Leslie Fender and Angel have traveled almost 1,500 miles over three years to get to Arlington, and they’re not stopping now.
Fender is a Vietnam War veteran and Angel is his horse. Right now, and through the weekend, Fender and Angel will be camped out at American Legion Post 139 at 3445 Washington Blvd in Virginia Square. Fender and Angel started their journey from his hometown of Stephenville, Texas, three years ago, raising awareness for stroke prevention and research.
Fender is tall, wears a cowboy hat and his American Legion nametag, speaks in a Texas twang and says he started his ride to benefit the National Stroke Association and American Stroke Foundation, which helped pay for his own stroke surgery and recovery in 2004.
This morning, an Arlington resident called 911 after seeing Angel grazing in front of Post 139 and Fender relaxing in his tent on the front lawn. Arlington County Police Department Dustin Sternbeck said the man from the 17,000-person “Cowboy Capital of the World” is doing nothing illegal.
“The horse is not being housed here, so therefore it’s just a mode of transportation,” he said. “When the horse is in the road, cars need to yield to it.”
Fender is staying the weekend to visit the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Rosslyn and the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., he said. And what if some new neighbors want to come see Angel?
“They can come and see her, definitely,” Fender said. “But they should donate to the stroke foundation if they do.”
After this weekend, Fender said he and Angel will mosey north, visiting Veterans Affairs hospitals, American Legion posts and V.F.W. posts, raising awareness for stroke research, camping out and stopping traffic as they go.
The event’s 2013 moniker: “A Royal Ball.”
Now in its 9th year, the Testicle Festival will again be held at the Arlington American Legion Post in Virginia Square (3445 N. Washington Blvd), from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Tickets are $25 online or $30 at the door. Attendees must be at least 21 year of age.
The price of admission will buy you “all the Rocky Mountain Oysters, beer and Crown Royal you can handle,” organizers say. Entertainment will be provided by the Will Gravatt Band, while the testicles will be fried by Frank McGraw, who’s billed as “Montana’s most famous ball chef.”
“Coming to us straight from the original Rocky Mountain Testy Fest at Rock Creek Lodge outside of Missoula, Frank’s tasty recipe has an authentic zest that helped set a record last year for most pounds consumed,” according to the Montana State Society website.
The Montana State Society’s Testicle Festival in Virginia Square was a rousing success this year.
Festival-goers consumed 110 pounds of bull and bison testicles, 84 liters of Crown Royal and 1,500 cans of beer this year, according to event organizer and Society president Jed Link. All three were records for the event, now in its eighth year.
Organizers estimate that nearly 600 people attended the Testicle Festival, which was held at the American Legion post at 3445 Washington Boulevard. Even though the event didn’t start until 6:00 on Saturday evening, Link said a line started to form at 4:30 p.m.
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Exotic food lovers should enjoy an event taking place at the Arlington American Legion (3445 N. Washington Blvd) in Virginia Square on Saturday, May 19. The Montana State Society’s Eighth Annual Testicle Festival, dubbed “Legends of the Ball,” will be testing visitors’ gag reflexes.
The event lets attendees sample unlimited amounts of bull testicles, also called Rocky Mountain oysters. Like last year, there will be all-you-can-drink beer and Crown Royal to wash it down.
In a press release, organizers touted the event as a “unique western tradition.”
“While in D.C. people celebrate spring by posting pictures of cherry blossoms on Facebook, Montanans have a pretty unique tradition of our own,” said Montana State Society President Jed Link. “Spring is calving season out West, and that means something special in the pot come chow time.”
There will be live country music at the festival, which runs from 6:00-10:00 p.m. The first 200 people to arrive will also get a commemorative t-shirt.
Tickets can be purchased online for $25, or at the door for $30. Attendees must be at least 21.
About 500 people showed up at the American Legion post in Virginia Square on Saturday to chug beer, drink Crown Royal and sample bull testicles.
The Montana State Society’s 2011 Testicle Festival was a rousing success, said co-organizer Jed Link, who noted that last year’s event in the District — which lacked Crown Royal — only drew 200 attendees. Link also observed that the line for fried testicles was longer than ever.
Our photos from the event, for those who have already eaten their breakfast, are below.
More than 500 people are expected to show up at the Arlington American Legion post in Virginia Square (3445 Washington Blvd) this weekend to chow down on 60 pounds of “peeled, sliced and fried bull testicles.”
The seventh annual Montana State Society ‘Testicle Festival’ is being held from 6:00 to 10:00 Saturday night. A $20 ticket buys you “all the Crown Royal you can drink and all the balls you can eat,” as festival co-organizer Brittany Beauleiu told NBC Washington. There will also be all-you-can-drink beer and country music from the Wil Gravatt Band.
Also known as Rocky Mountain oysters or cowboy caviar, bull testicles are said to be chewy and taste like chicken.
The western delicacy might not be for everyone — but everybody has a price, right? How much would someone have to pay you to sample some bull baby makers?
Photo by Fernando Hartwig