Friday, 28 September 2012

Fall Fair

This weekend was the local fall fair.

I have gone every year for as long as I can remember and it has always been, without exception, either pouring rain or freezing cold. Usually both. Often with gale-force winds thrown in for good measure. It's generally quite miserable.
I'm not entirely sure why we go to the Fair, actually.

And I think we wonder that every year on the way out, soaking wet and shivering deep down in our bones, slopping through mud up to our ankles and dragging the children behind us - "but I don't wanna go home yet" (despite hours of "I'm cold" and "Can we go inside somewhere?")

It isn't that the Fair is the most exciting thing in the world. It's more just that it is a thing - it's one of our traditions - we go every year, and therefore have to keep going every year.
petting zoo, fall fair, feeding animals

fall fairThere are the animal exhibitions and buildings - horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits. The kids love petting them and feeding them bits of hay and, now that they're a little older, reading all the fun facts the farmers post about each animal. There's a horse show and a sheep shearing competition and all sorts of fabulously farmy fun with hay bales to climb on and play areas filled with corn kernels. The local fire department sets up a firefighting obstacle course and lets kids 'drive' the firetruck; the local hydro company takes families up for rides in the utility bucket for a view of the fairgrounds from above. The army brings in jeeps and guns and kids can climb all over them and pretend to shoot. There are clowns and magicians and face-painting and shows of every kind, pony rides and elephant rides and junk food galore. This year they had BodyZorb, an enormous, clear inflatable ball that the kids strapped into to be rolled at one another by the adults - fantastic fun. One of the kids' favourite parts, of course, is the midway, with its rides and games and prizes and flashing lights and pounding music.

And then, at night, is the monster truck show and demolition derby. Spectacularly redneck awesomeness. Such good fun for little boys - the larger-than-life monster trucks with enormous tires and over-the-top paint jobs and ridiculous names, the deafening noise as they rev their engines for a jump and the sickening crunch as they land onto the roof of a car, the smashing and crashing and twisted metal and smoking wreckage of the demolition derby - good old-fashioned small-town fall fair fun.

This year, unusually, the weather wasn't bad. It was such a treat not to have to hunch through the day, cold & wet and telling each other how much we were enjoying ourselves through clenched, chattering teeth. Maybe good weather for Fair will be a new tradition.

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