Just as I was boasting at http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2010/04/all-about-twinning-little-sister-and.html that Budleigh Salterton with its famous micro-climate was benefiting from the early arrival of spring, compared with our sister-town of Brewster in Massachusetts, the sea mist swept in and the rain came down as if winter had suddenly returned.
I doubt that World Dance Day at Budleigh Salterton which I'd promoted at http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2010/04/world-dance-day-at-budleigh.html ever happened. My friend Annie and I were about to set out in time to catch the 10.30 am start of the spectacle on Budleigh beach when the heavens opened. When we finally made it through the murky mistfulness an hour later to the event's location at Steamer Steps only the pebbles were there to greet us. The beach was empty.
Well, that's the English weather for you. And we are still in the month of April showers. And the gardens were desperate for a drink.
Cape Cod Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band playing at the Brewster in Bloom parade 2009
By contrast, over in Brewster according to the online forecast they can look forward to sunny skies and a high of 19°C this Friday for the start of Brewster in Bloom 2010. Saturday is even better, hotting up to 21°C and no rain in sight.
Twenty-four years ago, to celebrate the profusion of daffodils gracing Brewster's Main Street and other roads, residents Bob and Doris Franzago sparked interest in a daffodil festival. Before long, Brewster in Bloom was born and grew into a wonderful three-day celebration of spring. Proceeds from early festivals were earmarked for the building of the bandstand at Drummer Boy Park, which is the site of weekly summer evening concerts by the Brewster Band. Proceeds from this year will go to the Elder Brewster Scholarship Fund.
Brewster's brownies on their parade float
The weekend celebrations in our American sister-town start tomorrow, Friday, with many of its shops and galleries holding open house during the day. Two music events will take place in the evening: one in Brewster Baptist Church performed by the Brewster Band, and a 'Swing into Spring' Big Band Dance at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club http://www.oceanedge.com/ raising money for the scholarship fund.
Saturday's events include an all-day Antiques & Collectables Fair on Drummer Boy Park, the Brewster in Bloom Run starting at the Brewster Inn and Chowder House at 10.00 am and Brewster Historical Society's staging of a blacksmith's shop with 'colonial craftsmen' demonstrating their skills in iron and tin and making horseshoes.
The Brewster Coffee shop team
There's also a pie-baking contest, and - something I've never come across before - a Fire Truck Golf Drop Fundraiser where the town's Fireman Glen will apparently drop hundreds of numbered golf balls at 3.00 pm from the top of his fire truck ladder. Tickets cost $5 a ball or 5 for $20 and could earn the winning holder a big cash prize if his or her lucky golf ball finds its way onto the bulls-eye marked on the ground.
Sunday 2 May at 1.00 pm sees the start of the famous Brewster in Bloom parade. And then from 3.00 - 5.00 pm, if you feel like learning about the town's interesting architectural heritage you can go on a Historic Inn Tour. Many of Brewster's most celebrated buildings such as the Candleberry Inn http://www.candleberryinn.com/ and the Old Manse Inn http://www.oldmanseinn.com/ , included on the tour, were the homes of some of America's great 19th century sea captains.
All in all, it looks like being a fun-filled and interesting weekend, with wonderful spring weather that we in Budleigh will be envying from afar.
For a full list of events click on http://www.brewsterinbloom.org/
Pictures of the 2009 Brewster in Bloom parade are from this website.