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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lounging at Lightning Bug Music Fest

Last weekend I attended the first annual Lightning Bug Music Festival at Sunset Hill Farm in Valparaiso, Indiana. This fest benefited a local summer camp for kids. Who can't get behind summer camps that educate kids and bring them out into nature? Added bonus, great music, gourmet food, and delicious beers. I was hesitant to buy tickets for a fest in July, but with the cool weather we have been having, I took the risk. The cloud cover kept it cool, so I could sit out in the open and enjoy all the event had to offer.

Parking was quick and easy. We walked up to the park and Chester Brown was in the middle of their set. The stage was set up in a barn at the bottom of a hill. This acted as a natural amphitheater, providing a good view and great sound. The food trucks lined the top of the hill: 
  • The Green Machine satisfying us with their limited but amazing selection of organic foods. 
  • Rolling Stonebaker pulling delicious pizzas out of the oven in their Studebaker.
  • Hungry, Inc dishing out sandwiches, soups, and salads.
  • Early Bird providing meatless, dairy-free options with their vegan fare.
  • Designer Desserts tempting the crowd with a truck lined with cupcakes and cookies.  
  • Valpo Velvet serving up scoops of nice, cold ice cream.
They gave out a collapsible water bottle at the entrance and provided a water station so we could stay hydrated during the festivities. Important to note that they had plenty of clean portable toilets with a fully-stocked hand washing station too, it's those little things that matter!

The venue was open and spacious. It was easy to grab some food and a drink and find a seat. They had benches, tables, bleachers, and plenty of room on the ground. 

We settled in at a picnic table and listened to the rest of Chester Brown's set. They played Reggae Woman mixed with banjo-accompanied tunes. It was a great mix of music. I picked up one of their albums after they walked off stage for $10 and got a hug for free.

We grabbed a pour of Hunter's Golden Sparkler, a American Pale Ale crafted just for the event. It was light, lemony, and refreshing. Just what I needed on that summer day.

Mr. K hit up The Green Machine for fresh tomato and mozzarella (Caprese salad sans basil) and a divine BLT. The BLT was so fresh tasting. The bread was perfectly toasted and soft. The lettuce was refreshing and crisp. The tomato was juicy without sogging up the sandwich. The bacon was crunchy and not greasy at all. This was a great picnic sandwich! It came with crispy chips. It was all so satisfying. I'd had their burger and green salad before. Four dishes and I'm in love with The Green Machine. What was extra good about the whole situation was that their line was short, even though they had the best food in the line up (which is saying a lot, because the line up was great). 

We listened to the upbeat bluegrass stylings of Special Consensus and grabbed a couple more beers before the vendors ran out. I had a tart and refreshing black tea-infused Aubade German Wheat from Hunter's and a honey-sweet and rich saison from 18th Street Brewery. Shoreline had a standard offering line up, but I was satisfied with the 18th Street and Hunter's selections and didn't sample any of their brews. 

18th Street packed up at some point during the second act and headed home. Hunter's had to go back to the shop for more beer. The line at Shoreline was very long as the other vendors ran out. I guess the underestimated how thirsty they crowd would be!

The sun was coming out in full force, and Mr.K and I packed up to leave. We grabbed a buffalo wrap and "Cuban" sandwich for the road, along with lemon cream and German Chocolate cupcakes to enjoy later. 

We missed the act I wanted to see most, Buckwheat Zydeco, but I really wanted to get out of the sun and it was getting late. I also really wanted to get to Hunter's before they closed to try the wonderful coffee-infused Cassidy stout. 

Overall it was a really fun event. I can't wait to go back next year! 

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