Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visit a country fair this summer

Last night, my husband and I visited the Goshen Country Fair. It was his first time--he is usually teaching a graduate course that week--and only my second. However, for both of us it brought back memories of other fairs when we were children.

At the entrance to the fairgrounds were the big rides, rides that tumble and rides that spin, rides that make you scream and rides that make your stomach do back flips. For me, it's more fun watching those rides than participating. The kiddy rides were farther away from the entrance, and these reminded us of our children racing from one to the next, getting more and more excited and tired as the evening wore on until one of them had a melt down and we had to head home.

There were also games of chance that I remembered. Win a stuffed animal. Win a bottle of soda. Win a glass. Win a trinket that will take up space until someone finally tosses it in the trash.

Merchants take advantage of captive parents, setting up stands to remind us of the home improvement projects we have been longing for. Do you want a new kitchen? Do you need a new roof? Are solar panels in your future? Come to the fair and put your name on their list of potential clients to call.

Local politicians are there, too, to kiss babies and shake hands. How can you vote against the gal or guy you talked to at the fair?

The fair showed its country roots, too. There were goats and cows on display, local 4H projects, a surprise in the Philadelphia suburbs. There were vegetables and flowers on display as well, huge lumpy potatoes, giant zucchini, twisted carrots, Mason jars of dried corn, vases of fresh-cut zinnias and marigolds and lilies.

But the best part of the Goshen Country Fair is the food. The Goshen Fire Company makes killer donuts, and you can buy them plain or covered in cinnamon or powdered sugar. They are tender and sweet, a perfect treat. 

Take an evening this summer and go back in time. Visit a country fair and be a kid again. Or at least you can feel like one!

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