bev and i go to the illinois state fair

by grace on 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 here at the fair?”  it’s exhausting and most often hot and sunny.

but i still love it.  i love all the old buildings and looking at all the stuff in the hobbies, arts & crafts building, and i like to watch a bit of a horse show.  i like people-watching and looking at the butter cow.  i’d like to ride the giant slide, although i didn’t do that this year, and haven’t probably done it for quite a while.

there’s always next year.

and then there’s the food…those scrumptious Culler’s fries, served freshly-fried, piping hot, which i douse with vinegar.  mmm, even though right now it’s morning, i could eat some of those fries if i had some.

our first stop at the fair was a doughnut-hole-eating contest.  bev listens to brian and kelly on the radio and they’re her friends, so she wanted to catch up with them.  brian, the guy on the left, said that he really wanted to eat some doughnuts, so it wasn’t really that much of a competition.  the guy on the right just happened to volunteer a the last minute, and he sort of ate fast…but the woman in the middle was all in.  her t-shirt reads “i’m just here for the FOOD,” and she managed to stuff a huge quantity of doughnuts into her mouth.  each contestant had three buckets full, and i think she ate two buckets.  she started dipping them in water, i guess to make them slide down easier.

here’s a fair queen – i think she was the illinois state fair queen, although you never know how many different kinds of queens you might find at the fair.  she might have been the sangamon county fair queen.  it would be funny to walk around the fair wearing a crown.

the tiny ponies!  so cute.  they just happened to pass us by.

 

this is a new spot called thrillville.  there’s a guy on some kind of motorcycle inside that cage, driving around and around and upside down like crazy.

we wanted to find the chickens – they’d been housed in the air-conditioned Orr building in years prior, but they moved them this year.  we finally found the chicken spot on the map; it was full of chickens and rabbits, but when we got there the chickens were all gone.  somebody told us that they had only been there over the weekend, so next year we’ll have to go to the fair earlier.

but the bunnies were very cute, all of them.

 

 

i can’t remember the official name of this giant bunny.

we stopped for a minute to watch the bunny-judging.  the bunny didn’t seem very excited to be poked and prodded and squeezed.

 

we spent quite a bit of time in the arts & crafts building.  i thought this birdhouse was pretty cool, but it’s hard to get a picture with the glare.

i took a shot of the stuff used to make it – it reads “bark, twigs, daylily stems, and pistachio nut shells.”  it would be fun to try to build one.

this is a fine collection of ticket stubs from the old riverview park in chicago.  the names of the rides are so funny – “bump ’em, chutes, flash, and fireball” are just a few.

this was fascinating, a very old insulin kit from the 40s or 50s.

unfortunately, the tag covered up part of the description, but i could see that it said there were metal needles which had to be sharpened.  good lord, it looks primitive.

it’s funny, because at this point we’d been at the fair for almost two hours, and had only managed to cover a very small amount of ground.  we wandered back to thrillville, where the xpogo stunt team was performing.  it’s extreme pogo-sticking, which i know sounds silly.  but obviously it’s risky because this guy is wearing a helmet and is really high up in the air.

the finale was when he pogo’d right over four guys.  pogo-sticking in the extreme, to be sure.

the one food i’d been dreaming of was saganaki, fried cheese from the greek booth in the ethnic village.  it was pretty good, but in a way i was happy that it wasn’t as good as i’d remembered it, because maybe i won’t need to get such a fattening thing next time.  it’ll save me more room for those delicious fries.

bev borrowed a hat for the fair so her ears would be covered from the sun.  i think she looks very cute here, and i’m pretty sure that was dad’s hat.  he’d have been happy that she was wearing it.

the coliseum is closed now because it’s in such disrepair; i wonder if it’ll manage to open again since illinois is in such pathetic financial shape?  instead, the horse shows were in a small building in back of the coliseum and it was still fun to watch.  not so easy, though, to get a good shot of the massive clydesdales.

 

mom had joined up with us at some point, and by now bev and i had been at the fair for four hourse and i was dragging, and mom decided to go home because she’d volunteered there in the morning and had been walking around much longer than we had.

bev and i thought about leaving, but the group Herman’s Hermits was performing a free show at the grandstand, so we eventually made our way over there to check them out.

more on that later.

ok then,

mrs. is it seriously september already??? hughes.

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