County Fairs and Funnel Cakes

It’s county fair time, and I can almost taste the funnel cakes.

The daughter is getting all of her projects ready, dusting off her ‘show clothes’ and polishing the silver on her saddle. Grandma is rifling through her recipes, trying to decide which version of her famous peach pie to bring. And we are all laying in our supplies of bug spray, sunscreen and bottled water.

We are fool enough to camp at the fair, meaning that for days on end we will consider a corndog and a snocone a well-rounded-meal. We will be sticky and sweaty and will forgo wearing make-up for almost a week. We will bathe in the nearest water hose and spend endless hours watching important-looking men with clipboards strut about in the middle of showrings, passing judgement on every form of livestock known to man. The teenagers will flirt and giggle and wiggle, and the young’uns eyes will glow as they take in the rodeo/demo derby/country music show.  We will fall asleep at night to the sound of the carnival rides, and we will wake in the morning to the sound of feed pans rattling and cattle mooing.

At the end of the week, we will head for home, sunburned and exhausted, (hopefully) clutching at least one blue ribbon for our troubles. Grandma will gripe and complain about the pie that beat hers, and the daughter will no doubt be in deep, meaningful, heartfelt love with some lanky, hairy-legged creature that I can barely stand…

Ah, yes.

County fair.

I can almost taste the funnel cakes. *smiles*

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8 thoughts on “County Fairs and Funnel Cakes

  1. What a great behind the scenes look. I’ve been to county fairs before but never considered that the people who enter the contests or show, spend days there. You really painted a nice picture for us.

    Thanks.

    LSomerville

  2. Yes, we tent-camp. We sort of stick out like a band of gypsy nomads, since almost everyone else has a high-dollar camper, but we don’t much care, other than envying them their air conditioning. We have been competing at county fair since I was little. I was in 4-H, and the daughter (15) is in 4-H AND FFA. County fair is a much beloved yearly tradition with us. I will drag my porch swing along, and sit there and rock and watch the kids run crazy. We will stroll the barns and eye the cattle and pet the baby calves. The teenage girls will drag their goats to the wash-rack and (make sure) to get dripping wet while wearing a tight white t-shirt while the teen boys stand helplessly by, their mouth agape, as the saucy girls giggle and bend over…real…slow…

    *sigh* those were the days, LOL!

    This year, Kelsey is helping with the pig show. This is a big deal. For some odd reason all of the cute boys show hogs. She was invited to be the ‘ribbon girl’ which means that she gets to dress up pretty and stand by the judges side and hand out the ribbons to the cute boys as they leave the arena. She is beside herself with excitement, and can’t quite figure out whether to wear pink nail polish to match the pigs, or black, to lend to herself an air of mystery and sophistication. As she hands out ribbons. To pig boys.

    Man, I love the fair!

    KC

  3. Love the behind the scenes. Reminds me of when my kids showed–chickens 🙂 My kids grew up on the ‘backside’ of race tracks. (horse)

    I love funnel cakes!

    Good luck to Kelsey!!

  4. I can’t wait to read your cowboy stories, KC. I like your voice.

    I have to admit: I grew up in small-town Oklahoma, lived in the country until I got married, and have been to the county fair only twice that I can recall. (Hanging head in shame.)

    The first time I went with a friend’s family — they were all 4H and showed their critters. The thing I remember most about that trip is that, after dusk, her older brothers lured us into racing them across an empty corral (I guess – big field, fenced on all sides).

    We lined up on the fence, one of them counted down, and she and I took off like the wind. Got about to the halfway point and realized 1) the brothers were still sitting on the fence and were laughing hysterically and 2) the corral wasn’t empty. Down there in the shadows at the other end, barely visible until he moved, was a bull. And he wasn’t a sociable guy.

    We ran as hard as we could, and honestly, I have no memory of climbing the fence on the other side. One second I was inside with the big angry critter and the next I was outside. We caught our breath, then found her parents and tattled. I don’t remember the boys’ punishment, but she and I were pretty happy about whatever it was.

    Y’all have fun and eat a funnel cake for me!

  5. Absolutely loved the post, K.C. We went to the county fair every year and mom entered something every now and then. But not consistently. My oldest brother always entered the tractor driving contest and usually did pretty well — since he’d been driving since he was about 7 or 8. What I remember most is the midway; the cotton candy and the rides. It was a good family time. But we never camped out.

    What great memories you have and are creating for your kids. I’m sure it would be a lot more comfortable if you were in an air-conditoned RV, but that would spoil all the fun. Wouldn’t it? lol

    Have fun!!

  6. KC!! What fun. I am so envious. I grew up in Texas. Our HS had a cow wash to raise money (and made a great deal of it!) All the cutest guys were FFA and wore tight, tight jeans. Loved every minute of it.

    My BFF has decided that her retirement business will be raising alpacas. She’s been dragging me to shows for about 6 years now. You learn so much being around breeders.

    When’s the Tulsa State Fair? Isn’t that in the Fall?? spw

  7. KC–have to admit, when I was younger, I was jealous of the kids showing animals at the fair. Not only would they compete for ribbons, but they got to stay at the fair for 10 whole days! How cool is that?

    Nowadays, I go to the fair for the food. Funnel cakes, soft chocolate ice cream, and my absolutel favorite…Deep Fried Cheese on a stick with just a dab of mustard and a glass of ice cold lemonade.

    Yes, Sandee. The TSF is somewhere around the end of Sept. beginning of Oct.

  8. A cow wash! I love that idea! And the girls and I were just talking about the TSF today, trying to decide whether to go there or Hutchinson this year. Tulsa is much closer, so I think it wins. See you all at the fair!

    KC

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