I am surprised by the number of people (Kansans!) who tell me they've never been to the state fair. I remember going as a kid. My friend Mandy and I would roam the fairgrounds for hours, checking out every animal in the 4-H livestock section and collecting every free pencil we could get our hands on in the commercial exhibits. Saltwater taffy was always a highlight of the trip, as was the Ye Old Mill ride. We never did the carnival as it was too expensive, but I loved visiting the booths beneath the grand stands and just the outside of the "freak" show was enough to get my imagination going.
The state fair is something of a staple in my kids lives, and especially now that they've are exhibiting their own items there. This was the first year that all three of them had items on display at the state fair. We didn't even look up their ribbon awards in advance online. It seemed like it would be more fun to go find their exhibits and be surprised.
This year, we made a little vacation of the state fair. We took hubby's parents and my sister, rented hotel rooms in Hesston, Kansas, a very pretty little town about 40 minutes away, and spent a day at the fair and a morning at the Salt Mine in Hutchinson.
Here are some scenes from the fair:
Think of the shape we'd be in if we had to power our lights with a hand crank generator!
Fair food -- fried cheese = Yum!
And fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade. Double Yum!
Can't go to a state fair without cheering on the racing pigs, and oh boy did we get to cheer this year. My big sis was selected as a cheerleader. What an honor. And she was really good!
Run little piggies run. They got oreo cookies at the finish line.
Did you ever see a cowboy such as this one?
Mmmm... The butter sculpture, and annual treat. I heard, however, that the butter each year is melted down and stored for next year's sculpture. For some reason, this news struck me as disturbing. Age old butter used over and over again? Somehow it was more attractive when I could imagine myself spreading a little on my toast.
Margaritas and popcorn. This was a treat for my sister and I while the kids took advantage of wristband night at the carnival.
I always looking forward to the giant dairy cow. She means free ice cream samples.