Last Friday, The Family and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Erie County Fair. We used to actually go to the Fair twice during its run, but that got to be too expensive, so now we pack everything into a single day. We arrived at 10:30 in the morning and left after 11:00 at night, after everything had closed down except the Midway and the beer tents. It was a long and tiring and happy day. County Fairs are wonderful things.
And this year, the weather was perfect on our day. The last two years, we got rained out. Two years ago the day was rainy the whole time and we finally gave up around 5:00; last year, there were sporadic showers throughout the day that we were able to work our way around, but then around 7:00 there was a good downpour that soaked everything before moving on. It cleared up right afterward, but it was also late enough that we knew that nothing would dry out because the sun was about to set.
What do we do at the Fair? Fair stuff, obviously. We look at all of the animals (this is of limited interest to me, but The Wife grew up on a farm, so she loves it, and so does The Daughter). We ride some rides. We go into the exhibit halls and see artworks by local artists (although we didn't make it into the woodcarving building this year). We wander through the various buildings that feature shopping and sales pitches; there's something totally infectious about the sheer hucksterism on display at the County Fair each year. And yeah, we eat. Our traditional Fair lunch is a corn dog, which are always fresh out of the fryer. We get Po'Boy sandwiches, and a giant bag of Kettle Corn; we get maple cotton candy and ribbon fries (usually -- we missed the ribbon fries this year) and pizza and ice cream and we wash it all down with lots of birch beer (in addition to the water we carry in ourselves). And usually, the next day I gnaw on a head of lettuce all day to make up for the salt-and-fat laden day before.
This, and the posts that follow, are all photos I took from our day at the Fair. More are available at my Flickr photostream. This particular photo is of a new thing this year: the "Walking Tree Man", who looks like an Ent, clearly enough. I wasn't terribly sure what the point of this was, but it looked cool enough. I restrained myself from making a bunch of Treebeard jokes, though.