Country Music and Chicken Wings

I am really not much of a country music fan but much to my surprise, I stayed for the entire show tonight at the Amphitheater. And that’s not just because it was free.

The Fair hosted the Washington State finals of the Texaco Country Showdown…a national singing contest to find the “Best New Act in Country Music.” I wandered over primarily because it was free plus I wanted to see the Amphitheater. My husband and I chose seats on the aisle so we could quietly escape if the show just wasn’t our thing. Two hours later, we and the sadly small handful of people who toughed it out to find out who won finally headed back to the Fairgrounds.

It was an unexpectedly good show, with six contestants and a back-up band who did a 30 minute set while the judges made their final decision. The winner was a woman named Nicole Lewis from Yakima with a beautiful, twangy voice and a somewhat timid stage presence. The back-up band was a foursome from Oregon called Taylors Crossing. My husband and I both liked them enough, I wrote down their name to check them out online. I can’t imagine we are turning into country music fans but I suppose stranger things have happened.

I also had two food-related discoveries today. First, I learned that I need to steer clear of Slush Puppies. For those not in the know, Slush Puppies are basically Slurpees. Like Slurpees, there are a number of frozen flavors (none of them natural) and the fun is in mixing a whole bunch of flavors together in one cup. I love Slurpees so with today’s continued heat I decided to skip the frozen lemonade and try a Puppy. And…ouch. I repeatedly got some of the worst brain freezes I’ve ever had! At first it was amusing but then it got annoying, especially when the brain freeze became a spine freeze — you know, when the cold pain goes down your back between your shoulder blades? Or is that only me? Regardless, I guess it’s back to the frozen lemonade tomorrow.

The other discovery was the new chicken wings being offered by the Young Life booth in the Food Court. For $6 I got 6 wings. I thought that was a little pricey but it ended up being a nicely filling dinner. The wings were good sized and had a lot of meat on them. But best of all were the sauces. I am all about condiments so I was excited to see they offer a number of different sauce options. I love fire so I asked which sauce was the hottest. The guy working the booth said it was a draw between the Buffalo Chipotle and the Spicy Peanut. As I deliberated which one to try, the guy suggested I could split the order and do both. Brilliant! And after finishing my order, I still hadn’t decided which sauce I liked better — they were both very tasty and nicely kicky. Yay for not having to choose!


We did end up checking out the square dancing performance today. While there was a wide range of ages, I was thrilled to see one elderly couple do-si-do-ing…he in a bright red western shirt and she in a matching skirt with crinolines and bloomers. Although the dancing was great fun to watch, I know better than to suggest to my husband that we take advantage of the dance classes the club is offering in September.

On the agenda for Monday (Aug 6):

— Barrel racing at 2:00pm

— Roughstock rodeo at 6:30pm (I’m not entirely sure what “roughstock” is but I think it includes some bareback riding and bucking broncos and maybe some bull riding…although there is an entire show dedicated to bull riding on Tuesday)

— If I’m not pushing my luck with my hubby, the belly dance performance at 4:00

— Whatever fun 4-H stuff we stumble upon, such as today’s Poultry Judging Contest where kids were trying to identify different uncooked chicken parts that looked like they came from the butcher case at Safeway. I nailed the legs and a wing. After that I was totally lost.

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