An A-Fair to Remember

Based on the number of times I’ve mentioned fairs and carnivals (e.g. here), I’m wondering if I should just pack up the family, give up this suburban dream, and join the carnis on the road.

Then I realize that I’d need way more ink and tattoos are expensive and they hurt and bla bla bla, it’s probably easier just to stay home and hit the fairs whenever they come to town.

Which is what the Smith family did a couple of weeks ago in Bethlehem, CT.  (Those people, by the way, go OFF during the Christmas holiday.)  This isn’t your run-of-the-mill fair with the traveling moonbounce and the balloon animals… this is a real deal country fair.  Translation: awesomely awesome.

Country fair parking lot.

Before we’d even found our parking spot (yes, in a field), Oliver caught sight of the tractor pull going on in the field next door.  “Oh, whoaaaa.”

And this was on one of the cars in the parking lot.  I was hoping for John and Kate Plus 8 or the 19 Kids and Counting folks.  Alas, no dice.

Mark’s mom gave us the lay of the land; she’s a veteran country fair goer as Mark’s younger twin siblings would go every year.  To the left, rabbits, sheep, animals… to the right rides and games.  Rabbits, here we come.  As always, Eleanor picked her outfit.

En route to the rabbits, Eleanor caught sight of the climbing wall in the distance.  She wanted on and bad.

I wasn’t sure how she’d feel when she needed to be strapped into her safety harness and realized that she was going to have to do the climbing… but we let ‘er at it.

And, apparently we have a 3-year-old adrenaline junky.

The rabbits shared a barn with the chickens.  Who shared a barn with a sandbox full of corn.  Oliver got a whiff of that cornbox and didn’t even notice the 12 rows of chickens and rabbits a few feet beyond.

But…. when he DID notice the chickens and rabbits, man he was excited.

And for anyone interested…

After chickens… cows.  The folks at the country fair take their cows serious.  Real serious.

Eleanor took a little potty break out next to this trailer which I thought was a particularly strong country moment for us.

Time for lunch.  So. Many. Fried. Options.  We went with hot dogs, a pretzel and a quesadilla for our fussy eaters…

Across the aisle from the barns was this sad, sad, exhibit.  How can the folks at PETA let this kind of thing go?

However NEXT to the PETA focus group was the…. pony ride.  Eleanor’s favorite activity with her grandparents is feeding the horse, Josanna, down the road from them.  I’m not sure anyone ever told her that she could RIDE the horse!  Happy happy children (Mark’s looking pretty jazzed himself).

This is about the point when the wheels started falling off for the middle child.

While Eleanor, Martha and I waiting for her chance at the “jumpy thing,” Mark took Oliver in search of some form of heavy machinery.

After waiting in line, Little Miss X Games finally got her chance to jump.

She was a bouncing fool. The man working the power jump kept pulling her feet down so she would slingshot into the air.  Happy, happy girl.

Nap time had come, so we had to abandon our carni-filled ship and head for home, but hot damn do I love a fair!  The kids tasted their first cotton candy…

I bought some llama wool…

And sadly we passed up the chance to pick up some of this (our loss, I’m sure):

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the suburbs know how to throw down a fair. No offense to the city’s street version, I love a street fair, but there aren’t nearly as many rides and tractors and chickens for sale.

xo

Charlotte

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