Fair Days Revisited

Julia and I visited the fair last Friday night and had, for the most part, a good time. I just posted an essay about it over at New West; you can check that out here.

We only live maybe half-a-mile, a mile at most, from the fairgrounds. So anytime anything goes on there, we hear it. Especially events in the grandstands, whether it is of the racing motor variety or cheers and gasps. I really don’t mind because it is only once per year, but the dogs go nuts. They freak out at the slightest provocation anyway, so if not that it would be something else. Like garbage trucks. Or people having the gall to walk in the street in front of our house. Or my work phone to have the audacity to ring (that one actually pisses me off too).

Anyway, Julia scored us free passes, and off we went (I’ve heard it was $6 to get in, but I also heard $12; can anyone enlighten me on what the actual cost was?). Of course we headed out to get Tater Pigs almost immediately.

Here are a couple different varieties of Tater Pigs, now that you mention it, courtesy of my friend Charles Martin.

From there it was to the rodeo. We got into that for free too, as it was down to the last two events and the lady guarding the entrance just stamped us and let us in. We got to see some barrel racing and the bull riding, which is always cool. The theme of the day, or the whole week, I don’t know, was “Tough Enough to Wear Pink.” So lots of people were decked out in pink outfits.

After the rodeo, we wandered around, looking at all the buildings full of projects and things; cooking, photography, sewing, agriculture, etc. There were some great vintage posters in the commercial building.

From there we visited the animals. Some of the sheep sported some great costumes, that’s for sure. I want to see our awful dogs in full-on Lycra supersuits too!

I didn’t like that all of the animals are essentially squeezed together in one big barn, which is the outdoor hockey rink. Back in the day, there were separate barns. That was much cooler. Of course rivalries were between barns. “Oh, that girl? She’s from the sheep barn, don’t talk to her!” I was a pig barn guy, myself, though I did have a steer one year and a sheep another. Best part of the pigs was when they would turn them loose in the arena in big packs for judging, and the mayhem that would ensue. Inevitably someone’s pig would get out of the barn completely and lead a merry chase throughout the barn area!

The worst part was during the last night, when men would come through the barn marking the hogs for where they were going to go, based on who bought them. Slaughterhouses, of course. I was a wimp about that, I often bawled my eyes out. I usually overcame that when the check came, though. I bought my first stereo with my first 4-H check; it was a Realistic from Radio Shack, with a turntable and cassette. I also bought Supertramp’s Breakfast in America album with it, as well as the soundtrack to The Warriors. Vinyl, of course.

This is the closest we got to the midway. It was close enough for me.

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