Sunday, August 14, 2011

A day at the fair

I love the Montgomery County fair. It brings out the freaks and families, all to one place. The pig made out of butter has been replaced by a cheese wheel (now that’s disappointing). But there were baby ducks and ponies. And we were blessed by some guy at the pig races who declared #14 the Pig Queen and then said God Bless You All! That was odd.

My kids were asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance for a prize. They could only do it in French but they still got the prize. They answered questions about rain-scaping and won sponges. Where else does this happen but at the fair?

I love the sights and sounds of the fair. The lights are magical. People are happy. People eat fried butter and oreos. I guess it’s a good thing all the EMTs, fire and police personnel are there. I wonder how many heart attacks occur there.

People are happy at the fair. The vendors want to sell you something. The exhibitors bring candy and gizmos for you to bring home. People give stuff away. The Methodists (apparently famous for their pot-luck dinners) feed thousands at the food booths. The politicians are there, too, putting elephant or donkey stickers on kids. (NO elephants on my kids, thank you very much) Inside the buildings are crafts that county folks have made and monstrous veggies they’ve grown. You don’t see this side of people every day.

I don’t think about the rides but my kids do. I like the way they light up but I can’t help but think of all the urban legends regarding deaths of celebrities at fairs and small amusement parks. I grew up near West Point Park in Lansdale and clearly remember hearing that the boy from the tv show “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” died while standing on the roller coaster (he’s still alive and well, thank you very much). I know they aren’t real stories but when some ride is flinging my kids up in the air, that’s what I think of. He also was said to have died from eating poprocks and soda together. Poor guy.

I have many happy memories at this fair. I remember going before I was married. In fact, I think I’ve been to nearly every fair since I moved to MD. It’s THAT big of a deal in my world. One that stands out above others is of my then-father-in-law, unable to communicate from Alzheimer’s, walking hand in hand with my girls around the animals. They all loved seeing the animals and didn’t need words to express it.

In addition to pig races, there are demolition derbies, concerts by little know singers, animal barns and my favorites: the baby animals. I would like a duck, please.

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