Middle of Nowhere Celebration - Ainsworth, NEbraska

I wasn't sure what exactly would happen at the annual mid-June Middle of Nowhere Celebration. I figured it would either be so dull that it would make for really good photographs, or it would be something tackily American and generic, making for a poor photo essay. Looking back, it might have come in between the two.

As I approached Ainsworth, the towns I drove through became increasingly sleepy – like an evil witch had cast a great spell over the vacant streets and quiet houses. Coming into Ainsworth, I noticed the sign that greets visitors: “Ainsworth, country music capital!” I thought that was strange, and still think it is strange, because I never heard or saw one thing about country music. When I arrived at the local park Saturday morning, it was buzzing. People were lining up for the parade; last minute adjustments were being made to the floats. I had come on reunion weekend, so each Celebration float had a different graduating class.

The main street of Ainsworth was lined with expectant onlookers. Some looked like they had dropped their morning chores from the farm to come and watch the parade. The fire truck sounded in the distance, and those that were sitting got up in excitement. The entire parade lasted a total of 15-20 minutes. I think the highlight was the antique car that twirled around in circles while shooting out smoke. Just as quickly as the parade began, the streets began to empty.

Within minutes, the main street was silent again, except for the lone truck that passed by every few minutes. I imagined the spectators returning home to their quiet houses and taking a nap. In the middle of nowhere, that was enough excitement for the day, and everyone was exhausted.