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Senior Contributor

State Fair

It's almost state fair time! Now that my boys are a little older, I'm hoping we can all go this year, if it isn't a million degrees. We went last year, just one evening, and went through the livestock barns, the ag building (had to show them the butter cow) and we had some food on a stick.

 

What's your favorite thing to do at your state fair, or your favorite state fair memory?

 

I remember being about 10 and having my mom take me on the big double ferris wheel at the state fair, and I was a little nervous. Then we got to the very very top, and my mom freaked out and was saying, "Oh my God, we're going to die!" That's comforting, LOL! I remember getting miniature loaves of Wonder bread at the fair, and seeing Floppy, and going for a ride on the Old Mill.

 

If nothing else, the fair is a great place to people-watch and eat some good food. I'm going to have to start sticking some money back, though, because it's also very expensive! The best deal, and probably the best meal, we found was at the Methodist Church's stand. You get a real meal on a plate for a good price, and you walk away feeling healthier than if you'd just eaten a foot long corn dog.

 

My favorite fair food, though, is the miniature donuts ... YUM! What's your favorite fair food?

 

Lots of questions here, I realize ... I'm excited to take my boys to the fair!

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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

I have always loved the state fair. When I was in HS, one year I went three times and it is 100 miles away. Once with family and with marching band and with 4-H.  We still attend. Now is working in the Farm Bureau building.

 

I just read comments on an article written by a writer in NYC saying how state fairs are dangerous with the animals and unsafe food and carnivals, too much tax money being spent,  just ag related. A total waste of time and money. Why can't these city people write about what they know instead of stirring up trouble in the rural areas.  There was another one about how rich farmers are and if you want to make real money become a farmer.

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Honored Advisor

Re: State Fair

For one thing, state fair comes later in the year here in VA and NC. It is late September to mid- October, so cooler and more a fall tradition than a summer one. I guess that reflects the difference between your grain farming and ourhistorically tobacco- dependent ag here.

I still love a candy apple. Remember the guy running the ferris wheel stopped my cousin and me at the top, and we watched the fireworks...can still feel the booms in my chest, heart was beating frantically, since I was scared of heights.
My aunt had a blue ribbon floral arrangement one year, a Japanese ikebana, which may explain why I am partial to some such Eastern design elements to this day. It was so simple and different from the fussier designs.
At a the NC fair, they have some baby ducks who go after a pellet of food, then slip down a waterside. Sort of a mean trick, but I could watch it for quite a while. Also, the House- Autry company sponsors a real water- powered antique mill, which is fascinating. They treat you to a hsuhpuppy at the end of the tour, too...YUMMM! There is a craftsman's show, in a round, stone structure on the NC fairgrounds. Some truly beautiful handiwork available for sale, so not just all cheap plastic souvenirs.
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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

From one Iowan to another...my family loves the state fair too.  I guess our highlights are the old mill, the sky glider, the pioneer barn with all the anitques in it, and we always have to go through the barns and see the big boar, big bull and big ram.  we have started to go to the Pork Producer building for food.  Although a corn dog is a must sometime during the day as is a hand shaken lemonade.  Last year my son restored a tractor for FFA and recieved a purple ribbon at the state fair.  We don't have any projects at the fair this year and lots going on, so I don't even know if we will get their this year.  Last year, the life saver was the new horse pavilion...Kay/NC you would love it!!!  the air conditioning was great when you came in from outside with sweat running off your brow!.  My husband and i started going to the fair years ago when we first started going together and it has turned into a family tradition...although we don't make it every year anymore. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

Kay, you may be better at answering this question than me, but how clean are the NYC sidewalks and subway compared to your nursery buildings? Then that author would have to acknowledge which was really unsafe.

 

I loved going to the NE state fair when I showed. Could run around the entire fair, except the midway, by myself. I knew the shortcuts, cool buildings, what to eat and not to eat, like the back of my hand. We go to IA State Fair these days too. Much more appealing architecture than the brand new (although ACd) buildings in Grand Island. Sorry that I didn't see any of you in the past.

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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

The Illinois State Fair holds lots of memories for me.    I grew up an hour from Springfield and we went every year.   When my sister was 12 she had the Co. Champ Barrow and got to take her barrow to Springfield.   I showed cattle and they weren't good enough to go to State Fair  but when I was 16  our family had enough good barrows and gilts that 3 of went.  We stayed in the Dorms and had meal tickets.   The food wasn't real good.   But, it was included in our dorm fees.  Many a time those of us from Morgan Co.  sat down to  "thank you Jesus for the Jello".   I was the county girls chaperone after I got too old to show.    Then after I got married I chaparoned the Warren Co. girls.  In all my years I only had to stay up late looking for one girl.   I'm pretty sure her older brother lied to me when he said she was with him at the motel...  But, I was pretty sure he knew what guy she was out with. 

 

My daughter started going when she was 10.   She had a lot of good times.   Since the dorms didn't exsist like the days of old.. she stayed with my parents  and her Grandpa drove her back and forth for several days.   She got to have a lot of special memories with her Grandpa and easily became his favorite.   As they got older they stayed in Campers and motels with fellow 4-Hers.   They made a ton of friends.  

 

I've worked at the State Pork Producers food stand many years.   Haven't for probably 10 years now.   But,  if the heat would break would consider it again.  

 

My "power walk" at Ill. State Fair.   Under the grandstand,  to the butter cow where I'd buy a creme puff and a milk shake.  take in the adult exhibits,  quick walk by of the Farm Bureau tent,  watch the State Police safety demo, Through the expo building,  Buy:;   fudge,  Salt water Taffy and an elephant ear.   Walk through the cattle barns looking for the kids that I showed against when I was a teenager.    Look at the 4-H woodworking projects and the County Windows in the Home Ec/ old dorms.  Stop at the Sangamon Co. 4-H stand  to get a drink.   Then plop down in front of a fan in a livestock barn.   And then catch some more of the hog and cattle shows. 

 

Favorite memory.   When I was at college there was a joke about  "Gunga Swartz and his goats".  (Gunga Swartz was a made up person)   One day I'm walking around the fair grounds and the State Police Announced    "GungaSwartz,  Gunga  Swartz,   your goat trailer is blocking the unloading chutes.   Please move your trailer".  My husband and I just looked at each other   and then just burst out laughing.   Never did find out who went to the announcer to get it annouced.    Please remember   Goats were not heard of back in the 70's in Illinois.   I'm pretty sure every Ag person from Western Ill. University was giggling all week. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

Oh, and how could I forget walking through the 4H exhibits!!  I am a former 4H member, parent and leader...love to see what the kids do.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: State Fair

Lisa hopefuly the weather will cool and we can enjoy the fair.  DD has to go down the tues. before to start with the queen competition and then Sat. is the crowning and then she starts her beef on Sun. through Wed.  It will be a long time for her, but I am sure some wonderful memories will come out of it!

 

I am looking forward to a steak sandwhich that they serve right there at the corner of the beef building. oh and maybe throw in a cold beer with it : o)

 

And yes the new horse building is awesome!  We saw mini horses pulling buggies in it last year.  A place to stay cool if it is hot.

 

S.

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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

Oh, I forgot about the cattleman building and the building right off the corner of the beef barn for food.  So many good things!!!  I don't do the turkey leg on a stick!  I am not there long enough to enjoy all the good food!  We always go for just one day...except when DS had his tractor there last year...we probably took care of it like you all take care of your show cattle! LOL.  Good Luck to your daughter...she is such a beautiful young lady that has worked her way up to what she is today.  If we go out, we will try to look you up!

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Senior Contributor

Re: State Fair

Not sure if we're going this year or not.  It's soooo HOT!  We still have a lot of legal work, cleaning out the FIL's house, etc.  But it might be a nice diversion.

 

We always try & look up our dairy friends that are showing & watch a little of that.  We'll be going to World Dairy Expo in Oct. so we'll get more than enough of dairy shows, but if we can catch the 4-H we like to see the youngsters showing.  And of course the hogs & chicken barn and sheep barn.   DS has showed a couple times at state when he was younger but it's pretty political and that's no sour grapes.  We also like to watch the harness races.  The grandkids really got a kick out of that last year.

 

Our son has also had to work at the Conservation World several times and we really enjoy going to that.  Fish, lumber jacks, etc.  We find it interesting and shady!

 

We always have to see the butter cow & who won the dairy product competetion.  And get a cream puff or ice cream.  Usually eat in the ag pavillion.  But if you go, grab an ice cream bar or milk at the Prairie Farms stand down by the dairy barn.  It's the best bargain in the whole place.

 

Sandy, good luck to your daughter.  Hope she enjoys the experience.

 

   

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