This time of year, my mind wanders to the fairs I have gone to, mostly the Ohio State Fair. We went quite a bit when I was younger. Getting there was part of the fun as we rode these little tractor and wagon combinations which took us from the parking lot to the edge of the fair. The smells hit us right away: cotton candy, popcorn, something fried, hay, animal smell. We always had a plan so we could see everything in one day. We usually saw the animals first. I loved the bunnies, especially the lop-eared ones. Of course I wanted to take one home with us, but couldn't. I also enjoyed the horses as we didn't have any of those on that famous farm of my grandmother's. I loved the way the horses' tails were braided with ribbon woven in. The blond haired ones, oh they were so fabulous.
Then we went to one of the pavilions. We saw the latest 4-H sewing champs. Lovely aprons lined up, row upon row, some with blue, red, or green, or yellow ribbons. I remember wishing I could get one of those ribbons.
My favorite place was the new products enclosure. Many of the items were similar to the "as seen on T.V." materials. Things that stick, things that remove stick um, bamboo plants, kitchen gadgets. One time there was a display of what looked like roses fused into glass. All different colors. They were paperweights, parts of lamps, etc. For a smaller price, you could get a flower embedded in plastic on a key chain. Each of us girls got one. My oldest sister got violets, my youngest something white in blue, and I got a pink rose in yellow. I still have that lovely memento and use it on my purses.
We ate at one of the stands. One year, there was a new chicken recipe that had Worcestershire sauce and vinegar cooked slowly over a grill. Ummmmm.
In the dairy house,we always saw some type of butter sculpture. My favorite was the year an astronaut hovered in the glass case.
We were usually allowed one or two rides. Somehow I always got on the Farris Wheel. This was never my choice. There is nothing worse that being at the top while the workers put new people in below, especially if an "evil" sister decides to swing the seat. My favorites were the Calypso or the Tilt-a-Whirl which was firmly planted on the ground.
When we were done viewing the fair, we could walk across the road and see a modern art exhibit. Here is where I first learned that egg cartons and splattered paint can be art. It was a good lesson, actually and I enjoyed learning something new.
We didn't always see the headliner which the fair was promoting. Some I do recall were Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rodgers (and his whole family,) John Davidson, and Andy Williams.
We were sleepy people as we rode back to our cars on the tractor wagon conveyances. Maybe we would have a Kewpie doll, or be wearing a gorgeous necklace with our names engraved across the front, or be carrying a gaudy, glittery, red, white, and blue painted baton stick. One thing is for sure. We had a blast and would be yelling to please let us come back next year.