HOMER — Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe was wearing a suit and a tie. The afternoon was scorching, the temperature around 87, with humidity you could swim through.
McCabe was already soaking wet from having been dunked once, as Paula Harrington, the organizer of Holiday in Homer, bought three balls to throw. McCabe squirted water at her. Harrington jumped back.
“Are you serious? I didn’t even vote for you,” she said.
McCabe laughed and kept squirting water.
Harrington raised the first ball. “This is for —”
“The Center of the Arts, I already know what you’re going to say,” McCabe said.
“Yeah, the parking,” she said, and unloaded. Bam! Bull’s-eye, and the mayor went down.
The constituency grievance session/ dunk tank was one of the attractions Saturday at the 38th annual Holiday in Homer, an arts and crafts festival featuring about 125 artisans and craft-makers at a day-long event sponsored by the Homer Congregational Church.
Featured artisan Chris Barnes, a former Cincinnatus Junior- Senior High School English teacher who now canes chairs in retirement, took up the hobby 25 years ago, after taking a BOCES class on Port Watson Street. She’s been at it ever since, and Saturday she demonstrated and advertised her trade as festival goers walked by.
On the other side of the village green, Margie and Tom McCoy, retirees from Johnson City, sold their crafts: Margie makes her own soap, and Tom makes wine trays and birdhouses out of wine bottle corks.
“This is my retirement,” said Margie McCoy, pointing to her array of 65 varieties of soap she has spent the past five or six years developing, such as chocolate, sweet rose petal, lavender and oatmeal goat’s milk, and dirty dog (“for dogs and their humans”).
At a nearby booth, Louise Felker of Dryden sold handmade metal jewelry, Nerdy by Nature. Some of the slogans on the wristbands and necklaces: “Use the force,” “Straight out of Gallifrey,” “Constant vigilance.”
“I try to cover as many nerdy things as I can so there’s something for everybody,” she said.
Star Trek, Firefly, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Marvel Comics, Hamilton, Sherlock — her jewelry managed to cover most of the major nerd culture food groups.
As proof of her nerd street cred, Felker mentioned the life-size replica of a TARDIS from Dr.Who that she has in her Dryden backyard. It’s a prop from a past play that she now uses as a shed for gardening tools. Felker is a stage director on her spare time; she will direct “Macbeth” in August in Homer.
“So I’m not just paying lip service to being a nerd,” she said. “I actually am a nerd.”
The event also featured facepainting, a horse-drawn carriage ride, and Dan “The Snakeman” Chase, as well as music provided by The Developments, a rock band from Horseheads, that played in the gazebo.