mom and i went to the fair parade, mostly because randy was going to be in it, but also, of course, because we got to go to the fair for free and we even parked for free, even though we drove by many people with paid parking on their lawns.  people were parking there, too, because they didn’t know you could park right in the infield for free.  we weren’t sure you could either, but we bravely took our chances.

we had to drop randy off early, on 12th street near where the parade started, then we had to battle our way to the fairgrounds.  it was kinda crazy, including a big truck driving right over the curb and on the sidewalk in order to get past a car parked on the street.  it’s like the streets were filled with crazed people dying to get to the parade, but they’d never been on some of the smaller and more obscure streets on the north end of springfield, so they were all driving like maniacs.

we got to the fairgrounds in plenty of time to walk around a bit, so we stopped in to see the great big clydesdales.

we stopped in at the sheep barn where they were judging, but i saw a terrible thing and didn’t have any interest in taking pictures after that – there were all these sheep pens, but then in between a couple of them was a skinny little pen with a bale of hay on top, and a dog was sitting on the hay.  he was tied to a post with a really short piece of wire, so he basically couldn’t move at all.  WHY WAS HE TIED UP LIKE THAT???  i was horrified.  nobody seemed to be around.  he had no food, no water, and he couldn’t move.  randy told me later that he didn’t think that farmers would abuse their dogs, but it looked bad.

we left the animal barns and walked by the grandstand, and came across this new stand.

i wish garrick would go to the fair, because bacon is his #1 favorite thing, and this stand is EVERYTHING BACON.

we finally watched the parade, and i do have to say it was kind of anti-climactic.  so many people were lining the fair boulevards, but most of the entrants were just people marching, mostly big gobs of supporters of various politicians.  the good thing about watching the parade at the fairgrounds, though, is that there’s all that fair stuff all around to see.

this tractor was part of a huge line of them, and they were from the steam show in jacksonville.  i had to take this picture for kevin, because his band played at that steam show a coupla years ago.  it was really hot that day, plus crazy windy, and there was lots of dust blowing around, plus at one point a helicopter landed really close to where the band was playing.  their stage consisted of a bunch of big tables all crammed together.  it was a very memorable experience.

we didn’t stay for the whole parade because luckily randy was marching near the front, so we got to leave.  i would have taken his picture when he was walking but he saw me before i saw him, and then he got out of line and wasn’t marching anymore.

i kind of thought that maybe i’d had enough of the fair and wouldn’t go back, but then i did.  pictures to follow.

ok then,

mrs. grace hughes.