Awesome food and juggler discoveries!
Weekdays are always quieter at the Fair. We can often tell how crowded the Fair is by where we park. Today we arrived at about 12:30pm and parked closer to the Green Gate than we have in a long time. Sure enough, the crowd today was pretty light. We saw a number of people we knew — but they were all people who are there every day, too. It was a day of Fair Regulars! And it was another great day at my most favorite Fair on the planet.
New food finds! I finally had a chance to try the new Hawaiian food booth in the Food Court. It’s called Patrick’s Hawaiian Cafe and it is on the southwest corner. Although it was a little more pricey than similar food in other booths, it was worth the extra couple of bucks.
I had the yakisoba noodles and the teriyaki chicken. Both were very good. The noodles included more vegetables than the Noodle Palace’s version I tried the other day, so I liked that. A lot of the veggies weren’t as crunchy as I was expecting, though, so that was a little disappointing. The teriyaki chicken was really good. The pieces were moist and plump and the sauce was very flavorful without being too thick and sweet. Another stand out about Patrick’s was the crew working the counter. They were all very professional and friendly and seemed to genuinely appreciate their customers. Just a few extra words here and there, a sincere smile, and a little more maturity all made a difference. I plan to go back at some point to try the Kalua Pork.
Another culinary discovery today was another treat from Sweet Cheeks — the deep fried everything truck on the west side of the Fair across from the High Divers. Although I have had deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough in the past, the version today from Sweet Cheeks blew me away. It was SO DANG GOOD!!! I “mmm’ed” all through the delicacy and ended up covered in chocolate sauce and powdered sugar, partially because of the wind but mostly because of my enthusiastic devouring of the Deep Fried Lump of Heaven. If you like cookie dough, get this. Trust me. And every treat I’ve ordered from Sweet Cheeks so far has been freshly made while I wait, which is critically important to maximizing Deep Fried Fun. Trust me on that, too.
Better rodeo than last year Today was Barrel Racing and Roughstock Rodeo Day in the Grandstands. The barrel racing was a nice way to spend some time relaxing in the shade. The highlight was a 10-year-old girl who competed. She was at least 8 years younger than any other racer and had one of the better runs. But I’m sure what is making tonight interesting at her house is that her mom was one of the other racers…and the girl beat Mom’s time by about 1.5 seconds. That’s quite a walloping based on the scores I saw today.
The Roughstock Rodeo this evening was well attended and was very well run this year. There was a good flow to the events and there was very little downtime. But what we and our friends were particularly pleased about was that the animals were better handled this year. Last year, the wranglers and rodeo clowns seemed really aggressive with the animals and used their ropes liberally, often dragging the bulls or horses to the exit. This year, there was a lot more finesse and a lot less dragging. Yee haw to that!
Catch the juggler while you can! Like a lot of fairs, there are a number of entertainers who roam about our Fairgrounds dressed in costume and interact with guests. One of ours this year is a juggler named Rhys Thomas. He wanders on stilts but occasionally he has a juggling show on the stage in front of the Sling Shot ride. Go watch him! He is a hoot!
We saw his 5:30pm show today. I immediately remembered him from a couple of years ago; he wasn’t at the Fair last year. Brilliant move to have him return, Fair Management People!
His act is one of those in which the humor is on a couple of different levels, sort of like a really good Pixar movie. Kids and adults both get to laugh. Really laugh. And Rhys is absolutely awesome with kids. He is like that really cool uncle that talks to you like an adult but also acts like a kid himself. Rhys didn’t share anything about his personal life, but I am pretty sure he is always at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving — partly but not entirely by demand of the kids.
Beyond the humor, though, the show was very entertaining. Rhys is an excellent juggler. I can say this with some authority, having spent an entire summer in junior high trying to teach myself how to juggle three bean bags. Mention that summer to my parents and they both groan with memories of me learning the hard way how not to deal with intense frustration. So Rhys’s ability to juggle up to five items, sometimes of the very sharp or flaming variety, was very impressive. As was his ability to navigate intense sunlight at just the wrong angle and a pesky crosswind blowing across the stage. Wind and juggling don’t mix very well.
You can catch Rhys’s “JuggleMania” show on the Columbian Community Stage which is located between the east side of the Food Court and the Sling Shot ride. Unfortunately, he was only booked for eight shows all Fair. According to the sign near the stage, his remaining shows are at:
2:00pm and 6:00pm on Tuesday, August 6
2:00pm on Friday, August 9
3:00pm on Sunday, August 11
Speaking of the Food Court, here is today’s Fair Food Feast Parade. I think I may have made up a little for yesterday’s meager showing. Today’s walking mileage was 3.41 miles on the pedometer. Tums count = 1. Pepto count = 0. Zit count = holding steady at 2.
Highlights on Tuesday’s Schedule:
- Last day to see rabbits and pygmy goats!
- Mutton Bustin’ at 2:00pm in the Grandstands!
- I will be working a Fair booth for the first time ever! I will be in the Grange barn (two barns down from the one with the John Deere exhibit) working at the Llama and Alpaca exhibit from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Come say hi and ask me a question about llamas!
- Bull Riding at 7:00pm in the Grandstands!