small town feel, walking in and out of local shops, peering over the railing at the natural waterfall in the center of town, licking an ice cream cone from the gourmet ice cream shop on the corner, and all the while noticing that the rides we like best all have something in common…they twist and turn, go up and down, slow and fast: scaring us, delighting us, and creating indelible images of childhood and summer. And in this case, there was the added twist…a hot air balloon rally! I’ve seen hot air balloons before–they take off not far from my house–but it has always seemed more like an industry, a sight-seeing opportunity rather than sport. But here, as part of the festival, people gathered to watch the hot air balloons fill and rise, racing off in the still-light evening…it stays light here quite late…filling the sky with color and energy and excitement. Welcome summer!