I guess she recognized that at an event of this scale she couldn’t steal the spotlight. She would have been right. There was no place for plastic at this event. It was all about leather and boots, buckles and hats, horses and straw. Anything that wasn’t genuine cowboy didn’t fit in. In fact the air of hostility towards Magna seemed to consume our Mayor as I watched her tippy-toe around the event. She seemed lost and out of place. Councilors Wilson and Gallo were in tow, they seemed like they were attached like tugboats to “Her Warship”. Needless to say with all the great food and entertainment no one payed them any notice. Which no doubt was a relief to Phyllis because it looked like she had recycled her outfit from the 2008 Hoedown. She couldn’t even be bothered to find a hat. I’m so glad that the Hoedown is back, it couldn’t have returned at a more crucial time. Following the woefully constructed and highly controversial Aurora Jazz Fest is is refreshing to see what a true music themed event can be, when properly coordinated and without council’s interference. The Hoedown didn’t cost the tax payers a dime. There were no ushering of people from a town park. No barriers to entry, in fact the lines to both the washrooms and the saloon moved quickly. The fact that the event is community focused raising over $500,000 for charity, with 100% of the ticket sales included in this figure shows an outstancing commitment to community from Magna and Aurora as a whole. Something missing from other “special” events of late. I found the Hoedown so “fantastic” that it behooved me to comment over on the AuroraCitizen blog because I don’t believe it was getting its fair share of appreciation. There was some nitpicking about coffee and tea tasting like bleach. Um, who drinks coffee and tea at a Hoedown? Must be those self important Aurora fuddyduddies. And then there was some crap about the food being sub par, that it was under heat lamps, or that it was just okay. Let get one thing straight. Both Rifest and the Hoedown provided first rate food. The carts at Ribfest were superb and after returning all 3 days to sample all of the carts I can say that the grills at the Hoedown equaled them. If someone wants to bitch that they had better grill in butt-fuck Arkansas, or that they honestly believe they can BBQ better than this so be it. It isn’t so. The 3 mains were prepared to perfection. A Hoedown is about fresh grill and plenty of beer. Coleslaw, deserts (and any beverages consumed from styrofoam cups ) were an add-on. I’m not sure what some people were expecting, but the $65 ticket fee was way under the value that was received. If anyone stopped to think about the cost of the ticket to just the headlining act as a component to this, I think it is pretty evident as to the outstanding value. The music was first rate. If anyone found it too loud than they should go get their ears checked for fuddyduddieness. The cross selection of acts was great. Blue Rodeo was “fantastic” and certainly at home at this venue. Did I say it was “fantastic” ? Yeah I probably did. It was Yipee Kayee Mother Fucking Fantastic. And I’ll be sure to see you there next year. That is of course if you’re not listening to your stereo tuned to 1 while crying into your tea because the results of the 2010 election shook your out of your stupor.