City Girls at the County Fair
A little excursion out of our comfort zone
Growing up in the Chicago area, my family had never gone to a county fair. As far as I know, our county (Cook) doesn't even have one.
When we saw an ad for the County Fair in the neighboring county (Lake) we decided it was long-past time we experienced a fair for ourselves. We'd heard about all the competitions: animals, produce, hand-crafts, baking, preserving. We'd heard about the carnival rides and games on the Midway. We'd even heard about the delights of "food on a stick" and "anything - fried!" and had to see for ourselves.
As it turned out - we had a wonderful time. But the best part (aside from Funnel Cake) was seeing the magnificent Budweiser Clydesdales up close and personal.
Recipes from Fairs - the best of American cooking
Animals at the Fair
I expected to be overwhelmed by the odors at the animal barns - but I was wrong. The animals and their enclosures were meticulously clean and the overall impression was pride - in the animals, in their husbandry, in the 4-H-ers knowledge of their charges. We were favorably impressed.
A contributing factor to the lack of smell may have been the weather - the temperature was in the low '60s! Very unusual for northern Illinois in the summer. So unusual that we saw a couple of sheep wearing t-shirts.
Animals at the Lake County FairClick thumbnail to view full-size
All the classic elements were there
We've all seen County Fairs in the movies or on television, but I didn't really think it would be a good representation of an actual Fair. I was wrong! Delightfully so. All the rides and games and food stands were just as garish, loud, and scream-producing as anyone could want. It was a classic, terrific piece of Americana. There was even a Talent Competition with some of the most adorable children dancing their hearts out with their troupes. You couldn't help but cheer for every single one!
Sights at the Lake County FairClick thumbnail to view full-size
Good enough to eat!
The winners of the produce and domestic arts competitions were showcased. We oohed and aahed over the baked goods (no samples!) and the jams and jellies. The produce winners made me regret my lack of a "green thumb" - you could just smell the freshness of the vegetables. These lucky winners will be having some delicious salads.
Domestic arts winnersClick thumbnail to view full-size
Demolition Derby fans - who knew?
We didn't know there would be a Demolition Derby competition at the County Fair the day we were there. But we were there to take in all the sights, sounds, and experiences of the Fair. So we sat in the bleachers with our Funnel Cake and were, almost instantly, addicted. I don't know exactly why Demolition Derby is so compelling - but it is!
Unexpected new addictionClick thumbnail to view full-size
The best part is.....
What's your favorite part of the County Fair?
We just love the Clydesdales
The Budweiser commercials featuring the Clydesdales are the only commercials I ever actually stop and watch - and look forward to new ones.
I've been told that this 9/11 Tribute advertisement aired only once.
© 2013 Hope