Saturday, August 8, 2009

Li'l County Fair

Since the men were busy working (mine), golfing (Mindi's), and fishing (Mom's), we ladies decide to take the babies and enjoy some good ol' fashioned fun at the County Fair! I have so many memories of long hours (days, really) spent at the fair every year which included no small amount of preparation, work, competition and drama to say the least! We always had a great time and looked forward to it throughout the year. My sisters and I were mostly involved with 4-H: cooking, baking, canning, sewing and art/drawing. Oh, and flower arranging a few times. Emily (my youngest sister) was the only one to show "livestock" which included a couple of pet bunnies and pet chickens too old to run away. I think our dog also went through a few rounds but she was an amazing pup and actually won a few ribbons, much to Emi's satistfaction. Other than 4-H we were involved with CYIA (Christian Youth In Action) and spent many an hour at the Children's Bible Bookhouse sharing the story of the Wordless Book to throngs of fair-goers.
Eileigh was free and admission (free parking) was only $6 for me so I counted that a pretty good deal for an evening of amusement. The first critters we came upon happened to be llamas (which I instinctively dislike intensely). Eileigh just started saying, "OoH, OoH, OoH" and pointing until I thought she would fall out of the stroller. When one of the llamas started giving us the evil eye we decided to move on. We strolled through the barns of sheep, cows, goats, and horses. The kids were able to pet the goats for awhile, much to their amusement. One little goat kept poking his head out through the slats and Boone and Eileigh just loved him. Eileigh had a great time practicing all of her animal sounds although making a revving tractor sound is her favorite as of late. We even found a few tractors for her to sit on and enjoy "driving". :) She loved it.
It was amazing how much smaller the fair seemed- I know in part because I'm an adult and no longer a child but I also think participation has really dropped over time. I know the 4-H extension service program has been cut and I think that's really affected participation. I remember rows and tables chock-full of entries and now things seemed kind of bare. Makes me nostalgic and hopeful that it will still be around in the future for my kids to participate in and enjoy.
After we toured the buildings (the "boring" stuff as we used to call it) we enjoyed some hot corn on the cob (Eileigh can take down an entire ear by herself!), nachos and a little amateur entertainment- the Youth Talent Night. Kinda like karaoke for kids. Painful, but cute.
We wrapped up our night with a stroll through the barn of chickens and bunnies, thrilling at the looks on Eileigh and Boone's faces when they came to an annoyed, obnoxious little Foghorn Leghorn rooster that kept crowing insistently. I don't think they knew what to think!
As we headed home I realized that the parking is: free, admission is: $6, and sharing parts of my childhood history and experiencing it as it is presently with my girl is: priceless.

*Hopefully I'll have a few more pictures to put up once I get them from Mindi!!

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