Its been 24 years since I first went to the local agricultural fair in our area. Just over a year old, I was a little babe entered in the baby contest, only to be beat out by my dear friend and cousin, E. She was tan from a summer at the cottage and cute as a button. I was fair and chubby (my mother describes me as a cabbage patch kid…it looked like there for strings tied on my wrists….thats how chubby I was). Despite that loss all those years ago, I still look forward to the fair every Summer.
All my senses are activated. The smell of popcorn and hot dogs. The sounds of children’s squeals on the midway rides. The flashing lights of the ferris wheel. The taste of cotton candy melting in your mouth. The soft coat of a young foal in the petting zoo.
Walking through the fairgrounds, its like being a kid again, except for the Beer tent part.
On this surprisingly cool evening, My dear friend Amy and her work colleagues came along with me. These girls had never been to fair and they were in for a treat.
It was tempting to go on some of the rides from when I was a kid, but Amy pointed out that she “won’t go on anything that goes up in a day and comes down in 4 hours”. Made plenty of sense to me. When did growing up make us choose the safer, more logical route?
Although I didn’t go on the rides, I did watch the kids on them: faces lit up with excitement, pointing into the distance to where their houses were. To a little kid its like you’re on top of the world.
Instead of risking life and limb on children’s’ rides, we indulged in plenty of cotton candy. (The yellow was banana flavoured1)
Every year there are displays of agricultural equipment, a petting zoo (my favorite), baking competitions and craft exhibits.
But the real highlight for us was going to go see the Truck and Tractor Pull.
“The Environmentalist’s Daughter” in my cringed, but the “Small Town Girl” in me just cheered them on.
After the pull, we headed over to the Beer Tent. Picture an entire small town crammed into a fenced in area with $5 beers. It was a busy night to say the least.
The next night we headed back to watch the Figure 8 races. Basically you cheer on the hometown boys while they slowly demolish the cars while trying to be the first to do the figure 8 loop 15 times.
I pray that my brother never gets the inclination to compete in this himself.
It was a great fair this year and I’m already looking forward to the next year. I always say that I’m going to compete in one of the baking or craft competitions, but I never remember to do it until the call for admissions comes right before the fair. Maybe next year….