Ferris Wheel

The  school supply list, check-marks and all, hangs haphazardly on our refrigerator door, having served its purpose. Pre-season football is blaring from the tv.  Leaves on some of the trees in my yard are ever so slightly starting to take on tinges of yellow and red. And the boys are at each other’s throats after a summer of “togetherness”.  With the barely perceptible change in the smell and feel of the air, and as the sun sets earlier and rises later, I grieve the loss of longer sun-drenched days, popsicles, water fights, beach outings and flipflops.  Fall is coming and there’s nothing I can do to prolong the sweet, lazy days of summer. But I also welcome this change in the seasons and all that it has to offer.  Snuggling together on the couch under cozy blankets hand-knitted by loving hands, hot spiced apple cider, toasted pumpkin seeds, and Halloween-my favorite holiday.  This moment in time, when summer is waning and autumn hasn’t truly arrived, means just one thing in our house, our annual trip to the county fair.

I adore the fair, even with all the hawking of these

hottub

and these.

fireplaces

Consider the entertainment value two little wrist bands can buy you…

Ride wrist bands

This sign scares me a little…

sign

ride

But, it doesn’t seem to faze them! They just love those unlimited ride wristbands – a great investment for mom and dad!

Fair Ride

More importantly though, the fair is about agriculture. Seeing the animals is always one of the highlights for me.

So many different varieties of birds to see.

Turkey

Birds

bird

We always have to check out the baby chicks!

Chicks

Pig with Babies

So sweet! Mama and her babies!

This guy was awfully friendly!

Sheep

And I love the pygmies.

pygmy

The boys missed out on these beauties – they decided to wait outside the barn because it smells oh-so-much better out there!

There’s so much to take in!

Vegetables

vegetables

There’s even a historical component to our favorite fair, The Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Washington. The fairgrounds play host to a year-round museum, the Western Heritage Center, that I just found fascinating! If you’re in the area, I recommend a visit. Just look at these antique stoves.

stove

stove

And these washing machines! Cool to look at but I, for one, am thankful for how far we’ve come!

Washing machines

But truly, let’s not pretend, I go to the  fair for the food! Some would call it “junk food”.  And well, yes, considering that most of it is deep-fried, carb-laden, processed, full of fat, with nary a green vegetable in sight, I suppose you could classify it as  “junky”. But it is FUN food!

There’s a wide selection of food in a cone…

Ice Cream

snowcone

and meat on a stick…

Corn dog

Sausage

and all sorts of other goodies.

Slushies

Fries

We do “try”,  however, to choose items that are  farm fresh,

Corn Stand

Corn on the cob

Or local, like these Walla Walla Onions! Yum!

Onion Burgers

Grilled Onions

Onion Burger

We strive to dine on foods that are made on-site,

beef

beef sandwich

or are even just unique to the fair.

Scones

Don’t ask me how they make this, but it’s called Deep Fried Dr. Pepper.

Deep fried Dr Pepper

Aha! I found the veggies! Another fried concoction – this one’s called a Zucchini Weenie! A hot dog  stuffed in a hollowed out zucchini, battered and deep-fried. How did they ever come up with that!?

Zucchini Weenie

And, then, there’s the mother of all fair food – the GIANT Turkey Leg – YUM!

Giant Turkey Leg

They’re kidding with that plastic fork, right?

boy with giant turkey leg

I do understand the irony, and am disappointed if I think too much about the fact that there is somewhat of a disconnect between what the fair is trying to showcase and teach, and a lot of the “fun” offerings. But if we can get in touch, in some small way, to where our food comes from, and the importance of agriculture and local food sourcing, while having a little fun, it’s not all bad right?

turkey bone

After all, it is only once a year 🙂

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