illinois state fair

fun at the fair!

by grace on August 29, 2019

we went to the fair on wednesday, aug. 14th. Bev was going to dance in the Illinois Building, so mom, randy and i all went to watch.

while we were waiting i had to get a picture of this ride in the children’s section; i’ve never seen it before and i don’t know why i like it so much, i guess it’s because the animals are all so cute.

I’m posting this being fully aware that bev will vigorously chastise me for putting it up here. but she looks so cute! i think i’ll also sent this photo to her daughter erin, who i’m sure will appreciate it.

Randy and i rode the giant slide, which i enjoyed, but randy said it was painful because he flew up in the air a couple times. ouch.

i took a bunch of close-ups of the giant animals on the double-decker merry-go-round. i promise myself that i’ll go on it next year. i’d really like to go on it at night with it all lit up.

isn’t this an awesome hummingbird?

plus the giant rabbit in the background.

next year, i promise.

later in the day i saw this cut-out in front of the IL state police tent and i got bev to take a whole lot of photos of me inside it. i was trying to get it so it really looked like my head was attached but i realized that it was kind of hard because they neglected to put a neck on the cutout. mom started to get bored with bev taking so many photos, but i think this one is pretty good.

it was entertaining to watch the lumberjack show; it was funny because the announcer guy told the worst jokes possible, and it was a good time partly because we got to sit down and rest. the guys were really good at what they did. here’s the axe-throwing.

you have to look closely to see the axe up in the air; it’s right below the car on the right.

this is a better shot of the second guy flinging the axe.

Here’s a video of them axe-throwing.

log-rolling was good, but kind of brief.

Video of the log-rolling.

we’d been to the ethnic village so i could get some saganaki, fried greek cheese, but when we were nearing the end of the day we went back and sat on the benches in the back.

but as we sat there watching Irish dancers, i started to think that i recognized two of them, so i moved up close.

and sure enough, this is Vaughn and Sherry from yoga! they’re really good at yoga, and vaughn can stand on his head. it was funny to see them in this different context.

Here’s a short video of them dancing.

a good time was had by all!

ok then,

mrs. nearing the end of august hughes.


hiking at the fairgrounds

by grace on August 22, 2019

Wednesday, aug. 7th, kevin and i hiked all around the fairgrounds. it was the day before the fair opened and the place was bustling with so many people. not only were folks setting stuff up, cleaning stuff off, but we saw some cows and sheep and other animals being judged.

i hadn’t seen this before.

both of these were in close proximity to conservation world; maybe they carved them there?

it was fun to be at the fair that day; the last time i’d gone we missed the chickens because they don’t keep them around long. this is good, because there were some ducks that i felt sorry for; ducks should be in water!

as we walked through the building they were judging lots and lots of eggs.

i love this new double-decker merry-go-round. the animals were so cool! it would have been neat to see it at night all lit up, but that didn’t happen.

when i went back to the fair the next week i took some close-ups of some of those cool animals on the ride.

and here’s the coliseum, finally re-opened. they’ve installed the biggest ceiling fans i’ve ever seen inside, and the place seemed nice and cool.

sheep in coats.

when we’d walked around most of the fair we hiked on over to lincoln park. maybe that day we did about six miles? yep, we’re in training again, going to go to Glacier National Park in the fall.

how is it almost the end of august? more boat rides!

ok then,

mrs. g. h.


Friday night at the fair

by grace on August 13, 2018

a while back, randy and I got tix to see boy George & the culture club at the fair.  I remember when we went to the empty fairgrounds to buy them, thinking that the concert was such a long way away…but then it snuck up on me, suddenly it was august the 10th, how did that happen?

it was a bit hot Friday evening but cooled as the sun went down.  I enjoyed a delicious wine slushy from the IL wine place; they seem to move it around a lot, but I finally asked at the info booth, and the woman directed me to the exposition building.  it looked like there were way less wineries there than ever before, but luckily the people selling wine slushies were still doing business.

after some freshly-fried Culler’s fries, we headed into the concert.  the opening act was the Thompson twins, but there’s only one twin now.  i’m not sure if he’s billed as “the Thompson twin,” and also don’t know where his twin got to.  three young women backed him up, a drummer, guitar and keyboard.  but at one point the guitar and keyboard women were trying to get people to clap along, and they were clapping their hands over their heads…but the keyboard kept going on its own.  hmm.

I honestly didn’t remember much about the Thompson twins, and the songs all sort of sounded alike.  I told kevin about that, and he said that he used to really like the Thompson twins, but not so much a boy George fan.  but i haven’t been able to lure him to the fair with me in quite a few years, so we won’t worry about our opposing views of groups….


but then i decided to just relax.  i bought a mango-rita, something I’ve never tried before, and it was also refreshing.

and when Boy George took the stage, he and the band were awesome.

I can’t remember what they started with, but I think it was a david bowie cover.  a little later they did “everything I own,” originally written and performed by David Gates & Bread.  this is funny, because just a couple of days before bev had been telling me about listening to some Bread albums, and how much she loved their music.  I just read that david gates wrote this song about his dad, who died when david was young.

boy George first recorded his version of the song in march 1987, after being arrested for heroin.  it was #1 on the UK singles chart for two weeks, and it helped boost his career after the drug bust. wow, reading a little about his life on Wikipedia – the guy has been through quite a bit.

they waited til the encore to play the iconic “karma chameleon.”

i’d go see the band again, that’s for sure.  a good time was had by all.

ok then,

mrs. Monday afternoon hughes.




whew, i can’t say what happened to september, but i finally have a few photos and clips of the great and free show at the grandstand at the IL state fair.

Bev wanted to see herman’s hermits and i figured, why not.  we didn’t have a plan, really, and were hot and tired by the time 7:00 rolled around, but we decided to walk to the grandstand and see what was what.

there wasn’t a huge crowd at first, and we found seats between the grandstand and the track.  pretty good seats!  we felt very young, because most of the audience was quite a bit older.  bev had listened to herman’s hermits when she was a little kid, but he was before my time.

they started performing when peter was only 15!  incredible, because now he’s 70, still getting up there and performing a great show.  his voice is still fantastic, he had lots of energy and was so funny and entertaining.

here’s where we sat for the first half hour.


this is a little part of the first song.  so good!

there were big screens on either side of the stage, which was nice for the people who were farther back, except the screen on one side was partially blocked by some big something.

at one point Peter mentioned that folks in illinois probably wanted to hear country music, and proceeded to sing johnny cash’s “ring of fire.”  he sounded just like him!

of course everybody had their phones out, recording and taking photos.

the show had started at 7:30 and by 8:00 i’d gotten a second wind.  down on the track there wasn’t such a huge crowd and i talked Bev into heading down there.  we managed to easily get about 20 feet from the stage, which was awesome.

this is the only good close-up i have, which is too bad because he was usually smiling.

he sang so many good songs, and then sang one where he inserted the words “illinois state fair” into the lyrics.  very clever, but i don’t know what the song was.

This is near the end of the show,  a bit of “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

Finally, his incredibly popular song “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.”  i haven’ been able to shake this ditty out of my brain ever since we saw the performance. there are worse things that could be stuck there, but i fear that it will never go away.

And this is so funny, here’s the band on the Ed Sullivan show, June 16th, 1965.  I’m sure that he had no idea he’d still be singing it 52 years later.

i am simply amazed by this man’s stamina.  what an entertaining end to our day at the fair!

i came home and told Kevin all about it, and it turns out that kevin is a big fan.  I immediately looked up shows online, and they were going to play at a place called the Indiana Grand Casino & Racetrack on Sept. 16th, our 11th anniversary.  Kevin thought it was a good idea that we take a drive to see them, so that’s just what we did.

eventually i’ll have a few videos up here about that experience; it was a memorable way to spend our anniversary, although the venue wasn’t as good as the big grandstand at the fair.

ok then,

mrs. approaching the end of september although right now it feels like the middle of sweltering august hughes.’




bev and i go to the illinois state fair

September 2, 2017

i don’t think i’ve been to the fair for a few years.  i didn’t go last year, and we were on vacation the year before that, so that means it’s been at least since 2014. i love the fair, even though usually when i get there i immediately think “what the hell am i doing […]

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