Monday, September 20, 2010

The Fair

Whenever I think of going to the Fair, I always get the song from Charlotte's Web (the original cartoon, not that hack remake) that Templeton the rat sings about the fair.. "A fair is a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord, after the crowds have ceased... Each night when the lights go out, it can be found on the ground all around..Oh, what a ratly feast!" Because as we all know, one of the main reasons to go to the fair is the yummy, horribly unhealthy food!! So bear with me because a lot of this rambling will be about fair food. Yuuuuum!! I'm probably describing events out of order somewhat, but it was a couple weeks ago so cut me some slack.

Two weekends ago we went to the Puyallup Fair with our kids and in-laws. This being Washington, the weather cooperated with alternating torrential downpours and sunny skies, often changing within minutes. What is this.. Ohio with the psycho weather mood changes?!! Geesh! Dummy me of course left my sunglasses in the car because it was grey and yucky and rainy when we arrived, only to bemoan the fact later when the beaming sun came out.

We arrived early, and squished into the fairgrounds. We of course had to hit up the obligatory and traditional Fisher Scones vendor and get scones for breakfast. This is something so weird to me.. in Ohio you don't find scones at a fair.. well to be honest I don't think you really find them anywhere. Apparently Fisher has been making scones and been part of northwest fairs since 1915. o.O

They are hot, light and crumbly and almost-biscuit-like, triangular and pre-sliced and slathered inside with honey-whipped butter and rasberry jam. They are utterly delicious.

Once fortified, we headed for the first vendor building (mainly to get out of the rain!) Inside were all the vendors you normally see at the fair, that would be repeated tenfold throughout all the other fair buildings. Mattresses, massaging chairs, candles, beanie babies, and more. We found an odd little booth setup with a boardgame called "The Tower of Mystery" (, and discovered the salesman that was waxing enthusiastic about it was in fact the inventor. It sounded intriguing, and we're all about the boardgames, so we made a note to ourselves to head back and buy it before we left so we wouldn't have to tote it around the fair or run out to the car. Megan also found a beanbag animal seller that had various lizards and stuff so we knew we'd need to head back there to get an addition to her beanbag lizard collection.

After that we wandered through the rain, looking at chainsaw-made wood sculptures and benches, the working blacksmith (with their fancy tiny natural gas forge, at 1800-2300 degrees. Back in MY day, we used WOOD for our forges, none of them fancy gas jets! ..I digress)

We wandered through the draft horse barn, the show horse barn, they had signs up *everywhere* asking you not to touch the animals "for their health and yours" which sucked because EVERYONE knows how utterly irrestible a soft horse nose stuck through stall bars can be. We were all VERY good though it was agonizing and didn't succomb to the temptation. The coolest horses imo were the Norwegian Fjord that looked like it had stepped off a cave wall with it's prehistoric back stripe and short, spiky mane, and the huge black percheron that apparently someone was using as a riding horse, which freakin ROCKS.

We alternated walking through more vendor buildings, and more animal buildings. When we were wandering through the cows (not dairy) every huge steer I saw made me drool.. steeaaak. I'm a carnivore and not ashamed of it. We wandered through the agriculture building and saw vegetable competition entries made to look like things, designs, and freaky huge pumpkins. All this made us hungry!

We ate some lunch, shared a huge rack of BBQ ribs, mediocre cornbread, and freshly cut string french fries with lots of malt vinegar and ketchup. And.. Roast Corn!!! If you have never tried fair roast corn, you are missing out. Make sure it's a place that actually roasts it in husk, and then once it's done pulls down the husks, and holds them to dip it in butter before handing to you. DELICIOUS. If I could have gotten away with it I would have eaten a dozen of these alone for lunch.

We checked out the retro farming area where they have an old-time washing tub with crank ringer, a fake shaving straight razor with lather and mirror, and other pioneer-esk stuff. It was rather soggy underfoot but the sun finally came out so we split up and took our kids to do the rides.

I went on a little coaster with Meg (fun!) and then the kids went on the big wooden roller coaster, then again on the one we had gone on first, and then spent the rest of their tickets on carnival games. Pro-tip parents: No matter how you explain the science of how carnival games are rigged so they are extremely difficult to win, your kids will want to try them, and probably not win. Make sure you do a sure-win thing like the dart balloon throw. Meg was proud as punch that she popped a couple balloons and won a tiny ugly little stuffed purple cat. We bought the obligatory cotton candy (NOMNOM, blue is the best flavor), and headed back to meet up.

We hit up more buildings of cows, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, lions, tigers and bears Oh My! (ok maybe not those). When we were in the Dairy Cow barn there was a mamma cow apparently giving birth so they had part of it sectioned off, and it was late and we were tired so didn't stay to try to crowd with others. We did however go to the other part of the building where they were giving out free samples of Darigold Chocolate milk, the BEST chocolate milk you can buy (and most expensive -- boo!) It tastes like melted chocolate ice cream.

We remembered just in time about the Beatles tribute band "Imagine" that was playing so ran in and got some seats under partial cover (that almost kept us from getting rained on). They didn't really look like the Beatles, were dressed in Sgt. Pepper sort-of uniforms, and 2 were from California and 2 from Utah! But, they sounded pretty good, and hey, free Beatles music YAY!! Lem ran to the bathroom mid-way through and brought me back some Darigold chocolate milk <3.

Megan wanted to stay forever in the little petting zoo petting the pygmy goats and the little 8-week old baby bunnies, but eventually we got hungry again and since it was pouring rain once more headed to the big food court building. Unfortunately, a skrillion other fair-goers had the same idea so it was rather packed. We eventually found seats and ate our various foods, I had a rather good chicken caeser salad and stole some of Adam's fair fries w/malt vinegar and ketchup.

We walked through more buildings with a zillion vendors, managing to resist most of them. Had to get some Seattle Fudge, and some fresh honeycombs dripping with honey for the kids to eat. Delicious! It was getting late, so we stopped to get Elephant ears for everyone to eat, and then ran back to get our board game and Meg's lizard (just as they were closing shop - whew!).

Very footsore and exhausted, we headed back to the van and homeward. A great day for all, and totally worth the big blister I got on my toe from walking around all day with wet socks!


  1. What? You didn't try any of the deep fried bacon wrapped chocolate? Fairs are so fun and so bad for your

  2. Did that last year... the bacon was too over-cooked. Lem was bummed we didn't find the deep-fried twinkies again (*gag*)