Intercourse Heritage Days – Day 1

This weekend is Heritage Days down at the park. Lots of amish folks, volleyball, unhealthy food, and good photo ops. I took a few pictures and shared some insights over at the Burnside Blog.

I’ve also posted them here below…so read on for some Heritage Days goodness.

Heritage Days – Day 1

This is one of our favorite weekends of the year in the Allain household. Once again the 3rd weekend in June is playing host to Intercourse Heritage Days. It started off a few years ago as a celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Intercourse (the town, not the act) and since then they have made the celebration a yearly tradition.

Our house is a 5-minute walk from the park in Intercourse, so we spend as much time there during the celebration as we can. I brought my camera along on Day 1 to capture the Intercourse experience for those of you who are still virgins to Lancaster County, PA. And I promise at some point I’ll get tired of making “intercourse” jokes. At least, I think I will.

My daughter Kylie (stripes), son Parker (red), with their cousins Avery, Sierra, and Landon on a wagon being pulled by a John Deere. Notice in the background the Turkey Hill Ice Cream truck. Turkey Hill’s products have been spreading out over the country recently, but it all started in Lancaster County for them. If I have more than a half cup of their iced tea after dinner I won’t sleep from the caffeine and the sugar. Also notice the old man with the cane in the background. You might think he is finding joy in watching children have fun. Unfortunately, he is trying to figure out if he could make it back to his car with one kid under each arm. In the end, he came to the conclusion that he would get tackled before he even reached the Turkey Hill truck, so he went home and smoked cherry-flavored tobacco in his pipe. He’ll be back tomorrow to try again.

There’s two sports the Amish love above all others: softball and volleyball. But if they had to pick one, they would pick volleyball. We have two sand courts in the park by our house, and during Heritage Days they are host to a huge tournament. Most of the teams are amish teenagers. There’s usually a few kids wearing “normal” clothes, but these teams usually get destroyed by the Amish teams. They might be peacemakers in life, but in sports the Amish will rip your heart out and staple-gun it to their horse-drawn buggy. Notice how high little Jakey is jumping without shoes. He may or may not be on amish steroids.

Here’s my lovely wife Erica in line with my daughter to get some homemade Lapp’s Valley Farm Ice Cream. The ladies serving the ice cream are not dressed up in costumes, they are authentic wearers of coffee-filter style bonnets. The man behind Erica is an authentic amishman. Amish people love their ice cream. I know that is a gross generalization, but hey it’s true. And it’s ice cream, so it’s not that gross. We got 3 cones and 1 dish of ice cream for $6.00. Clearly the folks at Lapp Valley Farm don’t realize what money-hungry carnival vendors are charging for ice cream these days. Sometimes, you just got to love the Amish.

I take terrible pictures. But if this was a good picture you would see that the boys in the background have lost their volleyball into the pond. A girl in a maroon dress has spent the past few minutes throwing rocks into the water to push the ball over to the opposing shore. If she successfully rescues the ball, she will be rewarded by being betrothed in marriage to the boy who knocked it into the pond.

Amish dress is still a bit of a curiosity to me. The boys wear collared shirts, suspenders, and black pants with no belts. Even when playing volleyball. They usually wear white high-top sneakers like you and I would have worn in the early 90s. These two blokes in the foreground are sporting the traditional amish bowl-cut. Notice how the neck is shaved, and all the long hair just stops at the same point like a hair traffic-jam. I’m pretty sure this is a look that will never be popular in regular american culture. If it ever does become mainstream, I hear that the amish will adopt the faux-hawk as their hair style of choice.

Another shot of some amish boys getting ready before their game. The spike that this dude is about to hit came about 5 feet from smashing me in the chest. Had that happened, I would have ran onto the court and fought him, setting amish/non-amish relations back about five years. Thankfully, we avoided this disaster.

Here’s some boys checking out the winners and losers brackets as the tournament gets underway. The guys in the gray and yellow looked and talked like Amish kids (they still speak in Pennsylvania Dutch, which is almost impossible for me to understand) but they had semi-normal haircuts, so I don’t if they were amish or not. Amish girls are not allowed to look at tournament brackets according to their religion, so the girl in the mint waits patiently in the foreground thinking about quilts and ice cream.

Here I am eating a funnel cake. Funnel cakes are pieces of fried dough covered in powdered sugar. They are about as good for you as a trans-fat IV.

Here my son Parker gets ready to participate in the tractor pull. The man in charge lets him know that if he doesn’t perform well, he will hide him in his mustache when no one is looking and he will be trapped there forever. He says that right now there are approximately thirty little boys and girls trapped in his mustache, and that it is a really awful place to live because it is hot in there and it smells like french onion soup.

Parker, fearing a life imprisoned in the mustache, pedals with a focus and determination that i have never seen from him before. His mediocre performance is just good enough to keep him out of the scary man’s upper lip prison.

You never know who will show up at Intercourse Heritage Days. The woman in the black walking with her mom is none other than Anne Beiler. You know her better as Auntie Anne, the pretzel lady who sells delicious soft pretzels at your local mall. She lives a few minutes away and was a judge for the Shoofly Pie contest. If you don’t know what Shoofly pie is, Google it. As you can see in the background, teal is still enjoying great popularity in Lancaster County. This might actually be the last great bastion of teal-colored shirts in the country. It really is something to be proud of.


Well, that’s it from Day 1 of Intercourse Heritage Days. Day 2 promises to be just as exciting as the volleyball tournament continues, more bad food is consumed, and folks come in droves for the fireworks show. I’ll have an update as soon as I wake up from my funnel cake induced coma.

Click Here Day 2