Saturday, September 22, 2007

We'll ride painted horses with wind in our hair

Sophomore sock completion! The full story today at Toxophily.

The county fair ends today, and while I'm not generally enthusiastic about heat, dust, crowds, and infrequently-inspected traveling carnival rides, especially all at once, it seemed unfair to deprive the kids of their right to rustic entertainment. So this is the story of our trip to the fair.

We made our first attempt at about 9:30 am. The parking area was suspiciously empty, but we knew it couldn't be too long before the food stands and the midway opened up. To pass the time, we walked through the livestock barns. Then we wandered through the rest of the fairgrounds, which were deserted except for carnies grabbing a smoke. Then we sat under the pavilion and waited for our friends to show up (they had indicated a 9:45 ETA), and scanned the booths for signs of life. At 5 till 10, with absolutely no activity indicating imminent opening, we packed the kids back in the car and went home to seek alternative amusement while looking for information on the fair's hours. Such data was surprisingly hard to come by, but I finally located the fair's rulebook for animal and craft competitions, which included the timetable in the front. Midway opens at noon on Saturday. (And I might add, excuse me? It's Saturday morning; people are ready to get out and enjoy themselves. Roust yourselves out of your trailers and take their money already.)

So we recalibrated for an afternoon fair visit. At about 2:15 we rolled up for the second try.

Success! Like any county fair worth its salt, the Faulkner County Fair greeted us with the promise of funnel cakes.

First stop: the carousel, Cady Gray's favorite. There was much rejoicing.

Then we scoured the grounds for other age-appropriate rides on which to spend our $30 worth of tickets. We rode fake flying Dumbos, but my picture was out of focus. The kids drove this little jeep around on their own. (I remember being thrilled by the motion and relative speed of these kinds of rides as a kid. Just put me in something that locomotes and I'm blissed out.)

Money was spent on midway games, including a few with guaranteed prizes, which were duly won and enjoyed out of all proportion to their actual cash value.

I persuaded the group to spend our last ride tickets on the Super Slide, always my favorite. I took Cady Gray down after some anxious moments at the top when I couldn't sit both myself down and get her on my lap at the same time. Finally we were rescued by a carny. Archer went down by himself, to his evident delight, and Noel followed right on his heels.

Noel indulged in a fresh-squeezed limeade ...

... and shared it with everyone.

Despite the desires of some members of our party to stay at the fair forever ...

... we eventually packed up our plastic racecars, glittery tiaras, cornet-shaped kazoos, and giant novelty inflatable baseball bats and went home.


the secret knitter said...

Nice photos. Looks like a good day.

Adam Villani said...

Cool. Jen and I are thinking of visiting the L.A. County Fair on Wednesday, which you can imagine is enormous.

Ali said...

Wow. We had a much crappier time at the fair. Arriving at ten and just deciding to look at animals and hang out, we finally were able to get some too-sugary lemonade and, quite divine actually, funnel cakes around 11. Jude was perfectly happy to lose some $ at a few games and gaze at the rides, but the DWF children were, how shall we say? Loudly disappointed to have to leave right before the rides started (we were already hot and tired and heading home for lunch and naps by 11:30). L. and G. cried all the way back to our house (we rode with the DWFs in the van). Jude was okay, but then overtired for his nap, and he had a crying jag too. Did I mention the funnel cake was good? We should have used cell phone technology to communicate w/ you guys and come back in the afternoon. C'est la fair. Maybe next year. I can save up some money by then.