A Burst Of Fun

Last Sunday, Santa Barbara gave a shout of happiness.  Within the course of an afternoon, I watched a parade walk blithely into the holidays, and I attended a festival which celebrated the softest, the shyest and the most beloved of animals.

Boyfrirend and I took the train up north.  After suffering through the urban debris of Chatsworth and Simi Valley, the train swung towards the coast, and we were able to see the ocean's thumbprint on the sand, the birds running just beyond the sea froth.  For the rest of thte way we traveled around the water, watching the Channel Islands emerge from the blue marine fog as the morning progressed.

We have a favorite cafe in Santa Barbara, where we always have breakfast.  Instead of toast you get a basket of fragrant coffee cake, scones and pastries.  So we reclined outside, watching the foot traffic on the sidewalk slow, as people started to gather on either side of the suddenly empty street.

Something was about to happen.

We saw a single police escort drive by.  Then…after a pause, it started.  A Children's Costume Parade.  Bank after bank of strollers pushed and wagons pulled.  Children – the majority couldn't have been older than five – appeared as pirates, princesses, devils, angels, dragons, dinosaurs.  Strollers were veiled in spider webs.  Wagons were stuffed with hay for tiny farmers.  The Red Barons touched ground, holding onto a cardboard tri-plane.  Two bee-keepers walked by, one holding the smallest of bees, fast asleep.  I saw a wagon edged in turquoise waves with a pretty pearl inside, led by a glittering mermaid:

There were zombies, practicing their walk of the dead:

I saw a cowboy, bound for the North Forty:

A pirate stood at the stern of his ship, on the lookout for the King's navy:

There was a bunny who had escaped her warren to enjoy a bright afternoon's festivities:

But from where had that bunny come?  Well, after watching the parade until the joy was too much to bear, we walked to the celebration, the epic sprawl, the magnificent frenzy…The Santa Barbara Bunny Festival.

Behold…bunny croquet:  reel as Anastasia decides to lay down and graze instead of running the course!  Bunny bowling:  gasp as Zeus strikes down a pin with one pass of his mighty nose!

Shudder at the thought of bets lost, reputations ruined, fortunes destroyed!

Behold…bunnies on display!  Proud owners walked amidst us lower un-bunned types, allowing us to meet their furry compatriots:  Poptart, Emily, Piper!

Spy…on the decadent world of caged bunnies!  Scheming:

disapproving, sleeping, eating!  But don't step inside, lest you become another victim of the dreaded carrot hazing ritual!

Marvel…at the agility of Buster, as he takes stock of his surroundings, decides that a makeshift warren is no place for a handsome champagne-colored bun, and makes his escape!  Shake your head at Buster's bad bunny luck as he lands in the lap of his owner, sleeping in a lawn chair close by.

The excitement.  The swirl of activity.  Boundless, bounding bunnies.  It was all around.

Boyfriend and I visited every stand, watched every competition, observed every corner of the lagomorphic throng.

This BunFest was sponsored by the Santa Barbara chapter of B.U.N.S. (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter).  There were bunnies waiting for permanent homes; pretty, pale Cristin was one of them:

It was such a lovely day.  I saw only smiles.

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23 responses to “A Burst Of Fun

  1. Cutest thing I've seen all day.Is Santa Barbara a longer drive than LA? My mental map isn't working and I'm too sleepy to Google. ;)Maybe we could do a breakfasty thing this weekend. Or next.

  2. What a bunderful weekend escape! You once again write so we feel as if we were there as well. Thank you for my mini-virtual vacation!

  3. qu33n: SB is about a three hour drive north of Los Angeles – maybe a little over 100 miles? And what about Sunday, November 18? I'll email you.
    AmyH: Glad to take you along! It truly was a beautiful day.
    e2c: No clickers to be found – and the 'bunny croquet' was actually a small grass enclosure, with tubes and croquet hoops and small gates for the buns to run through, under and over. But none of them did! Given the choice of exercising or laying down and grazing on the food that was all around them, the wise bunnies chose the latter, of course.

  4. Coffee cake!

  5. I had a stableboy's tip for Flopsy to place in the fifth, but she scratched at the post.
    What a lovely weekend! Thanks for sharing!

  6. That looks like the best parade ever!

  7. So Fun! the Bunnies are So Adorable!

  8. You went to the Bunny Festival? I'm so jealous. Indy has given us a heads up that she may attend next year. Did you see Pinkie and Muffy?!? This is a sweet and charming story, Aubrey, thanks. I love you as a bunny! I mean, not that I don't love you as a hooman too.

  9. btw, you have a double post of this…

  10. YAY!!!! I have to go next year. I have to. But Indy is on the fence about it. On the one hand it looks like a huge romping good time, but on the other hand she knows we see it as a huge opportunity to dress her up in awful child pageant garb just to embarrass her in front of the other bunnies. Hee hee.

  11. Tell her about the competition. Tell her that Coco will be there. she might consent after all, if only because there can only be one empress of disapproval. 😉

  12. Oh…Coco will definitely be there? That's pretty tough competition, e. I don't know… I just don't know…

  13. I think Indy could do it, but you both have to be Strong! See reply on Indy's blog, BTW – maybe The Red Door shelter (in Chicago, I'm thinking?) could consent to host this showdown?

  14. Indy must go.Her disapproval will be of cosmic proportions.

  15. Guys, we definately need Bunny Personalities to attend next year. This swellegant event must be covered by the regional publications, and then – who knows? – the national editions!
    More and more people must be made aware of the joys – and pitfalls – of bunny-dom. I know that people just aren't aware – I wasn't for the longest time – that there are buns in shelters, and they need homes, too.
    We need a Rabbit-Awareness Month. Where do you go to set this up?

  16. Oh what fun.. The PArade and teh activities and teh food. Great mini vacation.

  17. Awwww, how delightful!Bunny croquet – what a marvelous idea! I'm not much into spectator sports, but I don't think I'd ever get tired of watching that – even if the bunnehs all fell asleep.

  18. Oh, I wish I could have been there in real life, but thanks for a wonderful tour!

  19. Ahhhhhhh. That was bliss to read – thanks for taking us there.

  20. Bunfest? Please–could it be any more perfect? Surreal Santa Barbara sky, coffeecake, and bunnehs…it just doesn't get any better than that.

  21. awwwww Bunnies! sounds like a great day. *sigh*
    I liked Santa Barbara very much when I visited a number of years ago…

  22. you made such great pics, making all of us to feel the joy of that festival!Thank you

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