Thursday, September 20, 2007

At the Fair

Last night LC and I checked out the Great Frederick Fair, now in its 145th year. This was the first time we'd come in a couple years, so it was good to be back.

Funny thing is, when we go, we do almost the same things every time. (Do you, at your local/county/state fair?) We start with dinner at one of the fire company stands, since the proceeds benefit them and we'd like them to be around if we need their services, which I pray we don't! I had a scrumptious half chicken platter, while LC tried the shrimp basket. (BTW, she used to say "shrimps" just to irk me, Captain Grammarian. Now I just chuckle.) We'd rather patronize some local non-profit group who can use the money rather than carnies from elsewhere.

Then we make a circle through the fairgrounds. Some of the stops we've been known to make include:

  • The Bingo tent. Oddly enough, this year there was no board showing the numbers that had been called. And unlike other years, we didn't come close to winning. Brings back fond memories of my Bingo-calling days, however.
  • The ice cream line under the pavilion. For some reason, Turkey Hill ice cream doesn't taste that good out of a box from a store, but when hand-dipped, it's the food of the gods. I, however, should have stuck with the "small" quantity of Cookies and Cream last night; the "large" was rather so!
  • The Republican tent. It was pretty desolate last night, however, and was dominated by Ron Paul (who?) schtuff. I reckon on the weekends, there would be much more activity. The same was true of the Democratic tent, although theirs looked a bit more festive. But not much more.
  • The cow milking area. It's always fascinating to see where that white stuff comes from, although not as much so now that hand milking isn't done so often.
But we did check out some other things as well:
  • We watched a pretty wild-looking kids' ride where they were whipped around, up, and down while lying in their stomachs. Kind of like "Superman Meets The Swing Machine."
  • LC was fascinated by a cow that was dilated and about to give birth. I'm glad she wasn't due yet. (No, NOT LC!)
  • We got to see a bunch of little piggies crawling in the dirt; these piglets had been born just that day! They were quite cute. Mom was doing her best to keep them in line. They crowded around a heat lamp to keep warm.
  • Are alpacas some of the wildest-looking animals, or what?
  • I got a lot out of an exhibit on rain barrels, and would like to find a way to make that part of our house. Our AC unit yields quite a bit of water that could be used for other purposes.
Other noteworthy items from the fairgrounds:
  • Not all the musical acts (all country) sell out. The demolition derby? Always does.
  • Does each ride need increasingly-pornographic drawings with it?
  • We agree with comedian Bill Engvall: who on earth comes to a fair to buy a hot tub?
  • What other fried food can they invent to sell? Fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, what's next -- refried funnel cake?
  • At a fair, you see gobs of people you'd never see at any other time. But I bet they might think we're pretty "out of the woodwork" as well.
  • We didn't ride the huge Ferris Wheel, but back in 2003, it was the source of an interesting news story. Hurricane Isabel was approaching, but as I was waiting for the Fair Board to decide what was going to happen in light of the storm, I struck up a conversation with the owner of the midway, and hence the owner of the wheel. He said their plan was to take the brakes off and let the wheel spin in the wind; otherwise, the resistance in the wind could make the wheel topple. That must have been what happened, since the wheel was still there for the conclusion of the fair!
Tell me about your fair experiences, even if they were more like excellent or moderate!


Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Growing up we always went to the "Timmonium Fair" aka, the state fair. All those bees making honey always amazed me.

DH, ds and I used to go to the Howard County fair because it was basically the same thing on a smaller basis.

As I got older, I was happy to see Catholics getting on the evangelism bandwagon at the fairs. As a kid, it was only the Jack Chick fundamentalists who did that.

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Haven't been to the state fair in several years. It's just a pocket draining experience, especially with kids. I don't let them ride the rides - don't like the ones that are moved town to town - leery of them. I'm just a cheapskate, so we don't go... and the atmosphere is not so great anymore. Lots of wierd folk at ours...