Go to the Fair!

It’s fair season! I love fairs where country people come together to compete for prizes and ribbons. Mostly I love being around country people. Most are the Salt of the Earth.

I went to the Western Idaho Fair this past week. The exhibits are always amazing and fun to see. People are so talented and it’s their chance to show off a little. America’s got a lot of talent when it comes to canning, growing vegetables and flowers, taking photos, painting pictures, quilting, and raising livestock. The fair is the only way to showcase all that talent. Instead of trips to Vegas to perform, they get colorful ribbons and bragging rights. I had a box full of ribbons from back in the day when I competed at fairs. I just recently threw most of them away. It was too hard to throw those champion ribbons out so I still have a few.

Watching the horse shows or the livestock judging is fun. I wandered through the horse barn and petted one pretty Paint horse. A girl walked up and petted him too. She said, “I love horses. I think they’re magical.” I smiled and agreed with her. I loved horses very much when I was her age. I still do.

Kids have worked all year long with their animals. It’s easy to see the bond the two (or more) have. A lot of work goes into getting show animals ready for judging. Kids sleep in the pens with them sometimes. They pamper their show animals as much as other people pamper their dogs and cats.

I love fair food although it’s not always healthy for me. Eating Indian tacos or fried Twinkies once a year shouldn’t be that bad for you as long as they don’t become staples. The BBQ is usually really good. Potatoes are fixed in a variety of ways and you can find all kinds of food on a stick. Eating six giant fried elephant ears (not REAL elephant ears, but dough fried up and covered with cinnamon sugar) is one of our family’s most memorable and funniest experiences at the State Fair.

I don’t do the carnival rides at the fairs any more. I was never one to ride the super-scary rides, but I enjoyed the moderate rides. I’ve never liked the sensation of falling so big roller coasters and anything that makes me feel like I’m falling is out.

The rides like the Scrambler that moved horizontally and in circles were the most fun to me. I used to ride them all night long, or all day long when we went to Six Flags with my granddad. He loved carnival rides and going to Six Flags Over Texas. I’m sure drug us grandkids along so he could ride them. Nothing scared him, not even the roller coasters. Well into his 70s, he’d ride anything that spun or went fast. I never saw him sick or dizzy from any of the rides he took us on, and we went on some that were pretty rank. He was amazing.

The last time I rode the Scrambler at a fair was when my kids were teenagers. By the time the ride ended, I’m sure my face was green, and I was so dizzy I could hardly walk. That was my final ride on a Scrambler. I’m not as hardy as Granddad.

If you have a fair in your area, go and enjoy the food and the people. You’ll have a great time and make some memories, especially if you take your grandkids on the rides.

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