When I was in middle school, one of the annual field trips we took in the fall was to one of the Topsfield Fair. In an effort to justify the field trip as “educational” we were always given some sort of scavenger hunt-like list of things we were supposed to check off. Usually it required finding out exactly how much the largest pig at the fair weighed and some random fun-facts about honeybees. I don’t think the teachers ever actually collected our lists so most of the day was spent eating fried dough, playing games, and buying stink bombs. One year my friend and I spent a large portion of the day watching the lumberjack contests in an effort to avoid a boy who had earlier sent a friend to ask my friend if she would “go out” with him. I’m pretty sure one of those “Check here if your answer is yes” notes was involved
Because I know you’re dying to know, she did eventually agree to go out with him. Which in middle school terms means standing together during recess and eating lunch at that same table. I don’t exactly remember how their relationship played out, but I think eventually the relationship ran its course but they remained on friendly terms. Middle school romances are doomed to fail when high school is around the corner.
Which brings me to Friday.
On Friday night Andrew and drove up to the Montgomery County Fair. Sadly we watched no lumberjack contests, but I did agree to go out with Andrew if he promised to buy me some cotton candy. He followed through so our relationship lives on for another week.
We walked through the carnival for a little while and I played the “Guess Your Weight” game. Apparently my desire to win a small, poorly made, stuffed toy outweighs any embarrassment I might feel by standing on a giant scale as hundreds of people walked by. Also, the guy guessed that I was 25 lbs lighter than I actually am, so that’s cool.
By then it was time for the pig races. Because pig races are a thing at the county fair down here. It was amusing to watch the pigs, ducks, and goats race around this tiny track to get to the cheese doodles. Also, pot bellied pigs trying to run is funny.
We then meandered through the many rooms of prize winning flowers, fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, cakes, quilts, photographs, paintings, honey, and basically anything else you could make and could be submitted to be judged. I have no idea why one tomato wins over another but I did feel like I was living in Farmer Boy and totally had my eye out for Almanzo’s milk-fed pumpkin. You haven’t read Farmer Boy? It’s part of the Little House on the Prairie series and my favorite book. Mostly it makes me really hungry when I read it.
Just outside the buildings with all of the fruits and vegetables was this gem of a booth. This seems like a rather obscure contest, but one in which I would have the best chance of winning given there are only about 10 entrants. Ideas for next year?
I then got the most gigantic $3 ice cream ever. Having spent a summer working at an ice cream stand, I know a good value when I see one. I made a valiant effort to eat the entire thing, but given that it was the better part of a quart of ice cream I had to toss the last bit. Plus, I had to save room for cotton candy. (Is cotton candy something that requires room in your stomach? It’s not like it actually has much substance. Much? Any. Also, the different colors of cotton candy are totally different flavors. That was unexpected.)
While eating my ice cream I watched a pig auction which I never totally understood. There were pigs and teenagers trotting the pigs out in front of crowds of people and I guy yelling out bids in a rapid and impressive manner. We ended our evening with a quick tour of the sheep and goats. Most of the sheep had been recently shorn so they basically looked naked. The goats were totally the troublemakers. If they weren’t head butting each other, they were stealing food out of their neighbors food bins.
Sadly there were no butter sculptures (the New York State Fair has an impressive display), and I ate no deep fried foods (all they had was fried dough and deep fried Oreos. Where’s the deep fried hamburgers? Deep fried coke? Deep fried butter? Deep fried things-that-shouldn’t-be-deep-fried?). It was a fun way to kick off the weekend though…I think I am just now coming down off my sugar high.