This afternoon, I took my son to the Prince William County Fair. I was excited because last week was the Wisconsin State Fair, which my family attended. Their stories and enthusiasm had me hankering to see some livestock and eat delicious food purchased from a stand. All weekend, I was looking forward to going to the fair with my kid, even if I only had the nine-month-old to talk to.
James worked a double today, so I really felt the need to get out and mingle with grown people. And overall, it was a good time. But the county fair just can’t compare to the Wisconsin State Fair.
Our county’s fair is billed as Virginia’s largest county fair. But to my eyes, used to the state-sized fair, it seemed rather small. The majority of the lot was occupied by midway games and rides. The barns that held the animals were not even half the size of the State Fair barns, and the craft and commercial buildings didn’t hold much, either. I missed the cream puff building, the expanse of consumer products and displays of “as seen on tv” merchandise. Smokey the Bear. The Harleys. The music. The “guess your weight for a dollar” guys. The pig races. The giant slide.
But in truth, I wasn’t expecting any of that here. Because this was a county fair, after all. And a county is only one small part of a state. So I suppose my expectations were proportionate. I just wanted a few hours out in the awesome weather with my boy. I wanted to show him some real-life cows and chickens and stuff. I wanted to people watch and eat some roasted corn or a funnel cake. And that’s what I did. Except for the food part. When I went to order my corn, there was none roasted or roasting. And I talked myself out of the funnel cake or elephant ear since I really had no one else to share it with, certain I would regret eating the whole thing myself. I’m still baffled that I went to the fair and didn’t eat any fair food, but I might go back on Saturday to see the sea lions and eat my roasted corn. And maybe a fried dough treat.
M was a trooper. He sat in his stroller and watched everyone and everything go on around him. He glanced from me to the animals and back to me as though attempting to figure out how to respond to them. Especially the roosters who clucked and crowed. He seemed interested in the cows, but cried when we walked through the sheep barn. He smiled at the ducks. And at the Sheriff’s department officers who made him his very own ID card. With his picture on it and everything. It was an exciting and delicious souvenir of our day. He also smiled and flirted with the campaign girls who gave him a red balloon with a blue ribbon, with which he repeatedly bopped us both in the face as we continued on our way.
It was beautiful weather, and we had a fun time. If we go again, though, I would like to go with friends. I think that would make it even more fun, although, oddly enough, we actually did run into someone we knew at the Sheriff’s Office booth. An acquaintance from a La Leche League group who, while nice enough, isn’t really my type as far as potential friends go. Anyway, a good outing all the same. I’m glad we went. I think it will be more fun, too, when M is a little older and understands a little bit better what’s going on, himself. So we’ll have to go again next year for sure.