Today marks the beginning of fair season in my area, as the county just next to ours has theirs this weekend while my county has ours next weekend.
While I live in one county, we almost always go to the fair of the county next door as it's just better organized and easier to navigate.
I remember as a kid checking out the petting zoo, visiting the animals, and walking around bored with my parents while we roamed the various exhibit halls or sat and watched local musicians.
At the end of the night we would go over to the rides area and I'd get to ride a handful of them and occasionally play the midway games with my dad. Dad was really good at the racing game where you shoot the water on the target while your numbered racer rushed across the board behind the counter - he would almost always win. In addition to the stuffed animals my dad would win me, I often ended up with a goldfish - since we usually went to the fair on a Friday night the goldfish was usually dead by Sunday night, as the ones from the fair never live very long! Growing up I loved riding the bumper cars though and when I was big enough, my favorite ride was the Zipper - the one where they put in you a cage and you spin round and round, upside down. I also enjoyed the fun houses that were similar to the one in the movie Grease.
Now that I'm older, I don't ride the rides so much these days and the games have kind of lost their appeal.
I do enjoy walking around the fair grounds now though, checking out a lot of the different vendors and all the exhibit halls - the 4H arts and crafts hall has some really neat stuff in it that people have entered to win ribbons! I also enjoy sitting and resting for a bit, listening to whatever local band or musician is playing. We've also gotten in the habit of watching some of the performers who have booths/stages set up throughout the fair grounds - last year we watched a show with dogs that could do different tricks, another time we watched a magician. We also once stopped and played a few rounds of Bingo (my sister couldn't play though as she was under 18) and my mom won something like $20 off her card!
I can't stand walking through all barns though and seeing the cows and other animals - they're usually all gross and wreaking of the smell of poop and you have to be really conscious of where you're walking!
I do have my favorite fair foods though. One set of boy scouts always has a booth selling warm fresh sweet corn on the cob - it's delicious! Another set of boy scouts offer yummy baked potatoes with a wide variety of toppings. While you can get typical fair dessert, I always opt for several scoops of ice cream from the local Merry Maids booth - it's sooooo good! I have to get these items every year at the fair - while the ice cream is something I've always gotten at the fair, my dad was the one that introduced me to the sweet corn on the cob and my mom introduced me to the yummy baked potatoes - I've since gotten them for years!
Another little tradition that hubby started is getting me 2 wooden roses each year from a vendor at the fair.
It all started our first year together, as he went to the fair with his family but I wasn't able to get the night off work to join them. He rarely ever buys me real roses (his argument is that they die so would he give me something that doesn't last?), but he bought me a few of these wooden roses since I could go with them. Every year since, he's gotten me 2 more to add to my bouquet of wooden roses. While I've had them for several years now since they don't die, I do have to fend off Tiger from them, as she realized that they crunch when she chews them and she likes the noise!
Did you ever go to the fair when you were a kid?
Do you still go now that you're older?
What things have changed over the years?