It was nice to go back to the fair since it was cancelled last year. The Sunday before it opened I decided to drive into the fairgrounds to see stuff since I figured that when at the fair I wouldn’t be able to walk everywhere I wanted to because of the lingering knee pain. I thought this statue at the herb garden was funny. It was also kind of funny to drive around instead of walking, and there were lots of horse and horse people; Kevin said there’s always a horse show before the fair starts.

Mom and I went for a short time and initially I felt a little freaked out being around so many people. But we kept our distance and there weren’t that many people, so I eventually calmed down.

For two years I’d been looking forward to getting a saganaki from the Greek booth at the Ethnic Village. Except it’s not called that anymore; in 2019, Governor Pritzker signed a bill to change the name to “Village of Cultures.” They didn’t change the name til after the 2019 fair, so this year is the first with the new name. Dang, I should have taken a photo of the new sign.

The place is completely the same aside from the name change, and I also can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of my saganaki. It was good but definitely an anticlimax after waiting around for one for two years. We sat by ourselves at a picnic table but soon a family sat down at the table which pretty much freaked me out. Maybe this contributed to my lack of enthusiasm for the saganaki?

Anyway, my favorite building is always the Hobbies, Arts & Crafts, and I know in years past I’ve gone bonkers taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. This year I decided not to go berserk about it. But look at this great boat made of spoons and other metal!

I loved these decorations so much that I’d like to make some of my own.

I won’t.

But it’s a good idea, anyway. This display only got 2nd place and I should have taken a photo of the 1st place winner because it was not nearly as good. Somebody had painted xmas scenes on bells, and the bells themselves were kind of ugly.

I took this shot in honor of Bev, who was robbed of a blue ribbon in the “holiday crafts – Wrapped gift box” category a few years ago. Her entry had a sewing theme and I think a tape measure was the box and it was fabulous. You see that the winner this year has a suitcase-looking gift and it’s ok, but not Bev-quality.

I wish I could take this one home! I love al this stuff from so many old state fairs, and wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to go back in time and see what it was like way back when?

I was very impressed with this award-winning quilt.

And hmm, this cake…they didn’t have many decorated cakes, and this one certainly was big. And ornate. After studying it for a while I realized it’s a Cinderalla cake, but only very subtly. The top is supposed to be the coach and beneath that, the gold circle is a clock pointing to 11:25, and there’s a teeny tiny white slipper down there at the bottom.

I thought this was pretty spectacular, and obviously the judges did too, since it’s the grand champion. The card says it’s a celery yacht and I think everybody needs a celery yacht! It says it’s “canary yellow uranium glass in a quadruple-plated silver stand.” But I wonder why they didn’t polish the quadruple-plated silver? Maybe that’s as shiny as it gets.

The butter cow kind of made me tear up just because. At the same time I was a bit freaked out because the place was pretty much packed and only about 5% of the people were masked. Many, many county fair queens were everywhere.

I have these two photos because I feel that you can tell a difference…

…not smiling in the first one, because I thought “who’s gonna see me smile?” but then I looked at i and I cold tell. Maybe you can too. Also, he inscription on the bottom of the cow says “Embracing tradition.” Really, really touching.

We walked past the double ferris wheel on our way out and now I wish I’d gone on it. It hasn’t been around for quite a few years, maybe a lot of years, but it was too hot and I was too tired.

Finally, meanwhile…Kevin used to work at the fair when a trooper, and when we were dating he claimed to love to go, but now that we’re married, I haven’t been able to convince him to join me. But we had a big storm the night before Mom and I went to the fair and Kevin spent the day chopping up and hauling lots of branches. I was amused at his sad pose here.

But then I convinced him to show me a strong man, which he reluctantly did.

And that’s all the excitement for now,

Mrs. late August Hughes.