Cheeseburger in Caseville 2010: Part II

This is the second of two posts about our recent camping trip to the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival. To read the first post, click here.

After setting up camp on Thursday and enjoying cheeseburgers and the music of Marty Viers and the Music Doctors on Friday, Saturday promised to be the best day yet. We were going to participate in the sand castle competition scheduled for the day, and the night included the music of only the greatest Jimmy Buffett tribute band of all time -- Air Margaritaville.

So, naturally, we woke up to rain.

Flashback to a year ago: At the 2009 Cheeseburger in Caseville festival, it rained so hard and so long on Saturday we had several inches of standing water at our campsite. We played every game we had in the camper 500 million times.

So you can understand the feeling of dread that came over us when, this year, Mother Nature was once again raining on our parade.

Fortunately, the rains lasted only until right around noon. It was only a light rain, too, so no campsite lake either. We cooked and ate breakfast (blueberry pancakes, fresh fruit) under awnings, so no big deal with that, either.

My family left the others to head to the county park in Downtown Caseville so we could meet up with my buddy, Steve, and his family. The sand castle competition was to have started at 10 a.m. -- our families were going to work on one together -- but due to the rain we sorta expected the contest to be canceled. We got to his campsite and shot the breeze for a while, then decided to take a walk down to the beach, just to see what was going on.

Yep, you guessed it, the sand castle competition was not canceled.

So we very quickly registered and started to build a sand castle. It was already 1:30 p.m., and the competition ended at 3 p.m. We had our work cut out for us. But we had me and Steve, plus a bunch of our kids, and the wives came and helped after they got back from getting more ice (got to keep the coolers properly cooled!).

For our sand castle we made a "Crabby Patty" (see picture) from Spongebob Squarepants on the Nickelodeon channel. The theme for this year's Cheeseburger festival was crabs, and it was the kids who came up with the idea of making a huge crab, but its body would be a cheeseburger. We were all very proud of the result! Plus, we took fourth place. I think there were about 10 entries that day (the rains scared off a lot of people), but I'm telling everyone else there were 120 entries.

That afternoon we went back to our campsite, ate dinner, showered and the whole group -- 17 people -- headed back for the Air Margaritaville concert.

We put down tarp and our lawn chairs to reserve our spots in the hillside amphitheater, then walked into town to see the sights.

Downtown Caseville goes all out for the festival. Huge pink flamingos hang from the light posts. Store awnings are covered in grass skirting. Parking lots are taken over by civic organizations grilling and selling cheeseburgers. As I mentioned before, the local newspaper reported that 28,000 cheeseburgers were sold on Friday night alone. They probably doubled that number on Saturday; lines were stretched along the sidewalks and the aroma of grilled meat hung in the humid air like a blanket of cheesy goodness.

Downtown Caseville during the Cheeseburger festival is a great scene.

We headed back to the concert so we'd be in our seats before Air Margaritaville took the stage at 7:30 p.m. They would play until 10:30, and the crowd -- a good 7,500-10,000 people strong -- were all of the same happy-go-lucky mood. They -- we -- were there to be entertained, and Air Margaritaville did not disappoint. They are very good musicians who stay true to Jimmy Buffett's songs, and that's exactly what the crowd wanted. They have a great sense of humor about them, too. Frank Bama, lead singer, started the concert by saying "If you have a favorite Jimmy Buffett song you'd like to hear, keep it to yourself. We're playing from a list." Great, great time that night dancing to and singing songs we know by heart.

Sunday morning came too soon. We had another big breakfast, then packed up camp and headed home. (We need later afternoon check-out times!)

The rest of the people in our party, those who were spending their first time at Cheeseburger in Caseville, all vowed they would be back next year. And they're already talking about which other people they want to convince to come along.

So, thanks Caseville for another great time. One of these years we might even make it to the Parade of Fools (100,000 people are said to witness that colorful event), but until then, we'll have a cold beverage in one hand, a cheeseburger in the other and a tropical song in our heart.