Yes Devon has started.
No, I am not going.
Yes you know it’s Devon when it’s raining. And there are severe thunderstorm warnings.
Devon used to be (first of all) about the pretty horses and talented riders, “Devon burgers”, lemon sticks, original Devon fudge, a few vendors (a lot of whom were local antiques dealers and the Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift Shop had a shop in that little old structure that looks like a cross between a little cottage and a spring house), of course the Ferris wheel and seeing the truly amazing volunteers like the late (and great) Betty Moran. Mrs. Moran for so many years was one of the first faces you saw when coming through the gates.
Devon was also about being with friends and family, not wearing overpriced heels and pretentiously trying to out do each other in a hat contest that went from lovely and ladylike to somewhat ridiculous yet amusing watching some of them negotiate the gravel ground surface without getting too many pebbles in their designer high heeled sandals.
What did we wear back in the day on our feet? Well my friends who were competing were either in their super shiny show boots, or their muck boots and even sneakers while they were waiting. We wore closed toe espadrilles or things like Papagallo flats (remember the ones that had the flowers on them?), clogs, sneakers. If we dressed up it was original Lilly or maybe Vested Gentress. Maybe a skirt and a top, maybe a sun dress. A lot of times since it can be cold and damp and rainy during Devon, it was jeans and a shirt. And it was so exciting as a kid to sit in the boxes in the evening with the grown ups!
Some overnight placed media story talked about how excited they were that there were “over 100 vendors.“ That’s not why we used to go to Devon. Yes going through the little shops was nice but it wasn’t the main focus of the event. Nor were high-end coffee booths and lots and lots of alcohol. Sure people always had wine, champagne, and cocktails in the evenings in their booths but it wasn’t that much of a focus it was just part of a picnic.
And I must take a moment to clarify what I said regarding “100 vendors” because a woman who describes herself as a “professional volunteer” and “works” for Devon sent in a comment:
It is never a guarantee that the Clydesdales will come. There are fewer teams that travel across the country. And you were incorrect about the 100 vendors. That was what the buyer for souvenirs said relating to her suppliers for the booth.~ Lisa L.
My thoughts kind of remain the same Ok so 100 vendors of chatchkes. Same point holds: not why people used to go to Devon. And would love to know how many years have the Clydesdales missed coming to Devon then? Because they lived in the barn of someone I know for a week when they went to Radnor Hunt, so they managed to go there but not stay to open Devon? And if you are such a rah rah for Devon and the Chairman, why didn’t any of you honor the long time volunteer who died not so long ago? Didn’t see anything come across the social media channels or on the website?
I don’t go to Devon at present because I mourn what it has become. I also don’t like the fact that there seems to be more emphasis on the fair side and not as much emphasis on the horse side.
And also this year I think it pretty much sucks that the Clydesdales won’t be there.
I also hope the police are helping people with traffic? It is of course some thing a lot of us are wondering given the litigation filed by Devon horse show against Easttown Township right?
Someday I will go back to enjoying Devon. But I think there will need to be a new regime in place first. And hopefully it’s not a question of if but when as far as that goes.