Thursday, August 03, 2006
That would be the Wisconsin State Fair, held pretty much in my backyard during the beginning of August each year. I grew up in this city - within walking distance of the fair my whole life, and honestly, until I was about seventeen didn't really grasp the significance of the "State" in "State Fair". It always seemed like a (really big) local event. Yeah, I'm not too bright.
So what does the Fair bring to us? Well, this is the Dairy State, so lots and lots of bovine-generated goodness (we don't talk about the non-edible stuff much, although there is a lot to say (and smell) about the use of bovine by-products as fertilizer and a source for methane-powered generators).
Cream Puffs! Only ours are bigger, and the filling whiter. They sell close to 400,000 of those babies during the ten-day run of the fair (at $3 a pop). They offer pre-orders for drive through pick up from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. - our office is getting its load next Wednesday.
Quilts! Among other homemaking categories. I've entered only once - in 2001, and ended up with the ribbon in the picture. Honestly, I think there were very few entries in the Christmas category that year. My prize? A whopping $7. After deducting the $5 entry fee, I had enough left for a cup of coffee. Well worth it!
Other fun fair stuff: (almost) free music, a huge midway, a circus, tons of vendors doing demos of products you've never heard of (but are now compelled to buy), baby animals, a livestock auction, pig races (heck, I'd race for Oreos too!), Mille's Italian Sausage, flower arranging displays, helicopter rides (featuring a sharp turn above my house every half hour!), and of course...
Anything you want to eat, served deep-fried and on a stick!
The twist, of course, is that in the Dairy state, the offerings tend to run more to cheese served that way rather than the more exotic cornatee served by our friends down south. We'll take what we can get.
You're welcome to come park in front of my house and walk over to the fair. We're about three quarters of a mile from the front gate, but free sure beats the $9 a car they charge to park on the ground (if you can get into the lot there at all).