It’s State Fair Time!

The approach of fall means it’s state fair time.  The last time we went to the fair was 2 years ago, when we went to attend a concert.  That was our motivation to attend this year as well, this time to see Josh Turner – one of my favorite country artists.

We arrived a little early so we could experience the fair before the concert and I made a bee-line for the livestock pens like I usually do, with a pause to check out this year’s garden display in the center of the fairgrounds.  This year’s design used simple plant types to create an amazing bear family and a stream of salmon.

Inside the livestock barn we spotted this unique art entry that took top honors.  You can see why!  I’d love to have something similar in my garden!  We wandered the rows of livestock stopping to talk with the 4-H and FFA exhibitors to encourage them in their upcoming time in the ring.  Of course I had to stop and visit every goat!  There were several breeds represented, but my favorites have always been Nubians, with their big floppy ears.  There were a couple of groups of sleepy goats all curled up together that were pretty adorable as well.

After watching a few of the livestock classes in the ring, I made a quick stop in one of the large halls nearby before heading to the concert to support a local vendor I’ll be working with soon.  On the way I spotted this great totem pole, which I’ve never noticed before.

We also stopped to get my fair must-have – funnel cake with raspberry topping!  Even thought it was messy to eat, and the developing breeze kept blowing the powdered sugar all over my outfit, it was delicious and so worth the mess.  The Hubs chose a steak taco, which he shared a bite of.  It was pretty yummy too.

Then it was time for the main attraction – the concert.  The opening act was The Last Bandoleros, who had a Tejano style mixed with rock.  I didn’t know any of their songs but now that I’ve heard of them I’ll have to learn a bit more about them.

And then that gorgeous country crooner put on quite a show. Unfortunately they don’t allow DSLR cameras at the concert, so I had to make do with my camera phone – but I wasn’t the only one.  How many camera phones do you spot in the picture below?

Mr. Turner and his velvety voice put on an amazing show.  The weather turned chilly and windy during the concert and both the Hubs and I had been fooled by the nice weather earlier in the day and had foregone jackets.  That just gave us a reason to snuggle and keep moving to the beat to stay warm.  It was pretty funny to watch Josh and his band rub their hands together to try to ward off the chill between sets.  They even commented how this was quite a change from the heat of the deep south they are used to, but they didn’t let that keep them from keeping us all entertained.

While we’re not typically fond of big crowds, parking was a nightmare and everything was expensive, it was all worth it to hear that wonderful voice in person – and yes it sounds as good in person as it does on the radio ladies! 😉

Have you made it out to your local county or state fair?  Leave me a comment to share what your favorite fair activity is!

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Fun at the Fair

Fair

Fall is harvest season and that means it’s the typical time for county and state fairs.  The hubs and I won tickets to a country concert at the fair which included fair admission so we made a night of it.  I’d never seen this FAIR photo spot before but it was pretty cool.  The hubs didn’t want to play the I but agreed to get a shot of me doing so.  I have no idea why my jeans look like high waters, so just ignore that part!

FairBarnThe weather was absolutely perfect with blue skies and there was plenty else to see beyond the FAIR sign, from old historic barns to the traditional ferris wheel at the carnival.

FairFerrisWe sampled the classic hand dipped ice cream, toured the art exhibits, wandered along the rows of vendors where we purchased specialty jams and syrups for ourselves and as gifts for friends and family.  Then decided to head to the livestock barn, because as former 4-H and FFA members that’s what the fair is really about for us.  On the way to the barn I spotted this awesome garden figures made completely of living plants.  It was the best kind of art!

FairGardenFigure3

FairGardenFigure

FairGardenFigure2At the livestock barn we watched baby chicks hatch in an incubator, including this cute little fluff ball.

FairChickHatchAnd as a previous goat owner you know I stopped to say hello to this sweet face!  Those ears just made me want to open the gate and take her home!

FairGoatAnd just down the row these two kids were enjoying their dinner, in more ways than one.  Seriously, does it get any cuter?  Yes, but only if those were Nubian kids with big floppy ears.  Can you tell I’m a bit biased?

FairGoatBabiesI have to share this competitor’s stall because they went all out to decorate.  From a hand-made wooden sign and fabric bunting to a collage of all their livestock next to a thank you to their buyers from the previous year it was absolute perfection!

FairGoatStallAcross the aisle were the pigs, who were apparently catching up on their beauty sleep.  But they were pretty darn cute doing it.

FairPigsWe wandered past the sheep, which I will never own again!, to the cows and then on to this single reindeer.  At first I thought it odd to see a reindeer in the market barn, but it is Alaska and I’m well aware of just how tasty Rudolph can be so it makes sense after all!

FairReindeerBeyond the barn there was some local produce for sale at phenomenal prices considering most were extra large.  The Mat-Su valley is well known for growing monster vegetables thanks to our unique summer climate.  We didn’t go far enough to see the competitors for the largest pumpkins and other categories but they often take up an entire flatbed semi to be transported to the fair!

FairProduceWe never did make it to the concert, but since it was at an open-air amphitheater we still heard most of it. Ready for a break we got some raspberry topped funnel cake – my fair food must have and rested our feet at a picnic table next to the face painting and crazy hair booth which produced a pretty entertaining batch of both their trades.  Although we had dessert first with the ice cream and funnel cake we wanted something that qualified for dinner before we headed home so we stopped by a local meat processing company’s food stand and ordered Caribou Steak Sandwiches.  For those that don’t know caribou and reindeer are the same, except one is wild while the other is domesticated, so I was probably eating the cute reindeer above’s long lost wild cousin.  But he sure was mighty tasty! 🙂

CaribouSteakSandwich

We came, we saw, we walked, we tasted and we had fun.  It was a great fair experience!