There’s just something about a county fair (through Aug. 15)

August 13, 2009

Last month our family happened to be in my North Dakota hometown during the county fair weekend, and the boys got to see a parade unlike the ones in St. Louis. For one thing, tractors, combines and other farm equipment outnumbered floats. For another, they still threw the candy, and lots of it. It left quite an impression on M. The only thing he couldn’t wrap his head around was the reason. I grew up without questioning the raison d’etre of a county fair … so it’s hard for me to explain it. I tried by having him imagine that we took our biggest tomatoes and best cookies to be judged by people who lived in our neighborhood, and other people took their prize possessions like cows and quilts, and we all had a friendly competition. And then there’d be some music and some other fun stuff to do. But I don’t think he grasped the essence of what sets a county fair apart from the types of festivals we go to all the time.

So I’m bummed that we’re out of town for the St. Clair County Fair this weekend (through Aug. 15).  I’d do a better job of showing him the livestock barns and the 4-H exhibits and the ribbons everyone wins.  We’d spend time on the midway, too — though I’m afraid my powers of flirting free rides from the carnies aren’t what they were 20 years ago!

My favorite thing about the St. Clair County Fair is that admission to the Belle Clair Fairgrounds in Belleville is free, unlike the St. Charles County Fair, one of the few remaining ones on the Missouri side of the metro area, which charges fees to adults and kids alike.  The carnival opens at 6 p.m. tonight (there’s a special deal:pay one price and ride as long as you want — so I wouldn’t even need to flirt to get free rides!!) and tomorrow night and at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Take the kids and let me know how you do explaining what it is that’s so special about a county fair.


One Response to “There’s just something about a county fair (through Aug. 15)”

  1. Charles J Taft Says:

    I thought about making a comment, but changed my mind?

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