Ever Wonder What Happens At the Fair When We Aren’t There?

We were only able to spend about four hours at the Fair today. Even though it was short, it was still a great day. I got to peek into a side of the Fair I have never seen.

We had to set the alarm clock this morning to make sure we got to the Fairgrounds in time to enter some plant life in the next round of judging. By that I mean we arrived on site at about 8:00am. We were tired and a bit cranky at first, but WOW, what a blast!

It was so unexpectedly fun to be at the Fair a couple of hours before it opened! There was all sorts of activity swirling about. Cars, trucks, and golf carts zipped around making deliveries and moving people with badges here and there. 4-H kids and parents toted gear around. A line-up of cows was getting washed and groomed. The Carnival was eerily quiet and provided some fun photo ops. Crews were sweeping and spraying down the Grandstands. The tables in the Food Court were scrubbed and tantalizingly empty. One food vendor over by the Dairy Women milkshake barn was open and serving breakfast. We sat there and enjoyed some pancakes and scrambled eggs (a Fair first!) while pretending to be a part of the behind-the-scenes scene of our fellow diners. The entire vibe was peaceful yet busy. Routine yet filled with anticipation. Quiet yet roaring with the imagined noise just a few hours away. Absolutely worth the alarm clock.


Also with our pre-Fair arrival this morning came the best ride the Fair has to offer. Nope, not The Zipper at the Carnival. Not that huge sling shot thing with the air horn. Not the mechanical bull that gifted my husband with some “soft tissue damage” yesterday. The best ride at the Fair? Driving around it in your own car! WHAT A BLAST!!!

Because we needed to drop off an entry at the Grange barn, we were allowed to drive to it in the middle of the grounds. Granted, we were just dropping off a cluster of grapes that could fit in the palm of my hand…but the guy working the Yellow Gate didn’t need to know that. Turn down an opportunity to cruise the Fairgrounds? Are you kidding??

I was like a little kid on one of those car animal safaris, looking out the window, pointing with excitement to all the things I was seeing, taking pictures of sights that included my dashboard and side mirror. Although we were driving along paths I have been walking daily for nearly the past week, it felt totally different in our car. I felt like an interloper in an exotic land. I felt like I was getting away with something, sneaking around, about to bump into an angry authority figure with a radio at any turn.


Although it wasn’t a direct route by any stretch, I insisted that my husband drive down the Main Midway as we exited. I bounced in the seat and kept saying things like, “LOOK! There’s the milkshake barn!!” as if I had never seen one in captivity before. Nearly twelve hours and a long nap later, I am still giddy with delight over our excursion today. We are so totally entering stuff in the second half of the Fair next year. And every year. Forever and ever. Weeeeee!!!!!

Plans for tomorrow (Thursday, August 9):

— BEST DAY OF THE FAIR!! It’s Demolition Derby Day!! There are two rounds: a qualifying heat at 2:00pm and then the main event at 6:30pm. New this year is a truck round AND and RV round! Can’t wait to see and hear what sort of munching takes place on those rigs.

— Horse Gaming, all day in the Horse Arena. We have friends whose daughter will be participating in some horse events tomorrow. We learned today that confusion reins in the horse barn. Nobody could tell us anything about timing for tomorrow’s games. “It’s a lot of hurry up and wait around here. We never know for sure when things will happen.” Easy for them to say, they who don’t have to sit on those awful bleachers in the stifling air. Oh well, that’s why God invented texting.

— Jerry Harris Hypnotist show. We plan to catch the 9:00 show after the Derby. We saw the 9:00 show last night and it was hysterical as ever. Best part: one young woman was unknowingly hypnotized in the audience. Her state became clear when she jumped up and participated in the hula dancing demonstration being performed on stage by The Big Kahuna Hula School. She was quite good!

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