We’re often away on the 4th of July, but in 2006 we happened to be on vacation in the U.S. We had rented a cottage in Boothbay Harbor, Maine and were delighted to stumble upon a 4th of July celebration in the town square. There were all sorts of booths set up with crafts, food, art, etc. In the middle of it all hay bales were spread out. We didn’t know what to make of it at first.
Several older gentlemen sat in chairs around the hay bales, socializing with each other. Every once in a while, one would walk over and throw a handful of pennies into the hay mix. The children then scrambled to find the pennies in the haystack and a few minutes later, the men would toss in a few more. It seemed ingenious. Such a fun and simple activity for the kids. It didn’t matter how old they were; they all loved hunting for those treasured coins.
At the time, I admired how generous these men were, giving the kids the thrill of having a few coins of their own if they worked hard enough to find them. But later I realized that the parents were the ones who enjoyed the greater pay-off. The kids happily stayed in those haystacks all day, giving the adults a chance to chat and socialize with each other, sans kids. All for a few pennies.
Have you witnessed activities like this one at a town event?