Life

Cute kids, dramatic teenagers, fattening food ~ Another fun day at the Fair!

We took it a bit slow today, sort of meandering here and there, snacking as the cravings struck. I got a little overheated while sitting in the Grandstands for the Barrel Racing (absolutely no breeze in there this afternoon) so we left early and browsed the 4-H exhibits in the air conditioned Events Center. There we stumbled upon one of the cutest things ever!

Three young 4-H’ers, probably between 6 and 8 years old, were doing a public speaking presentation. I have heard from a 4-H mom that the kids can choose just about any topic for their public speaking activities. I can only assume today’s three girls are taking Chinese lessons together because their 20 minutes on stage mostly consisted of them reading a series of pre-produced short stories… in Chinese. Apparently we learned all sorts of things about a stick bug and butterflies and tigers and dogs and fruit and the major food groups. There were about eight adults in the audience, only two of which were moms. I don’t think any of us understood a word of what the girls read but it was adorable nonetheless. Most adorable was the youngest girl whose love of being on stage grew before our eyes. She laughed and giggled and twirled and threw her arms in the air in excitement every time she spoke, was about to speak, or had just spoken. It wasn’t long before she was looking for any opportunity to reach for the microphone to hear her voice through the speakers. So cute!

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We wandered around other 4-H exhibits and through some of the animal barns. I noticed we kept coming across various groupings of 4-H teenagers…mostly girls…in dramatic, whispering “And THEN she said…” conversations. I am guessing nearly four days of Fair life has been just enough to stir up all sorts of teenage angst and romance and gossip. Fortunately, I am at an age where I am largely invisible to teenagers so I plan to do some stealthy eavesdropping when we see more of these Teen Clusters. Stay tuned!

Temps cooled down and a breeze returned to the Grandstands this evening so we stayed for the entire Roughstock Rodeo show. Two amusing nuggets:

1) This quote from the announcer about one of the cowboys: “This guy can ride anything with hair on it.” ‘Nuff said.

2) One of the snippets of songs that played between riders was “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” All of a sudden, kids all through the grandstands were dancing a routine, sort of like a flash mob. Belt buckle move this way, arms in the air like a lasso that way. It seemed so familiar, the dance. Then I realized the kids were all dancing the routine from the Wii game “Just Dance.” Cotton-Eyed Joe is one of the songs on that game. I know because I’ve tush-pushed to it myself. Maybe during tomorrow’s Bull Riding they’ll play OutKast’s “Hey Ya!”??

We discovered a new Fair Food Favorite today: the Prosciutto Fries from the Bella Casetta vendor in the Food Court (right next to Hula Boy at the south end). Bella Casetta is connected with the folks who run 15 East — a fantastic restaurant in Battle Ground. Since 15 East has a great track record with us, we decided to find out what “Prosciutto Fries” are. We discovered they are addicting. Lots of butter, shaved cheese, prosciutto slices, some fresh pepperoni, all on top of a heap of lightly crispy french fries. Yep, no cholesterol tests for us for a few months at least. YUM!

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And with apologies to Smokehouse fans, I concluded tonight that there are much better offerings at the Fair. In past years we tried their elephant ears (incorrectly billed as The Best) and were very disappointed. Tonight we tried their corn dogs and a side of onion rings, envisioning something involving Walla Wallas. Verdict: I wish I could get both my money and my stomach space back. While the hot dogs were good, there was hardly any corn batter around them. And the onion rings were all batter and hardly any onion. What onion was there was thin and tasteless. Such a disappointment. But at least now I know. If you have a favorite vendor for corn dogs, please let me know!

On the agenda for tomorrow (Tuesday, August 7):

— New this year: A sheep herding demonstration at 1:00pm. Can’t wait to see what they do.

— Presumably the sheep will be herded so they can be ridden. Mutton Bustin’ at 2:00pm!

— We managed to miss the belly dancers today; my husband was distraught. I hope to make it up to him by dragging him to the Old Time Country & Bluegrass (emphasis on bluegrass) performance at 5:30pm in the Jest in Time tent. He’s hoping I forget.

— Bull riding at 6:30 — YAY cowboys on big mean bulls!

— Jerry Harris hypnotist show at 9:00pm. He’s one of our favorites but we’ve only managed to catch one of his shows so far this year.