Monday, August 15, 2011

Fair Fun

I am not gonna lie.  I LOVE the fair.

Literally, I love it.  I am a traditions-girl, and once I've done something a couple of times in a row, it's there for keeps.  My parents both grew up loving their local county fairs in the midwest, and while I think they've always thought ours was a bit too city-fied, they knew it was a special summer tradition that was for keeps.

Here's a funny detail, though.  I hate the "rides" section of the fair.  Even as a little girl, when we'd venture down there to ride our "one ride" that we got to choose, I didn't like it.  It was too crowded, too loud, smelled too much of cigarette smoke and beer.  Apart from a spin on the ferris wheel, or maybe that super-fast spinning ride where they drop the floor out but you still stick to the wall, and maybe that one game where you put a quarter on a color and win a prize if the rat chooses your color (I know I just lost you, sorry) the rides area was, and always will be, a take-it-or-leave-it part of the fair to me. I'll pretty much always leave it, which is funny, because I know most people think, "Why else go to the fair?"

You go to the fair for the agricultural section.

The real fair is pig races, local honey, and how cows are milked.  It's about 4-H and fair queen and green polo shirts and little kids crying on auction night.  It's about tractor pulls and demolition derbies, giant tomatoes and homemade jam, chicken in crates and "no, we may NOT bring home a bunny"'s.

The real fair warms my heart.  The real fair is quieter, friendlier, and full of familiar faces.  The real fair promises burgers and pit beef from the church food station and ice cream from the dairy barn.  This year, it promised cheese and apples from the cheese barn.  Why, oh why, did it take me 27 years to venture into the cheese barn?  What was I thinking?

Fair week is always a little bittersweet for me, because it signals the beginning of the end of summer.  The crickets are starting out sing the cicadas.  The nights are just a little bit cooler and our days are getting less humid.  Labor day is around the corner and I swear I can hear the school buses revving their engines.  But this time, it was sweeter, because this time it was Sweet Pea's first fair.

First, we had to git our hurr did.
Sweet Pea loved the fair.  We took the shuttle from the mall parking lot to save money on parking, and that was a winner.  The shuttle drops you off all the way in the back by the animals and tractors.  Score for us.  So, we started with some tractor rides.  This was one was made in the '50s in College Park, hence the CoPar on the front.  Who knew we could rep our school in tractor form?

She waves at everyone.  Constantly.
Next, we visited the photography area to find a photo of Sweet Pea a friend took in October.  She is on a giant pumpkin.  Go ahead and say it.  "My, how you've grown!"
Sweet Pea is making her "Godfather" face and sound.  More on that later.

Dear Camp, Thank you for feeding me really fattening foods so that I would finally gain back the weight  my child sucked out of me.  I finally look not dead.  I should have visited you much sooner.  Do you have a solution for my won't-listen-to-me-ever, post-pregancy hair?  Let me know, thanks.

Next, we watched a parade.  This was a perfect opportunity for waving incessantly.

"Oh look, I found my favorite three-year-old!"

My favorite part about that photo, apart from the memory of being cuddled by someone very excited to see me, is the baby foot in the corner.  It simply could not, would not be cropped out.
She really should play Goldilocks in something.
Next, it was on to chickens and rabbits.

Move waving, this time at chickens and Nana.
We chatted with friends, patted every animal we could, and watch both people and the sky.  Clouds were gathering in the west, and the heat lightning was constant.


Sweet Pea LOVED Tank the Steer.  She would have
crawled the fence on her own into his arms
if I had let her
Finally, it was time for fair fare.  Sweet Pea got to sample cheese, apples, pit beef, and french fries all from the comfort of her jogging stroller.

Can I just say for the record that me with a jogging stroller is hilarious?  I don't plan to jog anywhere.  Ever.  But it was an awesome thrift store find and the wheels are awesome.  Unfortunately, the wheel attachment snapped when we got off the shuttle, so the hubby rigged it to last one more night.  He's going to see what he can do about fixing it.

Sno cone?  Yes, please.

Clouds gathering in the distance.

This fry is too hot.

Better blow on it.
We tempted fate and strolled through a few more barns before calling it early to try to make it ahead of the storm, which we did.  Sweet Pea ate ice cream and made up a hide-and-seek game with sheep.  It was a lovely, lovely night.  I can't wait for Clovers.


  1. Looks wonderful. :) That baby foot? ADORABLE.

    We missed the Howard County fair on Saturday because N was sick and I am so totally bummed SO we're going to try the MoCo fair this weekend. :)

  2. I'd be lying if I said I missed a lot about Gaithersburg, but I sure do miss the county fair!! Loved looking through your pictures, and you always pick such perfect music, Taylor;).

  3. LOVE the fair! We're taking the boys on Friday!


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