Saturday, October 26, 2013

State Fair Fun

I went to the NC State fair this week for the first time in a long time. A friend suggested we go together because our spouses, wonderful as they are in other ways, don't like going.
Farmer Julie and her Piggy friend, Diane. Yes, Diane deserves a blue ribbon.
As someone with allergies, the fair can be hit or miss. The aromas are calorie free but tempting. I focus on the displays first, the food second. But I was greeted by this as soon as I went through the gate:
Sigh. It smells so good and EVERYONE had an ear. But me.
We visited the produce section:
The winning pumpkin weighed in at 800 pounds this year.
The quilts and other crafts:

The home canning:

The cake decorating contest:

It was time for lunch so we headed to the Westover UMC Fair booth. One of my friends is pastor there but they also have the best chilidogs at the fair. At least if you only eat one every five years.  And as someone whose final exams in food microbiology consisted of diagnosing real cases of food poisoning at the State Fair, I make a point of eating at a church booth. I've worked em and know how clean they are!

I've also worked at the NC State Ice Cream booth. Nothing has changed in the three decades since I was dishing out cherry vanilla and chocolate mint for the food science club. Students still give you an awful lot of ice cream for the price. The milk comes from NC cows. And cherry vanilla is still my favorite. And no high fructose corn syrup. 

What has changed is turkey legs have taken over from italian sausage and onions in popularity.
My daughter and her boyfriend were brave enough to eat those monster turkey legs...and deep fried HoHos.
And my grandchildren are now going to the fair with my son and DIL.
They were so happy.

 And learning about the cycles of life and the precarious nature of fair fish.
Good thing the parents told them fair fish only live 24 hours!

That's worse than a case of fair food poisoning!  My poor babies. No more fair fish for them.

Except for the fish incident, it was a beautiful day to check out the farm animals, make a few carnies mad by taking their pictures, and appreciate all our state has to offer in terms of agriculture and talent.

So what about your fair experiences? Do you have a food item you MUST have? Or a display to check out? Do you ride the rides or play the midway? Best or worst experience? 

PS: Some of you may have seen the news story about the people tragically hurt at our fair on Thursday. Please be in prayer for the families of those affected. 


  1. I am praying for those affected, Julie. I did not grow up with anything but the movie "State Fair." In college, I went to the New Mexico state fair, which was cool, but I have yet to give Georgia's a try....

    1. We went every year for a long time. But I never went to one until I moved to NC. Part of going to an agriculture related college, I guess.

    2. I haven't been to the state fair in two decades. Shame on me!!!! I used to annoy the chickens by imitating them. What a pesky person!!! I love fairs. I love church fairs, county fairs (waving to TEEEENA) state fairs. So fun, so country and so exciting. Julie, I agree, prayers for those affected by a tragic accident. So very sorry to hear that on the news. Love the quilting and home canning areas... and, of course, the stock exhibits. "Mooo!!!"

    3. The saddest part of the fair is the no petting the animals requirement except in a strict area with immense handwashing stations due to liability. No chicken displays. No bunny rabbits. Sad.

  2. This is great!! Love all these pictures! I grew up with a rodeo and fair, the biggest time of our late summer. They let the kids out of school that week and everyone spend the whole week wandering the fair.

    So sorry to hear about the accident. Praying for them all!

    1. I was really surprised the fair accident made the national news, especially since our State fair is one of the last of the fair season in the US. But it does call to a lot of folks' memories, doesn't it?

      I wanted to grow up with a rodeo!

  3. The accident actually made the news up here in my corner of Canada too. Praying for all involved.

    Can you believe that I have never been to a fair? It's on my bucket list. :-) So, how does one haul an 800 pound pumpkin to the fair?!

    1. Canada? You're in Canada? There are some great rodeos and events up north of us too.

      It takes a lot of heavy lifting. I have seen giant pumpkins moved with forklifts most of the time.

      The bigger question is how many pies does an 800 lb pumpkin make!

  4. The Chautauqua State Fair, the Tulsa State Fair. I love them!!

  5. Oh and I got to go to the Puyallup Fair two years ago! Near Virginia Carmichael Munoz. We hope to go again maybe next year.

  6. Duh, Chautauqua County Fair not state. It's not held at Chautauqua the facility, Jules. It's held in Dunkirk, NY.

    But yes, Chautauqua is lovely.

    1. Did you guys know that Kirkwood Lake is actually Chautauqua Lake? I changed the name to protect the innocent, and slid it inland just a touch to give it a more "hilled" and "mountained" surrounding. But it's Chautaqua all right, with mentions of Bemus Point and Mayville and the famous I-86 bridge spanning the lake. Although that's in the spring book, so you have to wait to "see" it mentioned. Dave and I fell in love with it when we went hunting for a lakeside area to set books. Chautauqua was perfect... and (just like "Falling for the Lawman" it's surrounded by farm properties that abut very wealthy properties. It is its own conundrum. And GORGEOUS. Maybe we'll take a few days and rent a place there... Dave would love it! He'd fish. I'd write. Perfect.

    2. Well, if it gets him out of my kitchen and onto a rowboat.... :)

  7. I was AWOL yesterday (it was a beautiful day for a research trip - more on that tomorrow!), but I'm glad I didn't miss the fair!

    When we lived in Texas, we worked in our church's booth at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo. The BEST ONION RINGS EVER!

    But my favorite fair is the Elkhart County Fair in Indiana. I miss going every year!