State fair season has begun. So in honor of fairs everywhere, here’s a repost from last September. Be sure to read Tony Woodlief’s WSJ editorial about this great American tradition. (Every time I get to the part about sending our kids up on a “whirling, spinning, lighted metal contraption…praying to God that the carnies weren’t drinking when they assembled it…” I break out in giggles.)
September 10, 2010
I love state fairs. Love, love, love them. The smells, the crowds, the animals, the rides, the food on a stick, and the kitsch of it all. We grew up eagerly awaiting our tickets to the North Georgia State Fair, which were handed out to students during the first few days of school each fall. In high school I once cajoled a boy to take me to the state fair because I had a crush on his best friend and figured it would make the friend jealous. That plan failed miserably. The crush couldn’t have cared less, and I threw up on the ferris wheel during the date. Served me right.
Writer Tony Woodlief says in his article Our Love Affair With the Fairs: “Fairs embody our roots in agriculture, entrepreneurship and rabble-rousing. Where else can you, in a matter of minutes, buy a tractor, ride a camel…marvel over a 20-pound cucumber and then saunter a few hundred feet to hear Hank Williams, Jr. belt out ‘Family Tradition?’ Let’s face it: no matter how sophisticated we become, a life-size statue of Elvis sculpted from 800 pounds of butter will always fascinate us. And if you don’t understand this, then I’m afraid you don’t understand America.” Read more…