Post # 50 Our State Fair is a Great State Fair . . . . . . .

September 24, 2012 at 9:18 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Yup, we went to the state fair on Saturday.  I wanted to post about it, so I held off the Friday post.  Then I remembered that Saturday was also Mabon, so I posted about that instead.  So now I’m posting about the fair, albeit a little behind schedule.  Sigh, whaddaya gonna do?

In our house, we’re all morning people.  Our energy levels are highest before two in the afternoon.  With a good breakfast, we can go hours without eating.  So we stopped at one of our favorite out of the way diners called Boomarangs.  There’s a cable TV station called Boomarang that shows a bunch of way old cartoons like The Banana Splits, and Space Ghost.  I don’t think this diner is affiliated, but they keep a 1950’s theme going.  The food is excellent, and plentiful.  The staff are pleasant, helpful, and funny.  So we left there with our stomachs full and ready to tackle the fair.

Crazy Old Man, the father-in-law, wanted to see all the things from his youth.  He wanted to see antique tractors, and livestock competitions, and the 4H exhibits.  Spouse wanted to just see the fair and remember it against what he remembered from growing up in very rural California.  I wanted to see the 4H exhibits and the wood turning exhibits.  House Guest just wanted to aborb the atmosphere.  We all wanted to see the chuckwagon demonstration.

So when we arrived at about 9:15, while the fair was technically open, there was nothing really open except a few of the food trucks.  Talk about an OMG moment.  There was more food stands, trucks, kiosks, and actual really-real diners than there were exhibits or rides.  We scoped out the the layout before really looking into the exhibits, most of which weren’t open yet.

We wandered through the cattle and horse pens, and looked at the petting zoo.  We found a butterfly cage that claimed to have over 5000 live butterflies in it.  I wondered who counted.  I’m not a fan of butterflies.  They’re nasty creatures.  We walked through a mobile home that seemed as palatial as any $500k home out there.  I was completely gob-smacked by it.

By the time we’d finished with that area, most of the exhibits were open, and the rides were starting to gear up.  It’s weird to walk through a fair seeing the rides motionless.  We went into one building that advertised all kinds of shopping and it was true.  All kinds of shopping as long as all you wanted was the kinds of things that could only be found at a fair.  Lots of leather wallets and purses, cheap t-shirt material dresses, cowboy hats made of odd materials, siding for houses and barns, and candy.  There seemed to be candy everywhere.  Then we went into a building where we thought we were going to see the wood turning exhibit and chuck wagon demonstration.  Nope, no such luck.  We did get to see the wine country section, and an area where baking and salsa was popular.  We even saw one vendor who was selling not only Halloween decorations, but the materials to make your own.  We bumped into an information desk and the man directed us to where we wanted to go.  True to form, we ran off course.

We finally found the area where the wood turning and chuck wagon was.  I watched the wood turning demonstration for several minutes as the man talked about it.  He used tools and techniques that were used several hundred years ago and seemed to be hoping to preserve a culture.  I also watched some blacksmithing going on at the next area.  Turned out the chuck wagon demo was a no go for some reason.  All the stuff was there, but no people were manning it.  Go figure.

We went into one last building and hit gold.  This was the 4H exhibit that I wanted to see.  There were entries for baking, quilting, crafts, science, nature, and nearly all of it was from kids 6 to 18.  There was one section that was for adults and those were naturally more sophisticated, but the things the kids cranked out were amazing.  We ran into a cooking demonstration of kids making pancakes from scratch.  It was so cute, even after father-in-law made us face-palm ourselves by going to the front and asking if he could buy a bottle of water even after we told him it was  cooking competition.  Then, we turned a corner and found the wood turning demo that I’d been looking for!  This was with power tools and modern technique.  It was fascinating.  After several minutes there, we decided to head out.  It was nearly noon, it was hot, and the place was filling up with people.  The last few walkways we’d been on were so crowded we felt like cattle being herded in one direction or another.

Overall, the atmosphere was permeated by food and drink.  Every-single-where you looked there were multiple food carts.  It was like they believed that if anyone had to walk more than ten feet for food, they were going to collapse.  The selection and variation was overwhelming.  Within feet of each other a person could choose from fried pies, cotton candy, funnel cakes, elephant ears, roasted corn, indian tacos, spaghetti and meatballs, greek gyros, popcorn, candied apples, fried twinkies, frozen cheesecake on a stick, corn dogs, polish sausage, and a sausage monstrosity on a stick that looked like it was two feet long.  Any kind of soda, beer, wine, lemonade, and water was available.  If you got hungry or thirsty at this place, it was your own fault.  I joked about walking through the food court when we first arrived, but every step of the way was a food court.  All the walkways were divided by the food vendors.  There was so much stuff, and so many aromas, it was almost nauseating.  But the looks of happy excitement on the faces of all the kids more than made up for it.

“A good time was had by all.”

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