August 27, 2013

The Fair

Once again, for the fourth year, I made the pilgrimage to the Perry County fair in rural Pennsylvania. It's quite the production, complete with a tractor parade, and various 4-H livestock competitions, including rabbits, sheep, pigs, goats and various bovine varieties. There were eating contests, a horseshoe competition, Miss Perry County pageant (I missed that), lots of rickety rides, a trapeze act, and displays of heaters, solar panels, cutlery as well as taxidermy all in the same building. As well as a plethora of the usual heart clogging "carnival delights": funnel cakes, whoopie pies, cotton candy, deep-fried Oreos, mountains of ice cream, hot dogs, burgers, fries, fried potato swirls slathered in bacon and cheese (basically a pile of potato chips pretending to be nachos). I was very good, only splurging on a single hot fudge sundae. For dinner one night I found some chicken soft tacos...the healthiest thing available.  

It was a very nice slice of Americana. I'd guess 75% of the attendees were farmers. Everyone was very polite and well mannered. Unfortunately I did notice that nearly all of the teen-aged girls I saw were dressed rather provocatively. Short shorts, push-up bras and more makeup than I would have expected. I also noticed a very high rate of teen pregnancy or parenthood. A large percentage of girls around 18 had at least one baby on their hip... I was shocked actually. Either that's what everybody does and it's accepted as the norm, or they have some serious sex-ed issues that need to be addressed. Other than that I found the Perry County Fair to be a wonderful escape from the rat race of New York City. Not to mention the ride there was beautiful and basically traffic free. My wonderful friends Nemo and Carol were kind enough to let my friend and I stay (unannounced) after we were unable to find a hotel room within 100 miles due to car show, a gymnastics meet and a gathering of Radio Controlled Car enthusiasts (who are these people?). Perhaps better hotel planning next time. The Niemanns treated us to a great dinner and a soft, warm place to sleep. So appreciated. 

 Men and their tractors

 Toss a ring around a knife and it's yours. I saw one group of boys walk away with 12 knives.

 Corn field at dusk bordering fair.

Tired farmers

Happy pigs. Night before the auction. Little do they know what's in store for them in the following week.

  Newport, Pa., at night.

Early morning drive back to city.

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