Carnival colored rides beckon my small ones like a pied piper not to be denied.
Beloved cousins run, play, look, share, and make everything more exciting.
Sensory overload excites as you pass the food booths. BBQ, Navajo Tacos, Thai, Chinese, Greek . . . Support the sheriff's office, save the children, or buy from the cute little girl who is helping her mom sell chocolate covered bananas. Choices, choices. Then the inevitable disappointment when you spend $12 only to find your Navajo Taco has no meat and your kabob is dry and tough.
Children are fascinated by a Ronald McDonald comedy/magic show so painfully awful Vegas that I must leave to keep from jumping on stage and hauling him bodily off.
Some of our party experience the victory of taking on "the Bull" while we cheer.
My personal highlight is the 4-H displays. Children in boots and white starched shirts proudly walk their animals back to their stalls. Auctioneers chant, pigs sleep, children curry, or brush. Blue, red, and the occasional purple ribbon hang from brightly and sometimes sloppily labeled signs denoting "makin-bacon" or Fluffy.
I tear up, not from the allergies of the livestock but from memories. I stood in front of the auctioneer with my sheep, with my boots and long sleeved white shirt and watched my bidder walk off with my pet sheep. I had washed him that morning with blueing and polished his hooves with shoe poilish. I had fed him with a bottle when he first arrived. He trusted me and I realized I had just sold him for lamb chops.
The indoor displays fired me up. I brought Little Mother in to show her. Look what you can do in 4-H. I did ________ and _______ and _______ when I was little. Wouldn't you like to learn how to do these things and get a ribbon? Snickerdoodles, cabbages, art, photography, aprons, and chef hats. Each entry represented the culmination of a club's effort, an excited child learning, then placing their best on the line for judgement. Each entry, even the melted cakes tickled my heart because I saw the child working hard on their project and their mother "assisting" in the background. There is no active 4-H where I live. But, when has a little detail like that ever stopped me? I am so excited, I think I've talked myself into leading my own little 4-H club.
I love that part of America that still holds a "true" county fair. That smells of cotton candy, stale popcorn, cow manure, and chicken droppings. God bless that America!