Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Trip To The County Fair

As my vacation from the day job winds down, literally now in hours, I want to reflect on the last big thing Mrs. RVFTLC and I did on our staycation.
We took a trip to the Orange County fair here in So Cal.
I admit it here and now.
I am a fair junky.
Seriously, I love everything about a county fair. The sights, the hawkers, the agricultural stuff, the smells and the food.
Did I mention the food?
Well, what I really think makes a county fair is that it is pure Americana. I mean, while the hawkers are doing their thing to sell their wares in the products buildings, in another part of the fairgrounds is an actual farm in which fruits, veggies and herbs are grown. Still in another part is the carnival section chock full of rides to give anyone the vomitorium effect. And all kinds of food is interspersed throughout the fairgrounds. But my favorite is seeing the livestock animals.
I really am amazed that in the urban environment that is So Cal, there are still very active Future Farmers of America chapters at many OC high schools. And they were proudly showing off their animals. There are a lot of chickens, cows, pigs, sheep and turkeys. Now the sad part is many will not see a life beyond the fair. They will indeed be sold and slaughtered and meat products will be produced. That does not take away from this heartwarming photo of one of the FFA girls and one of her cows.

For many that visit the livestock area of the fair, it is the closest they will get to farm animals. And the FFA kids were so great at answering the many questions that the kids and adults had to ask.
The real highlight for Mrs. RVFTLC and I is the Great Alaskan Pig Races. It is a lot of fun to see piglets running around a track in a race. And the ending is really funny. Of course they are rewarded with food. 
Here is what the pig race looks like as the pigs head for home.
And here are the pigs getting ready to eat at the trough. Priceless!
Another thing that I love about the fair is seeing all the products that are being hawked. After all, a fair is where the Sham-Wow! dude got his start. Of course one thing I do not like is to actually be talked to by the hawkers. Rule here is to not make direct eye contact. After a while, you can tell who is a hawker and who are the potential customers. I am really amazed at all the products that are in the product halls. Some are actually useful and some, well why?!
After some time in the product halls, and Mrs. RVFTLC finally giving up and sitting outside, I said that I will try the seemingly new strange food dish that the fair has to offer. And, here it is:
Oh yeah! You read it right! A Baby Ruth bar, stuffed in a fried jalapeno pepper and served in a bed of churros. And here is what that looks like:
And it was absolutely delicious! The sweetness of the candy bar melting in the warm jalapeno pepper giving it that sweet and savory flavor. And the churros are a very nice touch! And if you think that your humble blogger did not eat it and is just writing smack, here it is:

Yup, I ate the whole thing!
The county fair is too me one of the last vestiges where Americans can gather, have a great time, take the family and not feel like there is going to be something that will make them nervous. It is a place to remember an America that is long forgotten. It is part of the reason that I like The Old Farmers Almanac and The Farmer's Almanac. They are like the fair. A reminder of an America long gone but should not be forgotten.
I am sure that those that attend a county fair, or a state fair, it means something different to each person. I find it a time to relax and not think about all the stuff that goes on in our day-to-day lives. It is just something so simplistic and yet fun at the same time.
And I really believe that every should make at least one trip to a county fair once in your life. It will probably not be the last time you will have gone!

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