Here in the wilds of Southern Delaware there is a residential housing developer called Schell Brothers. They also have outposts in Richmond, VA and Nashville, TN, but from what I can tell on their site their major operations happen here in the good old First State. They build a bunch of houses.
For the last few years they have been putting on an event they call Schellville—a winter festival/market/family thing. They have a fake ice rink! They have little shops! They have more than one Auntie Annie’s pretzels from the mall! They have a beer stand! They have a great big slide!
They wisely require tickets for entry, even though those tickets cost nothing. What could be an absolute disaster for crowds, wasn’t all that bad… once we got inside. But let’s back up.
Last year the girls were too small to enjoy something like this and Sarah knows well how pathologically allergic to crowds I am. We skipped it. And by “we”, I mean “Sarah” because I had no idea it even existed so I really had zero part in making that particular decision. This year, however, she got tickets thinking that the girls are finally old enough to enjoy the spectacle.
She was right.
After waiting half an hour in line to be let in—with Penny absolutely wide-eyed at all the lights and people and snow machines and music and pretty much everything—we got in, found a relatively open, uncrowded space, and let them free. It was like watching their heads explode.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen them have so much fun. Ever. In their whole lives. It was awesome.
We only lasted about 40 minutes before we had enough toddler-chasing and the crowds started to get a little thick. When we told Bea it was time to go, she responded with “No, stay here,” which was the first time I’d heard that out of her mouth. Too bad for her it wasn’t her decision. She let us know how she felt about it in the car on the way home while Penny drifted between sleep and talking to the night outside the window.
I didn’t bring the right lens with me and the dark was a struggle with two fast-moving targets, so not a ton of photos. I took my trusty 85 which is fantastic with good light and while not trying to chase two speedy jackals, but it was too hard in the dark to focus on the girls. Should have gone with the 50. Oh well. Next time.
Here are the photos I liked enough to spend time on. Enjoy.