‘Our StaTe Fair is tHe Best StATe Fair…’

Okay….so it wasn’t the STATE fair.  I think I have only been to our state fair only twice in my life actually.  MY family always went to the Saginaw Fair.  My father spent most of his growing up years either living on a farm or working on a farm.  The fair to him always meant horses and cattle and tractor pulls and baked goods competitions.  With the STATE fair based in an urban area, ours was more automotive than agricultural.   But not the Saginaw Fair.  It was horse puckies….and baby chicks pecking grain as they rode a tiny ferris wheel…. tractor pulls……baby animals……baked goods competitions….free stuff…..games and carnival rides.  In fact, when I was growing up, the Saginaw Fair was the only place we were allowed to go on rides.  If we clambored to go to one of  carnivals set up in the bowling alley parking lot, my parents would always say ‘Here or the Saginaw Fair?’  Hmm……

     Yesterday we bowed to the ‘everyone else is going’ argument and took the kiddos to the local 4-H Fair.  And it was fun.  Really, really fun.  And costly.  But that was the carnival rides and games.  The free stuff was my favorite. 

     Right off the bat the Princess was ecstatic to see an elephant.  She has never seen a real elephant up close.  Imagine that. P1020740 One of the few experiences that has slipped me by since bringing her home from Russia.  Sheesh.  The Prince has even ridden an elephant!  Not possible that she has never even seen one, right?  But then I remembered that we were disappointed that the elephant exhibit was closed when we visited the big zoo.  She was right.  She has never seen one.  And she was delighted!

    I love animals.  I am a fool for finding one I like and just watching.  The first tent we entered was a petting zoo sort of thing.  Goats, cows, a tortoise, zebra, antelope, llamas, water buffalo and a hairy shetland cow of some sort.  They were all looking for hand outs of shaved carrot pieces you could purchase for $1.  I want a baby zebu for my very own.  Seriously. 

Oh….and a camel. 

   And then we visited the ‘Miracle of Birth’ barn.  This is where all the pregnant animals are housed in order for patrons of the fair to be able to give their kids an up close experience with birth.  Animal birth.  Eew.  (My kids got all that education by being addicted to  “Baby Story’ on the DiscoveP1020745ry Health channel a few summers back. Heh )   Since we were there so late in the week, all of the animals had put on their show.  We saw a calf that was named after a co-worker’s daughter when she celebrated her birthday at the fair.  (Happy Belated Birthday, Riley!  Bovine Riley sends greetings as well.)

  

 And then there were these little guys.  P1020742

Is there anything cuter than a baby goat?  Just three days old and they were hopping all over a small bale of straw and tunneling into their hay.  They just look so happy and their tails never stop wagging.  I really, really want a baby goat.  Seriously. 

     After I’d had my fill of the animal barns we headed for the midway.  We bought the ride all you can tickets for the kiddos because we thought it was a deal.  And it was.  For her. 

     Because I grew up with the ‘Here or the Saginaw Fair’ decision, the temporary carnivals have never held much appeal for me.  It’s true.  I am a ride snob.  With Grandparents who live in Florida, DisneyWorld has always been our carnival of choice.  The Prince had been there six times by the time he turned six. (We went for the day twice in one year.) Sadly, the Princess has only been once.  For her 7th birthday.   Costlier to go when you are paying for more people.   Last summer, the Prince experienced a large amusement park several hours away with his 8th grade class on the last day of middle school.  He came home a roller coaster fiend.  Yesterday we learned that he can’t handle anything that goes around.  Up and down is okay.  Backwards is testy.  Around?  No go.

       The Princess – on the other hand – can handle anything.  We should have known.  Up and down.  Backwards.  Around.  Fast.  Slow.  High or low.  Upside down.  You name it.  Anything at all.  Multiple times.  Good thing she ran into friends from school because there ain’t NO way that Mom or Dad were going with her.  No siree.  P1020749P1020756

     The Prince was more into the games.  And he was good.  He has a fair amount of stuffed animals littering his bedroom floor again.  Not many were playing the games.  Sadly they are up to $2 a try.  It seems like the hawkers would be having more fun if more people were playing.  Crazy.

     And everyone’s favorite….fair food.  Anything and everything deep fried and riddled with salt.  Lemonade. Snow Cones of every color.  Elephant Ears.  Candied Apples. Popcorn. Chicken on a stick.  French fries….that actually looked way healthier than the latest potato concoction…Butterfly Chips. 

      Imagine a dinner sized paper plate piled high with rippling cut (almost shaved) potato chips, deep fried and smothered with squirts of sour cream and nacho cheese and then sprinkled with Bacos.  And they were selling like crazy for $6.  We didn’t get one.  No siree.  We stuck with chicken strips and corn dogs and regular fries……and this. 

P1020767

     Healthier because there are veggies inside…..right?  Broccoli and cauliflower and zuchini and mushrooms and onions…..and dill pickle strips.  Healthier…..as far as Fair Food goes.    Right? 

Heh.

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