We are at a great time of year right now. Seasons are changing, animals are migrating and holidays are being celebrated! Families and friends gather to continue traditions and pass them on to the next generation. But this year a new time of celebration will be coming our way. It is a time of great importance to us here at the Bass Pro Shops family, and we will be sharing them with you all this year. It is called Flannel Fest and to know how it is going to go, you will need to know where it came from.
The Tall Tale of Flannel Fest
A long, long time ago in a happy land called Bassproville there was an amazing outdoors town center. This town center was full of wondrous things! There were tents, boats, hunting gear, footwear and of course a section full of fishing gear. There was everything from rods to reels to nets to bait. People traveled from all over the world to the land of Bassproville to get their gear.
Many of these people found great success in their adventures, because of their gear! Hunters were better at bringing home meat, campers got to stay out for longer and fishermen were even able to get those stubborn king-of-the-pond fish to bite! Pictures were taken, memories made and outdoor passions were spread to others.
All were happy because of the service that Bassproville provided, except for some. Deep in the darkest lakes and rivers, an evil plan was being hatched. Many of those trophy fish who were in charge of their home waters were upset at having been caught! They decided that never again would they let themselves be fooled by “those pesky anglers and their amazing lures”. They were going to destroy Bassproville!!
But they were just fish, and Bassproville was on land. Their plan of attack was almost foiled before it could begin! That’s when one of the “Big Bass” from the East let them know of a new fish in his home waters. He spoke of fish, from a faraway place, which could not only breathe air but could almost walk across land! They were mean and nasty to boot! He of course was talking about the Snakehead!
A few of the other head fish laughed, saying that those looked like the native Bowfin! With the snap of his fin, the Big Bass from the East released two of the Snakehead fish that quickly gobbled up the mockers. Realizing that using these Snakehead terrors they could take over and destroy Bassproville, all the fish agreed to unleash their evil plan the next day.
Early in the morning, Bassproville was busy with activity as usual. The citizens were helping the visitors get ready for their next adventure. A family was leaving when everything changed. As they walked out the exit doors they saw a hoard of Snakehead fish! A little boy ran to one, wondering what it was when they tried to bite him! The family ran inside and warned everyone of what was coming.
The citizens and visitors of Bassproville quickly barricaded the doors as best they could. Slowly as the Snakehead fish surrounded the town center hope was dwindling away. The fish began chewing their way through the flimsy exterior of the town center. Families cried out as they could see holes forming in the walls. When all of the sudden a loud rumbling was heard outside.
A citizen of Bassproville looked outside to see a large bus pulling up outside. One by one, the burliest of men emerged off the bus. Each one of them was equipped with a mighty axe and a beard that would be the envy of any Greek god! It was the local Lumberjack Games Team! They were coming by to grab gear for their upcoming event! They needed the best gear as they were looking to hold onto the number one title for the fifth year in a row.
The Snakehead fish were quite puzzled at the site of these men. The lumberjacks took a moment to take everything in. Their team leader stroked his beard which as we all know is how lumberjacks get their minds racing. Seeing the helpless people trapped inside, the lumberjacks did what they do best. They started swinging!
A THUMP here! A WHACK there! Each lumberjack swung with all their might at the closet Snakehead. With their axes hitting their mark so straight and true, the hoard of Snakehead fish was dwindling down quickly. Many of them tried to get back to water for safety, but one of the lumberjack chuckled at their cowardice. The might of his laughter and the aftertaste smell from a breakfast of two hundred pancakes and three hundred sausage links made those retreating fish simply explode!
In no time at all the fish menace was defeated and the people of Bassproville rushed out to thank the lumberjacks. They accepted the gratitude of all but politely refused the offers of monetary gratitude and daughters for wives that came from many. Seeing that their town center was ruined, the team needed a little more practice and chopped down trees from a nearby forest. They used the lumber to fix the holes and give the town center more of a log-cabin look.
One of the citizens of Bassproville looked around the field of battle and quickly knew how they could repay the lumberjacks. A feast! Oh yes, a mighty feast! The Snakehead fish were promptly fried up and all delighted in a joyous celebration. With their stomachs full, the lumberjacks returned to their bus to head off to their upcoming event.
Now from this amazing story like many other tall tales come many traditions. This all happened on a Friday, which is why many places have an All-You-Can-Eat Friday Fish Fry. From the rustic-cabin look of the first center of Bassproville after the lumberjacks helped them, comes the inspiration for the appearances of most Bass Pro Shops today.
A common phrase “snake in the grass” comes from this event. This phrase of course describes “a treacherous person, especially one who feigns friendship or a concealed danger.” The fact that the Snakehead fish came across land in a dangerous demeanor created the term “Like a Snakehead in the grass”. Like many common vernaculars, overtime this phrase was shortened to become “snake in the grass” which is what many say today. Scholars and historians believe the phrase went through this transformation due to climate change and the increase of Babylonians to the area.
This year we are extending the celebration of the heroic deeds of those lumberjacks to you and your family by holding a Flannel Fest in all of your local Bass Pro Shops. From October 20th to November 9th Flannel Fest will be celebrated. The latest and greatest fashion styles of flannel will be proudly displayed and sold in honor of the outfits worn by those demi-god lumberjacks. Even we Associates at the stores will show our appreciation by wearing flannel ourselves! On Friday, October 24th the first 100 customers in the store will receive a free Fall Flannel Fest Car Coaster! That is of course one of the Flannel Fridays, celebrated during Flannel Fest. So grab yourself some awesome flannel and join us all in celebrating this year’s Flannel Fest.