We Love County Fairs

This is the time of year when there is a county fair going on somewhere. There are fairs for just about every interest, whether it’s livestock, racing pigs, food trucks, agriculture, seafood festivals, pickle fests, food and drink events, hot dog eating competitions, beer fests, chili cookoffs, and so on. Many of the fairs are in the fall, so you not only enjoy the fairs, but the fall foliage as well.

I don’t know what’s more fun, people watching, taking in all the competitions, the food, the sounds and smells; it’s all wonderful. Along with all these things is the knowledge that Fall is on the way, and the holidays are around the corner.

And the “fair food!” We tend to let our our healthy resolutions go on the day we attend the fairs. After all, when else can you enjoy the following:

  • corn dogs
  • deep-fried pickles
  • fudge
  • sausages grilled with onions and peppers
  • bacon-wrapped hot dogs
  • fried dough
  • clam rolls with homemade tartar sauce, made and served by the Ladies’ Auxiliary
  • freshly made french fries, drizzled in malt vinegar and salt
  • kettle corn
  • burgers and dogs prepared by the local Kiwanis Club
  • homemade whoopie pies
  • crispy onion rings, splattered with ketchup
  • homemade doughnuts
  • “Three Alarm” chili, made and served by the local firemen

…and each year, the list goes on and on. At most any fair, you can buy your sweetheart a genuine stainless steel pendant, engraved with both your initials in a heart, made “While U Wait.”

There are toys that the kids clamor for; the adults sighing as they pay for them, knowing that in less than a week, the item will be lost or broken. There are endless games, rides from the safe and pokey to the hair-raising, and so on.

Usually there is a band, playing their own music or popular tunes or old favorites. Sometimes there is a dance hall, where you can hold your sweetie close and dance all you like.

Always, there are games of chance, usually surrounded by teenage girls who desperately want their boyfriends to win them a huge stuffed animal. This is one of the many “trophies of love” that fairs are famous for. Triumphantly holding that enormous teddy bear is proof that teenage love is strong and mighty; that is, for as long as it lasts.

Best of all, as you stroll through the fair, idly munching on a paper cone of kettle corn, you can take in all the sounds and smells of the fair. While you may be wearing shorts, t-shirts and sneakers, you can feel the tingle of the cold to come in the air.

But for the day you go to the fair, whichever one it may be; it is eternal sunny fall, you are happy, and all your senses are filled up with the sounds, scents and magic of the fair.

Like life itself, it only lasts so long, so enjoy it all you can.