My Fair Lady

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
One of the things that I love about this time of the year is the county fair. What’s not to love, with their fair food, carnival rides, music in the park, and evening rodeos? I especially love walking through the barns. I love seeing the kids’ animals and reminiscing about being their age, sitting with my friends and conquering (or so we thought) all the world’s problems.

This year at the local fair we had headliners like The Beach Boys and Bucky Covington. While I would say that I am a country music girl first, I love all kinds of music. Fairs are a great way to see some great performances without spending a lot of money. Shortly before country singer Chris LauDoux passed away, my hubby and I were able to see him at the county fair, and it remains on our favorite concerts. I also like that almost always we run into folks we haven’t seen in awhile or we hook up with friends who we’ve been meaning to get together with.
Age has taken a toll on me, though. I am not quite the fair attendee that I used to be. Oh, I still attend and take them in. But, I find that fair food isn’t as agreeable as it used to be and the carnival rides aren’t as settling. I have turned into one of those moms who doesn’t  really like my kids to hang out in the carnival area after dark, since many of the folks there scare me even during the daytime. I prefer, rather, to duct tape them to my side (which makes it hard on all of us).
My kids all love the carnival rides, while I tend to get sick just watching them whirl around. I can’t imagine actually getting on one of them. I have never enjoyed them. I could get motion sickness from swinging at the local play-ground so needless to say, I never attended the fair for the rides.
I do love the exhibits, though. I am always amazed by the cleverness of people. I love seeing the pride of those who entered pies, or canned goods, or quilts, or other items they’ve made. The last couple of years, I have been shocked at the cleverness of folks creating things out of Legos. If given a can of Legos and someone came back in an hour to see what I had built, I am sure they would walk in to see me and a can of Legos still on the floor. So I am glad that there are those folks who love to build with them.
Jewelry has become one of my fun finds at fairs. I love hand-crafted earrings. I especially love it when someone can make a pair of earrings that are dainty and fragile using items that I wouldn’t normally think of. I have several pair that I have found over time and they are favorites.
So, for the next few weeks in my neck of the woods, come the weekend that is where you will find me—at the fair, in either the barn or the exhibition halls (or sitting on the lawn, elephant ear in one hand and antacids in the other). It’s fair time.

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  1. Shirley says:

    I can remember when I was young going to the fair and being there all day doing all kinds of things, I too am older so I am not there as long and don’t do even half of what I use to, and the fair food, not a chance. I still love going and watching the grandkids have fun and seeing the different crafts. I think the fair is part of the family experience, I loved it as a child and I loved it as a parent and I absolutely love it as a grandparent.

  2. Gary says:

    Good Bloggie Rene’…
    I was also fascinated by the sights, sounds and smells of the carnival, and my Mom didn’t care for it at all.
    Now that I am older, I see why… those "carni" folks are scary, and probably always have been.
    I’m a little off my "feed" today… Midnight (my Cat) is in the Hospital, and I just feel kinda’ Lost.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    Gary
    in Tampa

    Gary~ Sorry about Midnight.. How is he/she doing?

  3. Betty J. says:

    Rene,
    I hear your message. I thought the B-F County Fair was smaller than last year. However, the TCH said that the attendance was the same. I thought the parking lot looked less full. I contribute that to the rising prices and economy though. I did enjoy visiting the booths, though some of my favorites weren’t there. I loved the Farmer’s Market. I also visited the animals also. I love chickens and rabbits. Glad you enjoy it too. Do you go to the fair in Yakima?

  4. Patricia Walters says:

    One of my first dates with my (now) husband, Chris, was to the VA state fair (we do the counties, too). We didn’t know each other very well yet and so were both incredibly relieved when the only ride we wanted to go on was the carousel.

    A match made firmly on the ground.

    Patricia

  5. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Rene: Now that my husband and I are older, we love to go to a few Minnesota county fairs and watch some of the kids in 4-H so we can root for them at our state fair. It’s on right now and is the largest fair in the country.
    I don’t go on the rides any more but once awhile as we walk to the dairy barn we’ll catch those crazy new rides. I sure am glad I’m on the ground.
    Sometimes I enter quilts my husband enters bonsai )little trees);and our bonsai club does an exhibit, competition and demonstration.
    We also talk to people about having a pond at their home or farm while standing in front of the Minn. Watergarden society’s pond.
    But my favorite part is working in the educational exhibits called The Moo Booth in the Dairy Barn.
    I used to be a 4H leader too.
    In other words, we LOVE the fairs, all of them!

    Bonnie Ellis

  6. jeannette guerra says:

    We just went to the county fair last weekend. Even though my kids are now 18 and 13 they still look forward to that family day. I remember my son when he was small spending a hour climbing on the John Deere tractors. Of course we have to visit all the 4H animals and my favorite is the landscaping contest. I have even used the displays for my background on the computer. Blooming onions, steak sandwiches, gyros, lemonade, caramel corn, roasted peanuts… Yum!!!! The only thing that saddens me is that the fair is the end of summer and back to school.

  7. Cindy DeMay says:

    Every year, my sister and I go to our local fair in Woodstock, CT. My family and I don’t agree on what interests us at the fair. But Sis and I can count on each other for a good time, good food and great company….together.

  8. Sharon Key says:

    As a special education teacher I started about 10 years ago having my students make projects for our county fair. The exhibits were not even 25% of what they were when I was their age. We enter in the horticulture and floral areas. My friend that is the culinary teacher has her students enter in the baking and canning areas. With our two classes we have been successful in making those areas much larger. How great our students feel winning that first ribbon and receive a small check. I feel better seeing the fair not go down to almost no entrees.

  9. Carrie says:

    Hey Rene-

    Our county fair just ended and we logged approximately 80 hours of attendance over the course of the week! We got discounted week passes for being exhibitors (our first time) and so we were there as much as possible. We took a number of white and red ribbons, and I got a blue ribbon on a skirt I made! Yippee!! So…we also get checks in the mail in a few weeks that will offset the price of our passes. So cool!

    I love fair time because it is the only time we run into old school mates and many family members. I got to do so much catching up and spent four hours with a best friend I haven’t seen in 10 years…wonderful! We also worked the 4H food booth and the dairy booth (the kids earned some of their meals and snacks!) and I spent time in the Handmade and Homegrown building, getting to know some neighbors I’d never met before and meeting new crafters…also wonderful!

    I’m with you on the carnival rides, however. Didn’t ride a one! But my kids rode a few which was the first time they had done that as we generally avoid that area. $5 a ride is very pricey, however, so they only used tickets that were gifted to them.

    We are still recovering from our weeklong diet, and catching up on sleep, but we had a wonderful time and are already working on next year’s exhibits!

    Enjoy the rest of your summer and fair days…

    Carrie

  10. Julie Tyra says:

    Oh the excitement of the county fair. My family and I love it. Each year we try to enter something. I have entered sewing, quilts, veges, baked goods, and canned goods. Our fair is gong on this weekend and I won 1st on my whole wheat bread, made from wheat I grind myself, and got a third on some cookie (very sad I did not do better) some years you do great and others not so much. My husband is the fudge maker and entered 4 different kinds. As a kid I used to save my money all summer so I could blow it all at the fair. I love a good corn dog!!

  11. Pharme739 says:

    Very nice site!

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