We Stayed (just slightly) Too Long at the Fair.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I used to devise an alternate driving route so as to avoid going past the fairgrounds and keep those boys of mine from seeing the Ferris wheel  that signals the start of our annual local Fair.

Did you know that the Ferris wheel was invented as part of a competition for Chicago's 1893 World's Fair? (image from keyt.com)

They always somehow found out anyway, though,  and every year the CE or I found ourselves trudging the dusty midway, buying criminally over-priced corn dogs and cotton candy and getting sick just watching the kids go round and round on the Tilt-a-Whirl. The only day that the CE actually ever stayed home sick from work in 20+ years was when he relented and rode that Tilt-a-Whirl with Tina and Angie when they were young. He promptly went green around the gills, came home and went to bed for forty-eight hours.

The Tilt-a-Whirl: Step right up...and prepare to lose your lunch and the next twenty-four hours...
(image from thefloridaeveryoneforgot.blogspot.com)

There’s just something about the fair. Its bright lights hold a promise so deep and shallow at the same time – “Forget all your cares”, “Win a stuffed animal!” that we are somehow convinced to part with significant amounts of money and end up with empty pockets, residual nausea and a potent memory of the sharp-edged visages of the “Carnies” who beckon you closer from every booth.

By the way, if you've never watched HBO's oh-too-brief two seaons of "Carnivale", you need to do so right now! (image from grouchymuffin.com)

For all the times we’ve attended the fair, we somehow never made it past the rides and the funnel-cake booths to visit the paddocks where the livestock are kept. So as we drove by the other day (the CE unwisely not having devised that alternate route) I said “I want to go see the chickens!” As it turned out, so did he, so off we went to join the dusty throngs.

First stop, of course, was the poultry exhibit:

It wasn’t exactly a palace of poultry. There weren’t all that many birds on display, and of those that were, most would have had a hard time competing with our own little flock.

There was a fairly nice-looking Buff Orpington, but its feathers were a duller color than Hope's - maybe she gets a tan from all her free-ranging?

It was a lot of fun to see the roosters, whose plumage is always much showier than that of the hens:

I think this is a Black Copper Marans rooster, which would be the male counterpart to Tulip.

The body shape and pea comb suggest to me that this is an Aracauna rooster

I finally get to say it: Silly goose!

My favorite birds at the exhibit were these Porcelain d'Uccles; same breed as Pippa but different coloring.

Loved this handsome Porcelain d'Uccle rooster.

Gobble gobble: I don't think this little boy will ever feel quite the same about Thanksgiving.

Hygiene note: If you ever tour livestock pens at a fair you will notice that there are sinks set up outside the exit. These aren’t simply for the squeamish; if you have birds at home it is imperative that you thoroughly wash your hands after being around the poultry exhibit in order to make sure that you don’t carry any unwelcome microbes home with you. For the same reason it is also advisable to clean your shoes before re-entering your home coop area. There are certain communicable avian diseases that can wipe out an entire flock after even such a casual exposure. This is also why it’s important to quarantine any new flock additions.

After seeing the birds, we decided to poke around a few other exhibits:

Taylor, I tried to find llamas for you but these alpacas were the best I could do.

Three little pigs

The goats were very entertaining. These little guys were getting quite unruly:

See the head-butting on your left?

But someone tattled, and out came Mom to see what was going on:

"You kids are ba-a-a-a-d! Just wait until your father gets home!"

"Go to your room, now, all of you!"

Will someone please tell the CE that if he really loved me he would give me a pair of pygmy goats for my birthday?

It was a very fun visit to the fair, and we almost got away without committing any food crimes. But just as we were leaving, we walked by the Kettle Corn booth. Irresistible.

"Get your own. I'm not planning to share."

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Poultry, Animal/Vegetable/Mineral, Big Fun, Chicken Facts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to We Stayed (just slightly) Too Long at the Fair.

  1. Seasonsgirl says:

    I want to come to the fair… and that kettle corn looks so good.

  2. dizzyguy says:

    Going to the fair really does bring back so many memories. Without trying very hard at all, I can picture each of the four kids there, with friends, handsful of tickets and big eyes for all of the colorful attractions. And nothing on earth is more ephemeral than the fair, because when you get that cheap teddy bear or plastic toy home, it can only extend your experience one little moment. And during that time the carnies have packed up and headed down the road to bilk the next town’s rubes; most of whom are willing victims. Nothing like it and see you next year!!

  3. Katherine says:

    Holy cow! (And I’m not kidding – I actually did say that while viewing the alpacas.) I now have a new vision of the Gutsche farm – with alpacas, goats and pygmy goats a roamin’. Com’on – they basically pay for themselves thru wool and milk and… (pygmy goats?) cuteness.

    Throw in your own ferris wheel on the lawn and you can charge an entrance fee. I’ll even bring my own kettle corn. Just make sure that no one walks off with Dizzy thinking he’s a stuffed animal prize.

  4. tdevir says:

    Love the fair! I have many memories as a teenager roaming there around for hours. However I never checked out the livestock before. There really is something for everyone at the fair!
    Btw- kettlecorn is one of the biggest vices in our household- that bag the CE’s holding wouldn’t last a day with us… Yum!

  5. pollo amigo says:

    Not sure I’m on totally on board with the goat idea. Unless it stays cute forever. Seeing the fair stirred memories for us too. We got a kick out of seeing all those legs dangling from the rides as we drove past.

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