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.
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.
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.
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.
It was a lot of fun to see the roosters, whose plumage is always much showier than that of the hens:
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:
The goats were very entertaining. These little guys were getting quite unruly:
But someone tattled, and out came Mom to see what was going on:
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.