Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meet Me At The Fair

My husband's family volunteer a lot of their time to help organize the county fair. My brother-in-law is especially involved in the planning so we try to make it back to Iroquois County, IL during the fair time to support all of his effort.

Probably every county has some type of agricultural equivalent of the county fair and a lot of those are affiliated with the 4 H clubs. 

A little blurb off of the 4H website.

Through America’s 109 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 6 million youth, 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.

While I didn't live on a farm, I did participate in 4H.  I don't remember every project I ever did, but I do remember constructing the world's ugliest skirt at one point.  Needless, to say, it did not win the blue ribbon. 

My husband and his brothers were avid 4Hers and raised animals to show every year at the Illinois fairs. They traveled all summer from one fair to the next with their assorted animals.

So what does any of that have to do with today's post? 

People are quick to point out how many kids are not responsible, or are rude or lazy or any number of negatives but....there are 6 million kids out there in America that work all year to bring their projects to be judged at the local county fairs.  We need to support their effort.  We need to walk through the show barns, and the exhibition halls, and buy tickets to the programs that support the kids.

So this year we drove from Kansas City to Iroquois County Fair

Here are just a few of the things that we did at the fair.

The Big Cat Show

One of the first shows we went to was the Big Cat Show.   Clayton Rosaire is a ninth generation animal trainer that has a  wild life habitat in Sarasota, Florida.  He has been bringing his cats to the fair for the last few years. Besides being a really nice guy, his cats are amazing.  You can read about the show and the habitat by clicking here.

Clayton standing with his lion, Handsome
Handsome is quite handsome, don't you think?
Clayton with Mia.  Mia is a liger. She is a really rare breed.

grandson #2 is way more interested in his stroller than the lions and tigers
He is just over the chickenpox so he gets to chillax a bit.

Handsome is discussing world affairs with us.

Demolition Derby

I thought maybe the grandsons would find this too noisy but they seemed to find it pretty entertaining. 

Demolition Derby judges

Visit with assorted animals
Draft Horses

Eyeing the chicks (from a 3 yr old's perspective)

Chickenpox survivor still just chillaxin in his stroller with his binky
 Ride the Rides
As far as Grandson #1 was concerned the best part of the fair was the rides.  He particularly liked the slides.

Had to sit on daddy's lap as G-boy didn't meet the height requirement

A smaller slide that a 3 year old can maneuver

Slides are fun
Eat Fair Food
 We all like the "tasty but not so good for you" fair food.

The Good for the Day....a lot of fun seeing all the animals and the exhibits

The Bad for the Day....Really, really HOT

The Weird for the Day...Handsome is thinking how tasty we would be with a little BBQ sauce.


bodaciousboomer said...

Amanda was with us when we booth at both the Wisconsin and Minnesota State Fairs. She was truly amazed by the testicles of the swine. Some of them were the size of grapefruit.

Cheryl P. said...

Funny how many people at the fair notice and discuss the size of animal "parts".

Was Amanda a kid at the time?

Kimberly Wyatt said...

Those pictures are great! Your grandbabies are precious. Glad to see #2 is healing nicely.

And Handsome may just be the most handsome thing I've seen today. What a cool, out-of-the-ordinary addition to the fun fair atmosphere! In Kentucky, fairs are a huge part of summer livin', but the coolest animals we ever see are zebras and giraffes. Oh, and I got spit on by a camel once.

Glad you all had fun at the fair!

Aleta said...

Wow! I've never seen a fair with such a variety of things to do! Now, THAT is what you call a fair! Cool!

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks for the comment on grandboys. They are cute just as your kids are cute. Aren't we both so lucky?

Fairs really are family fun. No camels at the fair but I know what you mean about their habit of spitting. The Kansas City zoo has some and you have to watch out as not to be in their spitting zone.

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Aleta, It is a really nice fair for a small county fair. I think I am going to got to the county fair here in Johnson County KS next week. I hope the weather cools off a bit. It is 103 degrees today.

Mike said...

Wow, a real live liger! Rare indeed!

Some of the fairs that come to the city are those travelling amusement parks which are nothing compared to a real country fair. A finally saw my first live demolition derby a few years back at southern Quebec's annual Ormstown fair. Fun!

Nicky said...

That looks like so much fun! Your grandsons are so gorgeous and I love the picture of the little one climbing the slide. So cute!

Nicky said...

Oh, and I couldn't agree with you more about supporting the kids who participate in these activities!

Cheryl P. said...

I hadn't attended a demolition derby in quite a long time. It was fun. We have some of those traveling amusement parks that come around here from time to time but you are right...not nearly as good as a county fair.

The state fairs are the best. I am not sure if we will get to go to any of the state fairs this year.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, Nicky. The older G-boy was just the right age (3) to really have some fun. Those slides were a big hit with him.
The 10 month old was really good considering the heat. Next year should be easier.

Cheryl P. said...

Kudos to you for thinking that way!!!

Jewell said...

Looks like you had a load of fun even if you were sweating your ass off! =) We are going to be going to the Ozark Empire Fair next Saturday. The husband has never been to a tractor pull. Which, frankly, for a kid that spent a good portion of his childhood in Texas should be illegal. There's nothing quite as electric at a fair as the tractor pulls...VROOOOOM! =) I'll be packin' of course (my camera that is), so we'll see what I see. xoxo

Cheryl P. said...

Ozark Empire Fair still has tractor pulls???? Seems like a lot of fairs have done away with them. They replace them with extra demo derbies, I think. I am eager to see your post with your pics as well as your hubby's impressions. I hope the weather cools off or you too will be sweating your ass off.

Jewell said...

Really?? It seems hard to believe that they could get rid of the tractor pulls!!! It's a fair tradition! What's this world coming to???

We don't get any of the local papers in the area so not sure about any of the other fairs, but Ozarks Empire Fair has had them since we've lived here, and the fair held in West Plains has them every summer. Demo derbys are just not as fun. If I want to see idiots run into each other I can go sit on an over pass in any big city to see that for free! =)

As for the weather, I'm not holding my breath. It's either go out and make the best of it or sit home and don't get any pictures. I'm going to make a really shitty photog if I sit at home on my butt and don't get anymore pics than I already have! =) So...out in the heat I go. The eplex with the crafts vendors and such is supposed to be air conditioned so I imagine I'll be spending some time in there too. =) In any case, I imagine I'll be just as disgusting as every other person by the time we get to the pulls. =)

Cheryl P. said...

Hubby seemes to think that we missed the tractor pull by leaving for home on Sunday from the Iroquois County fair.
I looked to see what is on the local fair circuit here has as we live in a two-state, four-county popouri of a city (thus we get 4 county fairs all in/near the same city) and I didn't see one tractor pull listed. UnAmerican really. Certainly unagricultural.
I look forward to your pictures. I think there are so many interesting things around a fair ground.
I hope to make it over to the West Plains area in the near future.

Jewell said...

Oh boy! Oh boy! *claps happily* Give me a heads up when you think you might be down... Hopefully we won't be driving to AR or up to IL to meet another bloggy friend of mine! Yay! I can't wait to meet you in person! =D (this is me grinning like an idiot - though it seems something is lost in the computer translation)