Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Looking for Wilbur

With Martina McBride blaring from speakers and pigs the size of Smart Cars in the barn, the Anne Arundel County Fair could be lifted from the pages of Charlotte’s Web.

The pie-eating contests, tractor pulls, cotton candy and brightly lit midway mark the end of summer as surely as the start of school.

I love the fair. 

It was an annual event for my family growing up.  My father's family are farmers and most of us kids participated in tractor pulls or other fair events. 

Despite our family history, I hadn't been in several years. The last time I went, the boys (it may even have been one boy) were in a stroller. I wandered leisurely through the exhibit halls viewing prize-winning crafts and vegetables.  We skipped the rides and spent a long time in the barns with the animals.

This year's trip to the fair was a much different experience.

The admission price was still very reasonable:  $5 for adults and $2 for kids, ages 6-15.  Children five and under were free.

We still spent a long time in the barns. 

Matt loved these ducks.

This turkey was Gabe's favorite.

But as much as they enjoyed the animals, the boys are much wiser now to the wares available at a fair.  Ice cream and rides were high on their agenda.  The exhibit hall was not listed at all.

Lucky for them, I'm always up for ice cream.  Or in this case, Italian ice.

Both boys insist on ordering by color.  As you can see, blue is preferred.
We found a shady spot to eat and sat watching the people and rides on the midway.  Once our lips, teeth and tongues were suitably blue, we went to join them.

Intimidated for once.
We chose which rides we wanted most while eating our Italian ice.  I wanted the Tilt-a-whirl, Gabe wanted the mini dragon coaster and Matt. . . Matt wanted to ride them all.  We were all nearly disappointed.

If I have one fair complaint, it was the price of the rides.  I expected expensive and warned the boys their riding would be limited, but I was still shocked.  Tickets were $1.25 each!  A sheet of 30 tickets was $27!  It cost five tickets per person to ride the Ferris wheel and three to ride each kiddie ride.  Ridiculous!

I paid the $27, of course.  I couldn't deny them.  I'm soft like that.

We each rode our favorites and the boys were able to squeeze a few more out of their allotted tickets.

But instead of eating dinner at the fair like I'd planned, we made sandwiches when we got home.

* * * *

There's still time to visit a Maryland county fair!

The Great Frederick Fair - September 17-25, 2010

Calvert County Fair - September 29-October 3, 2010

St. Mary's County Fair - September 23-26, 2010

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