The Indiana State Fair, 2012 Edition

I was standing in line for the ferris wheel with Emily and Shireen, looking out over a sea of fair-goers at dusk, and casually mentioned that the scene reminded me of middle school, at the (Mississippi) state fair on a Friday night, looking for cute boys. I kinda thought everybody had this memory, like learning to ride a bike or going on your first date. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that not everyone grew up in such close proximity to a midway.

So we climbed onto the wheel, the “Tallest Mobile Ferris Wheel in the Country,” and shared our pod with a tiny little high school couple in love. Emily and I giggled nervously, our hands gripping the edges a little too tightly, and my heart fluttered every time Shireen leaned her camera out of the pod in order to get a better shot of the crowd below — I kept seeing the camera slip from her hands and fall prey to the asphalt.

Earlier that day, I watched Tim sit with my 8-year old in one of those swings on long chains that spins around and centrifugally flies passengers through the air at a 45° angle — except this ride, called Vertigo, lifted the swings to a height of 60 or so feet. That was where the nervous giggle made its first appearance. Thirty-five or so years after my first fair, I am amazed and slightly dubious of the physics and mechanics involved in fair rides.

The day before, I’d taken the kids through the animal barns and pseudo-farming village, thanks to a fun morning for bloggers sponsored by the Indiana Family of Farmers. I saw many things that my 40-year old eyes had never seen.

(apparently, they must shave the udders, and…)

(…these sweet children, ones who have show animals, pretty much live at the fair for 2 weeks. They sleep with the cows — slept right through our group of 40 or so people traipsing past.)

We were provided with both breakfast and lunch — and while for obvious reasons I didn’t much partake, I snapped this shot to prove to the masses that I am totally laid-back when it comes to feeding my kids:

Though I couldn’t help but laugh at the (irony of the) messages on the tablecloth beneath:

And while my current state of dietary restriction kept me from my own edible temptations, I did take a bite of Shireen’s funnel cake. After much retrospection, I do not think it was an exaggeration at all when, after embarrassing noises passed from my mouth as I chewed, I said, “That was the best single bite of food I’ve had in a year.”

Dirty, noisy, smelly, heart-attack-warning. State Fair, how I love thee.


* I received entrance tickets to the fair & meal tickets for breakfast & lunch in exchange for having a great time with my kids.
Nighttime shot, from Ferris Wheel, courtesy Emily.


4 thoughts on “The Indiana State Fair, 2012 Edition

  1. Love the heart attack shot and the sleeping child shot! How fun! Except for necessary dietary restrictions, one has to go to the fairgrounds with nothing but an open mind, wide eyes, and a high fear factor. I fail at least on the third count!

  2. I was about 1/3 of the way through the Spectator piece and was thinking, “I really love this writer!” Then I got to the bottom and realized, “Of course!” You have an amazing way with words, especially when talking about food memories. It’s a gift, one that I’m glad you share.

    I only made it to the fair once this year and it wasn’t enough. I love everything about it: the good, the dirty, the fried and the strange (which this year was Elena enthusiastically participating in a cricket spitting contest).

  3. I am still in want for my yearly funnel cake. I usually share one at the Woodland Arts Fair with Carter. But alas, this year, the opportunity came and went. I will have to find another time and I promise you, I will make similarly embarrassing noises. I also have a yearly 1/2 a Hot Brown ( my birthday because nothing celebrates living another year like a heart attack on a plate. This is also how I know I am old. To limit myself to one of each of these indicates a maturity, an understanding that I will regret eating more than half of it once a year. I’m sure in my youth the idea of limiting such things never, ever crossed my mind. Nor did regret.

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