A Day at the Fair

Is there anything that signals the end of summer like a fair?

State, county or town, the American agricultural fair is alive and well – and not just a place to eat fried-food-on-a-stick!

My son-in-law has been talking about the town fair for a month. He, Niko, and the Butterfly live in the same small town in Central Massachusetts where he grew up, and where fair-attendance is practically a civic duty… He couldn’t wait to share it with his new extended family.

I don’t think the Butterfly had ever been to a fair before.

Shame on me! Bad Mommy!

She fell in love the minute we walked through the gate…

Or maybe that was in the 4-H exhibit hall, where a serious-faced boy explained about his newly-hatched chicks, and then plopped a little ball of yellow fuzz into her hand…

Or when Niko got to see the baby ducks up close…

“Hey! Where’d they go?”

He was fascinated by everthing…the sheep, the chickens, the cows…

We walked him through the 4-H barn, telling him how he could do this some day…

Who knew there was a prize for decorating vegetables?

Upstairs we found the adult entries. Pickles, preserves, baked-goods…

I wouldn’t be surprised to find an entry or two with my daughter’s name attached next year…. “MY apple pie looks better than that one…”

After the exhibit halls and the livestock came the attractions…

Pig racing, anyone?

No? Then how ’bout a tractor-pull…

With souped-up (old) lawn tractors?

After that, and a quick snack – nothing on sticks, thank you! – it was time to hit the midway. The Big Kids played a game to win a stuffed toy for Niko, then went on a ride or three… Maybe next year you for you, Little Bear!

It was a long, happy afternoon. A tradition passed-down since the first harvests, passes on to a new generation.

As we left the fairgrounds to walk back home, another sign of the changing season caught our eyes…

Across the valley, the leaves have begun to turn.


19 thoughts on “A Day at the Fair

  1. What a fanastic day and a lovely event. There are still some towns and villages in England that do this sort of “Harvest Festival” – I think it´s wonderful and hope it never dies out. Here in Spain it tends to be a religious festival but often tied in with locally produced food. Our village has a Gazpacho fiesta, and other close by villages have cherries, peaches, sausages and olive oil…everything we need!

    • With all those things coming in at different times, there must be a food festival every weekend! Sounds good to me!
      I think our fairs have their roots in our English and German past more than anything else…Good to know they still exisit across the pond, too.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful day!! Pictures are great. I know Joey enjoyed showing it off to his family. Sorry we never took your kids to the fair here.

    • I’m not sure we didn’t take them once or twice, but they would have been so little at the time that they wouldn’t remember…the little 4-H fair here on the island isn’t much to brag about, so we never went.

  3. Wonderful day, eh? There’s nothing quite like seeing the world through the eyes of a Li’l One. But, oh, those trees changing color. I love Autumn but it’s what comes after that I have trouble with. Still, great post!

  4. Marie, you paint such a beautiful picture with your words! I remember going to the fair as a child..I even won a 3rd place ribbon for some candy I made (for home ec in school)…Loved the pictures of your grandson! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pig races, food on a stick, the emerging colors of autumn, and family to share it all with……it’s almost too much to say grace over!

  6. Small towns here used to have, what we called “Shows”, but I don’t think much effort was ever put into them and they sort of died. I do remember as a kid going to them and playing on the rides, eating fairy floss, the only you could get it, and toffee apples. I had a cupid doll on a stick for many years that came from a show. I always remember the colour red, because that is the colour that seemed to be all over us at the end, of course there was the dust as well. The biggest show of the year for our state is coming up, you have inspired me to go and take photos.

    • Oh, GOOD! I can’t wait to see what an Austrailian fair looks like!
      I love the name ‘fairy floss’ – the Brits call it candy floss, and we just have Cotton Candy…of the three, I like your name the best.
      Been missing you, by the way…glad you’re back!

  7. It looks like it was a great day! 🙂

    I’m curious — Do they TASTE the pies and other goods at your county fair? Here they only taste the wines. Everything else is judged purely on looks. I found that very odd, although I guess there are good reasons to be careful of tasting some of the canned goods.

  8. Pingback: Pyrex Pie | Pyrex In Wonderland

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