I come from Fair-blood. Several of my past relatives were board members or other officials, and my mom first left me, at 10 days old, in the care of others to go out on her annual pilgrimage to pronto pups and mini donuts. Heck, I remember when you could only drink beer in the approved beer gardens!
Patrick and I have many great Fair memories as well, from our first time together (when it rained before we could get any Sweet Martha's cookies), to taking Beatrix as a baby and having her be enthralled with the horses even then, to going with his Fair-loving dad (which made such an impression that to this day Beatrix claims "But we ALWAYS go with Grandpa Kenny!" when in truth we only went the one time.)
Usually we go in the morning, then go get some work done, then go back at night. But this year we only had this afternoon available, so it's what we did, going from 1-9:30. Our usual park-and-rides were full, but my awesome cousin, who lives nearby, is generous with her driveway for parking. So off we went.
We're far from Fair experts. We don't go every day, we don't live for the new food — in fact, I could not even remember them this year — and we have relatively few habits. This year, we even tossed aside the few we usually do, switching mini-donut vendors and eschewing the Dairy Building malts, that have gotten smaller and pricer simultaneously.
There's something about that freedom, though, that was great. We just walked around a lot, saw the dogs and the horses and the eco-building, people-watched, found the bench in memory of our friend's dad, and marveled at the number of landscape design places this year. Beatrix begged for cotton candy and did not eat it. Our favorite cheap pronto-pup place in the Midway was gone.
We did not plan, we just roamed, and it was great. It allowed us to have spontaneous moments with newborn cows, and with superheroes. We listed to Styx from their Grandstand concert (boy, are they old!) We found out that the Creative Arts Building is open late, and is absolutely dead and you can see everything at 9pm. I made a vow to enter something in the baking contest next year.
It was a perfect, rambling Fair day. And I wish that for all of you!