There are numerous aspects of Summer that we all love as both children and adults: poolside fun, fireworks on the Fourth of July, indulging in a juicy slice of watermelon or a crunchy ear of sweet corn. The sensations of the county fair also make that “Summer Love” list for me and many others. While some parts of your local fair may seem childlike, I personally believe we all desire to indulge our inner child occasionally. 4 specific parts of the county fair experience always linger in my mind and drive me to return year after year.
The “Fair Food”
No trip to a local fair or carnival is complete without stuffing your face with at least one sugary or fried less-than-healthy pleasure. Maybe, it’s a corn dog and fresh lemonade. Perhaps, it is an enormous helping of cotton candy.
My personal choice? An elephant ear (If available, because apparently, that’s not a thing everywhere) or a funnel cake covered in confectioners sugar… delicious!
A county fair wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for the livestock people bring to show. I always remember it for being a highlight of my time at the fair. I loved visiting with the animals I’d otherwise never see. Even as adults, we still love to see and touch barnyard creatures such as lambs or bunnies, and we enjoy the sounds of the pigs. My husband’s favorites are always the cows, though I’m honestly unsure where his obsession with cattle originates.
The rides were always my father’s favorite portion of our journey to the carnival, meaning as the first-born child, it was my duty to accompany him on all of them. You may remember a first kiss on the ferris wheel or screaming your head off on the dizzy dragons (or the spinning strawberries, twirling tangerines, or whatever your local fair called them). Even as adults, we can still find pleasure from the swings that send us soaring into the sky or the swinging ship. If you are easily motion-sick, though, the rides may not be one of your favorite parts of the fair (sorry).
The Carnival Games
You know you still want one of those humongous teddy bears or one of the inflatable baseball bats you can whack your significant other or best friend with; don’t lie! A lot of those carnival games’ thrill is trying to solve the mystery of how to win and trying to evaluate the best way to maximize your winnings. Sure, half of the games are rigged, but at least you’ll have some laughs while you desperately try to show you are a water gun master or have some serious ring-tossing skills.
Obviously, the slightly creepy ride operators and the endless amounts of odd crafts that your mother always insisted you walk through didn’t make the list, but if you like those, great. Sometimes I fear that the joyous sights and sounds of county fairs will soon end as many people become increasingly absorbed in electronic devices or obsessed with safety. I hope that we can all look back at these fond parts of our childhood and continue to seek the thrill of the county fair for years to come.
Feature Image by Daniel Xavier via Pexels