When the kids were little and I was home, we went during the day. The other Mom friends encouraged and shared the fun activities in the barn for little kids. We learned about life on the farm and I learned right along with the kids. Now my cousins had cows, sheep, horses on a farm so it wasn't like I was a pure city girl. I have very fond memories of walking the beautiful pastures of Washington County- rocks and stones and rolling hills along the Antietam Creek. In fact when we were in Aberfeldy, Scotland it reminded me of my hometown! At the Hartford Fair we would enjoy an ice cream snack and see the various animal barns. I did fall in love with the poultry barn at that point- I love ducks. Seeing the various types of ducks and geese, chickens and roosters and turkey...amazing.
A number of years ago we learned about the political nature of the fair and started helping out and visiting our friends who were in campaign mode/season. This was fun and this was fair without kids. It happened for a number of years our vacation was the last week of July with kids going back to Maryland with my parents and therefore they missed fair week. I embraced the new fair scene and enjoyed it with friends and Joe. At this point I also met a friend that told me about the various food establishments run by the boosters of communities- some good eats! Beef and noodles, taco salads...the Trojan burger line to this day still is too long for me. Personally I'm drawn to the cattle club's steak sandwich...although the bourbon chicken being grilled tonight looked good.
Over the years I've made friends that had the good fortune to grow up here and had the benefit of participating in fair activities as teens. Here their stories strengthen my admiration for what the fair offers beyond what visitors experience. The same goes for friends that have children showing animals at the fair. It is fun to peak into the dormitories and think about the 24 hour efforts that go on to make the fair work- those eating establishments have breakfast, there are cookouts, and showers, a basketball hoop. And on the other side I admire the support and philanthropy shown by those that purchase the animals and sponsor events and days celebrating the lessons and hard work of the youth and families.
Tonight was a treat to return with kids. Peter and Sally went wtih me and enjoyed big kids activities- bungee jumping and bull riding...no fair rides for us. We played a round of put-put- I lost- Sally had two holes in one, winning another game. I met a friend who is all of the above and so it was a treat to be with her. We walked through the 4H barn and the displays were amazing. We took in the sewing, arts and crafts and produce. I learned about the cattle requirement and commitment and the showing of hogs and how many are involved. I met super nice people and took in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Of course there are the tacky things for sale, every fried thing under the sun and tractor pull night provided some fun people watching but the overall scene is awesome. It is all about community and a wonderful important way of life and it is what keeps me going back to the fair. I hope you will go to the fair and share with me which barn is your favorite..the steer and dairy barn delighted me tonight...the sheep and goats were Peter's favorite, but make sure you see the poultry barn too! Schedules are around and posted on-line many fun activities...sorry we missed the frog jumping today...duck races on Friday will give Music in the Courtyard some competition no doubt! Make sure you find your way to Lindsey in the Energy Co-Op Natural Resources area....beautiful spot with a pond for fishing and all sorts of cool things happening including recycled crafts/art- a direct tie to Green Revolution- these happen during the day. 4H Band plays often and has an amphitheater to enjoy a place to sit. I missed the opening parade...who knew....no doubt I'll go back to the Fair next year too!
Enjoy the ride up- the scenery is beautiful! I always find a new creative country road route...I like to come in from the east and avoid the line-up to get in...although big talk tonight about a new road...I can't wait to try that! A goal of mine on Newark-Granville Road is to drive every road in Licking County....and nights like this get me a bit closer. However Croton is a charming small Ohio town and seeing the Walmart trucks picking up the eggs is kind of cool to see....so much to offer this north west corner of Licking County...a special part of my life on Newark-Granville Road.