Friday, August 26, 2011

County Fair

This weekend is our annual local county fair.

Growing up my family never really went to any fairs.  It just wasn’t our thing.  I can recall going to the Minnesota State Fair once in high school with a friend’s family...and that is it.

However, Travis’s family participated in this fair quite often.  Like every year, everyday, every minute the fair was open.

Apparently rural county fairs are highly connected to the agricultural community.  Looking over the fair schedule this week in the local newspaper I was amazed at all of the events.  Many are tied to 4H and FFA, some are not (Open).  I have really no idea what the difference is between all of these.  When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

We decided that we would meet up with Travis’s sister’s family this evening as it was the first day of the fair.  We got there late in the afternoon and the first thing Charlie saw was the tractors.  His obsession with tractors is growing daily.

Here is a tractor that Charlie immediately claimed as his own.  Perfect size, don’t you think?

According to Travis this tractor wouldn’t do much…maybe pull the mower around the farm yard or move snow in the winter.

This one, however, has a little more power.  What do you think that farmers would say if they saw a tractor like this 100 years ago?

Check out Charlie next to the tracks.  This thing means business.

There were many other “tractors” as well.  And by “tractors”, I mean anything that goes into the field: combines, sprayers, etc.  (Charlie is corrects me when ever I call a combine a tractor.)

Here is Levi in his stroller next to the tire of what I think is a grain cart.

I tried to get Charlie to give the tire a hug to show the sheer width of it, but he was already off looking at another tractor…I mean combine.  Unfortunately, all of the cabs were locked so we couldn’t go in and push the buttons (Charlie’s favorite thing to do).

Next, we ventured over to the animal barns.

There just happened to be livestock judging going on so we pulled up to an open spot right next to the fence to get a good view.

What I didn’t notice that we were right next to the speaker for the judge’s microphone.  I think that I may be slightly deaf from it.  Levi really did not appreciate it.

So we moved on to the cattle barn...

Don't mind the bleachers.

Now, I have not been around a lot of cattle in my life, maybe only a handful of times, and definitely not when they haven't been enclosed in a stall.  I was surprised at how the cattle were just lined up inside the barn waiting for their turn to be shown at the judging.

However, I was even more amazed at how tame the cattle were.  Check out this 4H kid lying on his cow! 

Travis was carrying Charlie through the cattle barn just in case he tried to be a toddler and run where he wasn’t supposed to be, but in actuality I think that he was slightly timid towards them.  That’ll change…

I could write an entire post just on cattle, and someday I will.  There is just so much information.  Cattle judging was a true passion for Travis growing up, so there is plenty of stories to tell (and the embarrassing photos to go with them…I’ve seen them, they are priceless).

There are three main points that I came home with tonight:

1.)  Dairy cattle are skinny.

2.)  Beef cattle are fat (not really fat, but they do have some meat on their bones).

3.)     Male cattle are HUGE!

These steers (castrated males) were massive!  My heart was racing a little bit walking my 6-month old in a stroller next to these beasts.  But, they were very tame.

After the cattle barn we headed over to the hog barn...

I mean the Hog Heaven Hotel.

Oink. Oink.

Then to the sheep/goat/horse barn…quite the combination.

Baa.  Notice the bells on the goats.  Love it!



Okay, enough already.  Moving along…the last barn was a mix of roosters, chickens, pheasants, bunnies, guinea pigs, etc.  Okay, maybe not guinea pigs.  I didn’t get that close of a look.  There was an obnoxious rooster that would start crowing as soon as someone came near the door.  I did not appreciate it.  Levi did not appreciate it.  Travis and Charlie were already half way through the barn, so I left and didn’t get any pictures.

Travis’s sister’s family got to the fair by this time so we met up to get in line for the Corn Feed.  They have it every year and it is free!

You get an ear of grilled corn on the cob, a sandwich (this year it was pork), dessert (brownie), and milk.  I typically don’t drink 2%, but it was very delicious.  I may have to start swiping from Charlie’s gallon more often.

By the time we were done eating, it was time to head home (it was 6:30ish pm).  Charlie did very well for his first fair going experience, but we’ll need to do more next year.

There are just so many events: Carnival (with your typical rides…stay away from the Zipper), Speedway Races, Bull-A-Rama (think cowboys riding bulls), Rodeo Queen (pageant queens on horses), Modified Truck & Tractor Pull, and a band.

This year the band is Samantha Madison & Wildcard.  I’ve never heard of them, but Travis says that it is usually how it goes.  However, he does tell me that one year they had Kenny Chesney as the performer.  It was way before his “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” days.  (P.S. Kenny, I love you.)

Saturday we will be going to the parade.  Charlie has discovered that parades = candy.  I’ll be sure too capture those moments as well.

Until next time…


County Fair Participant,


  1. Oh Dana, I love reading all of this...reminds me of the "world" I live in up here. I grew up with most of this stuff around, but yet it fun to see how another "city" girl is handling life on an actual farm. Hope you enjoy living out on the farm as much as I do....lovin the no neighbors :)

  2. need to bring Charlie to Big Iron in a few weeks! He would love it if he loves tractors!