Tuesday, August 16, 2011

County Fair - Day One and Counting

County Fair.

I can vividly remember taking the family to our county fair every summer. We would see the sights, have some food, and invariable end up wandering the aisles of the livestock barn...wondering what it would be like to own a couple of animals...wondering how much fun it must be...wondering how that would ever be possible based on our living in a major metropolitan city.

Now fast forward to today. It's County Fair time again. But this time, as has been the case for the last six years, we're there not just one day, but six, and not only six days, but six nights as well. All because our little 'wondering' came to be, and our girls bring their 4-H dairy goats to exhibit as well as any other static exhibits they have prepared during the year. It's amazing how things do change.

Without spending the entire 'day one' post on how we got to where we are, let's just dive in to today.

But it really started last Saturday with paining the pen panels that the goats will stay in for the week, and as a 4-H club, decorating the area for the benefit of the visitors to the county fair. There's an amazing amount of background work done by an awful lot of volunteers in order to put together what you see when you visit the livestock barns.

But in getting back to today, the fair opens on a Tuesday each and every year. Our 14-year-old did not have a show today or even barn duty so was free to wander the fair with me and our 9-year-old. And wander we did...through the goat barns to see each and every little goatkid...many, many times. Through the butterfly exhibit four different times.

600+ Monarchs in one tent.

They were everywhere!

This says it all!

We washed our hands with the most wonderful goat soap from the 'soap lady's' exhibit. We spent a lot of time in the pioneer village and Indian camp looking through the exhibits there. We wandered over to the the OMSI exhibit. And I believe all that was before lunch back at our campsite. Then we of course had to make several trips through the 4-H exhibit hall where the girls had photography exhibits as well as H-Bob's Clover Bud exhibits.

Clover Bud sewing exhibit

Clover Bud Photography exhibit

Clover Bud Expressive Art and Natural Science exhibit

Clover Bud Drawing exhibit

Clover Bud felting and finger knit scarf

There were cool things to see in the Main Pavilion that the various vendors exhibited, plus no day is complete without going through both the rabbit and poultry barns and then on to the beef and swine exhibits. One of H-Bob's favorite shows to watch was the Flying K-9's...a Frisbee and agility demonstration by various herding and rescue dogs. They are talented. Although it seems like it, we haven't seen everything that there is. That's why there's tomorrow, and the next day, and the next...but it's hard to convince a 9-year-old of that at times. County fair for us equals an incredible amount of walking.

H-Bob, sporting our club t-shirt.

Since we are camping, dinner is put together at the campsite...teriyaki chicken, zucchini and onion skewers, and rice. Good and simple.

Yes, home sweet home for the week.

We still have the horses and other goats at home, so I take off each evening to care for them as well as take care of my horse barn duties next door. Our other two kids are at home, so there is dinner to put together for them, laundry, watering, and rounding up what we will need for the next day. It does make for one long day.

But here I am finally trying to chronicle it all after all these years. Someday we won't be in this position, and we'll be back to being spectators...although we'll be all-knowing and more appreciative than ever.  And I do want to remember what it was like.

Do you attend your county fair? What's your favorite part? It would be fun to find out.

Stay tuned...day two should be coming right up.

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