July 17, 2013: Let's Go to the Fair!

Laura and I getting ready for the Plymouth County Fair
I want to go to the Iowa State Fair. Really bad. I've never been, but have heard great things about it. I'm unsure how this slipped by me over the course of my forty-five years; especially given twenty years of these in Iowa and the rest in neighboring Nebraska.

I have enjoyed many years of the the Plymouth County Fair, the Clay County Fair and even once, the Nebraska State Fair. But never Iowa. A tragedy. Even Martha Stewart gushes about this show put on by Iowa. And with a mere two hour drive away, I have instead sat back, year after year, with no participation.

I just received my HyVee mailer on great cooking and entertaining tips. They highlighted this coveted Midwestern attraction. I am taking this as my needed push. This will be the year. Time to experience a real fair with my kids.

As a child I eagerly awaited our county fair. The Wurth's were the poster family of everything good the fair portrayed. Each day they represented everything from the ag exhibits to the 4-H stand. They gave generously of their time and supported all activities the fair had to offer. They also brought me along on most occasions as a lucky tag-along.

Their daughter and my dear friend, Laura, provided me an open invitation to that wondrous week to close out our summer. We would start in the heat of the day, checking out the farm animal exhibits and 4-H tents. Our nights were full of cotton candy, rides, and teen dances. And we never missed the tractor pulls or the Plymouth County Fair queen crowning.

Boy crushes were found by night and hard work put in the exhibit stands by day. We loved it. I participated in the 4-H entries one year. My recollection is of a painted drawing, sewn baby dress, and baked sugar cookies. I was carefully critiqued by judges and given ribbons for my work. My many days spent with Laura were childhood joy. The fairgrounds were our playground for a week.

So now it is time for my boys to check out what a State Fair is all about. We will try whatever fried indulgence they have schemed up and will partake in the great entertainment provided. I also hear they have interesting butter sculptures on display. Come join us! I know from experience that the fair is best enjoyed with a friend :)


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