August 01, 2009

All's Fair ...

We went to the county fair this week.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Well, that's not really a fair (haha!) thing to say.  We hadn't been in years, and this was the first year at their new location, a few miles south of where they had been for almost 90 years.  There was nothing wrong with the old site, but the county was being pressured by the village the fair grounds was situated on so they could build a new Walmart, or some other shit store like that.

Apparently, the move was not handled well, so by the first part of this summer, all that had been prepared was this:

The Exhibition Hall, which I guess is okay, but not really awe inspiring.  They also managed to put in a huge parking lot, but not for cars.  It was for the rides and game booths so they wouldn't sink into the mud.  And by the time the fair actually started earlier this week, they had managed to grow some weeds where the corn field used to be, and throw up a couple of restrooms.

And that's what awaited us.  We went up to the ticket trailer (the ticket booth wasn't finished) and plunked down 20 dollars.  I was going to try for the senior's rate, but I didn't think I could pull off 65. Here's our walking tour of the midway:

Entrance to Midway
(Guy in shades didn't look too pleased)

(Parking spaces clearly marked)

The Pharoh's Revenge
(Only if it falls apart)

Ali Baba
(It's supposed to sim a flying carpet
How, I don't know)

And that was about it for the midway.  Yes, there were game booths, but we didn't play any, because I'm intimidated easily.  We also went into the Exhibition Hall, which was populated by guys trying to sell water softeners and aluminum siding.  Plus, that's where the only restrooms were.  You truly have not seen everything on earth there is to see until you enter a restroom at a county fair and are greeted by a washroom attendant, hovering by his table containing hand sanitizer, cologne and a tip jar.

But what's a county fair without the farm animals?  We found them parked in some temporary shelters in the back 40, hidden far away from everything else.  There were cows and pigs and goats and chickens and ducks.  They were doing a barrow judging when we walked in and Jan asked me what a barrow was.  I was able to draw upon my decades of agricultural experience to tell her that a barrow was a boar hog that was sans nuts.

One of the poultry exhibitor's had some hens for sale.  They were small and black and didn't really look like hens, but they clucked so they must have been.  They were only 38 dollars apiece and I wanted to buy a couple, but Jan said that the neighbors wouldn't like it, and we didn't have a fence around the back yard and besides, the coyotes would probably eat them.  So I was bummed.

The world famous Clydesdale horses were also there, but we only saw one.  His name was Marshall, and he didn't look real pleased being locked up in his cage.  The other cages were empty and I figured that the other Clydes were on break over on the midway playing ring toss or riding the Tilt-A-Whirl.  Anyway, here's a picture of Marshall:

Marshall's the one in back

So, after three hours of trudging around and not having eaten one Elephant's Ear, we figured we had got our 20 dollars worth, and we departed the 2009 Lake County Fair.

I was still bummed about the chickens, but if we go back next year, maybe Jan will let me buy a goat.

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