While the history of carnival celebrations can be traced across the globe over many centuries, the modern-day carnival concept was truly a 19th century invention, originating at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Shortly thereafter, carnival companies began touring the nation, performing at county fairs and civic events. They lured in the crowds with their tantalizing advertisements for a variety show of wild animals, “freaks,” minstrel acts, magic tricks, thrilling acrobatic feats, and a curated collection of exotic curiosities.
The sands are alive with sunshine,
The bathers lounge and throng,
And out in the bay a bugle
Is lilting a gallant song.
The clouds go racing eastward,
The blithe wind cannot rest,
And a shard on the shingle flashes
Like the shining soul of a jest;
While children romp in the surges,
And sweethearts wander free,
And the Firth as with laughter dimples…
I would it were deep over me!
~ William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
Painting: “Shores of Bognor Regis” by Alexander Mann (1853-1908)
by Robert Louis Stevenson
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside-
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown-
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
The lace canopy that shields from torrents and sunbeams possesses a history that spans the centuries back to the East Indies 5000 years past. But the French popularized the hand-held accessory during the reign of King Louis XIV when couturiers would fabricate lavishly trimmed parasols to match splendid gowns.
No doubt, summer is the most social season the year. It is a time for block parties with the neighbors, family vacations, camping trips, evenings spent in the company of friends on the back deck.
Door-step parties were a favorite summer pastime for the Victorians.