Growing up, the fair was all about the rides for me. I don’t remember seeing all the animals, I don’t remember the produce, the canning, the quilts.
I do remember cotton candy, sno-cones, and the tilt-o-whirl.
As an adult, and a middle-aged one, at that, I have no interest in the roller coaster, the tilt-o-whirl, the octopus, or the hammer head. (Is that a ride, or did I just make that up?) I COULD be talked into the ferris wheel, especially at night, but this year I didn’t see the ferris wheel at the Northwest Washington Fair. Sad. The Ferris Wheel so American.
I just love the fair. I love to watch the people, the Carnies, the performers. I love the sounds from the grandstands, the smell of the cattle, the horses, the sheep, the pigs. I love watching the older folks sit in the shade, silent, watching the younger kids walking by in their short shorts and cowboy boots. I love the distant sounds of the music coming from various stages around the grounds. I love the smells of the greasy sweet foods.
(For the record I ate Poffertjes (yes, that’s spelled correctly, and pronounced PUFFREDGES), Kettle Korn, and BBQ Beef. I would have also had a Moo-Which, but they were sold out mainly because the cooling trailers that held the traditional ice cream sandwiches had malfunctioned and all of the ice cold sweet treats melted the morning the fair opened. Of course Tragedy always brings out the HERO in someone, and this time it was our very own locally owned, Haggen. Stories like this always warm my heart. Even if it means I didn’t get my freezing cold creamy treat. And, can I just say, I’m probably better off for it?)
So, the fair is done. The grounds have been swept clean. It signals the near ending of summer, which some of us feel we never really had this year. And the fair ending signals the beginning of planning for next year.