RAY TARTE REWIND: The Festival of Lights, Rockford Memories and Holiday Cheer



The Festival of Lights, Rockford, IL. ComEd thanks you and Happy Holidays! Now that that’s out of the way.

By Ray Tarte  |  Transcribed by Andy Whorehall

The Festival of Lights, Andy.  You ever driven through that thing sober?  The very last time I drove through I was sober and employed full time.  Man, I was employed full time in Rockford, Illinois!  The irony. I haven’t had a full time job since that one laid me and many others off in 2004.  I’ll still blame Obama. How about that for some funny holiday cheer?  Black Friday, what the hell is that anyway?  Retail sales and math, man.  People can’t do math in America anymore, what they thinkin?Rude.

So like I was saying. This ‘Festival of Lights’ thang in Rockford, Illinois. The Park District or somebody lights the park up with some electric craziness.  You drive through in your car real slow at night with your heat on. Sometimes the people I know like to get high just to kill time and look at lights. Uh huh. I don’t however, I just like to drive slow with my hot cocoa and a hot blonde I barely know and look at lights acting like I care!   And you sit sometimes for more than 10 seconds in your car and look at lights you may really like and talk about them. ComEd LOVES it!  Rockford blondes love it too.

8 years ago I drove through it at night on a date with hot chocolates for both of us from the famous Road Ranger chain (cha ching, you owe us for that one). An oversized SUV was behind me honking the whole time for me to speed up from the get go. That’s not cool, it’s rude- especially at the Festival of Lights.  (Like you have anywhere else to be but in bed or a bar in Rockford, Illinois.)  Halfway through and moving steady, I’m pissed, the honking is a distraction and all intentions this baby cakes in the front seat may have for me later are flying out the window. Time to be a man, Andy.  Road ragin the Festival of Lights is not cool. I parked and got out to approach the gas-guzzling-lights-racist.

Turns out the lights-racist is a he who rolls down his windows to greet me, What the hail man can’t you speed it up!?

Laughing at the immediate accent that greets me I reply, Scuse me? Do you even see the cars behind you or the ones in front of me?  Please stop honking it’s f*cking rude.

(I’m certain this makes Kimmy in my front seat really horny again when she hears me put my foot down with the Honking Hillbilly at the Festival of Lights in Rockford, Illinois.)

Honking Hillbilly Lights Racist, I sees these cars but what the hail es goin on?! I need to get homes!

Me, The lights man!…. Did you not see the lights or the sign pulling in?



Honking Hillbilly Lights Racist, You shittin me bro?! Naw man, I came backs here to get high! I always dues but I dint expect this crazy ass shit. Thesis bowl sh*t.

Me, You’re gonna have to stop honking, man.  I can’t drive any faster alright?  Good luck with that other stuff.

Honking Hillbilly Lights Racist, Good luck with what? I don’t understand this sh*t. Damns.   Ima gonna be late!

Me, Sorry man, Happy Holidays!

A car or 2 behind us started honking too. I returned to my car to be greeted by a warm hot chocolate and an excited Kimmy.  I drove slowly and stared at amazing lights with a Rockford Blonde.  You had to be there, it was awesome.

How many potheads have you met in a rush, Andy? I met one at the Festival of Lights in Rockford, Illinois with a Rockford Blonde who had  some big ol pancakes in my car seat lookin on at all those nice holiday lights blowin bright and cold air kickin in. I’ve never gone back because of this experience. Rockford events hold special memories for many reasons but many are neither positive or negative, just ironic.  Another nice local event like this I actually enjoyed for a very long time ironically ruined by a pothead.  Happy Holidays, Rockford, Illinois.  ComEd loves you. Now that that’s outta the way.

Hey man, es you hungry for some pancakes or spicy garlics? I mean look at all these people drivin like it’s a race to the next sale. All this Black Friday Holiday Cheer Sh*t makes the Ray Tarte very hungry. PANCAKES.  CHICKEN WANGS.  PANCAKES.  CHICKEN WANGS. Yo yo turn here, you call it.

The end.
RT |  AW

NOTE: ComEd sponsors this event, so maybe the City of Rockford & the Rockford Park District gets a brake on their bill being really broke and all.  Too bad unemployed Rockford home owners who pay more than most in the country on property taxes (which half of goes to a public school district that mishandles money & people equally) only get the ComEd inflated rate special. We’re not a tax expendable write off but I’m assuming the Festival of Lights is.



RAY TARTE REWIND: The Festival of Lights, Rockford Memories and Holiday CheerAndy Whorehall

3 comments on "RAY TARTE REWIND: The Festival of Lights, Rockford Memories ..."

  1. I'm fairly certain that the Festival of Lights would be a big disappointment to someone in the merciless grip of LSD or mushrooms. Lights are intrinsically awesome (electricity through resistant wires equals light? OMFG) but the displays might be just pathetic enough to overwhelm your natural urge to gaze at shiny shit with the knowledge that these lights haven't achieved their greatest potential since around the 1970s. Except for the Electrician's union display, that one is always pure genius. If they merged the FOL with the snow sculpting event, that might actually be interesting, play with the medium a bit. But then again this is Rockford where mediocrity is an honored tradition.

  2. Love.

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