Archive for August 9th, 2008


Its a Fair Day

August 9, 2008

I went to the Erie County Fair today. I hit the fairgrounds at about 12:30, and it was a beautiful sunshine-y day. Since it was lunchtime, I headed over to the BW Barbeque building and had a pulled pork sandwich. The pulled pork was delicious. It wasn’t too hot, and was seasoned with a smoky yet sweet sauce. The pork also wasn’t fatty, which I find happens too often with pulled pork.

After lunch, I headed over to the animal barns. I love wandering through the animal barns. Being a city girl, I don’t get to see farm animals all that often (duh), so I do spend a fair amount of time at the animal areas. There’s also the not so subtle reminder that some of these animals will be dinner for someone at the end of the fair, as all the kids who show animals at the fair have signs hanging above their animal pens, thanking Mr & Mrs Whomever for buying their market animal last year.

One of my favorite barns at the fair is the Mooternity Ward. This barn contains expectant mother cows (and a pig or two). It allows mother and baby cows to be held in one location and also allows fair goers the potential opportunity to see a calf being born. However, I didn’t need to see the cow ultrasound demonstration. I’ve seen that already on Dirty Jobs. And this guy doing the demostration was nowhere near as funny as Mike Rowe.

But anyway…

This little guy was born yesterday (August 8) and weighed a hefty 72 pounds. He’s a little bashful, as you can tell he’s hiding a little bit in the hay.

After the Mooternity Ward, I spent some time watching the racing pigs and the banana jockeys. The racing pigs are totally corny, and I’m sure that its not a PETA approved activity, but the pigs don’t seem to have a problem with it. The adults in the audience seem to have more fun with it than the kids do. The banana jockeys, on the other hand, disturbed me quite a bit. Imagine capuchin monkeys riding around a small little “race track” on the back of dogs. Yeah, its wrong on so many levels. The poor dogs just wanted to be petted by the announcer or the kids in the crowd. I don’t think this should return next year.

After the piggy and monkey racing, I headed over to the sheep and goat area. This was the first sheep (lamb?) I saw when I entered the barn. Its almost like he knew he was going to be photographed, as he was posing and “smiling” before I even got the camera shutter opened.

Isn’t he a cutie?

The sheep, lambs and goats were quite the noisy little buggers, as it was lunch time for them. One sheep, already having cleared out his food dish, had discovered that his pen abutted the pen where his owners were storing his food. He somehow managed to wedge himself in between the bars of the pen, and was snout first in the bag of sheep kibble. I wish that picture would’ve come out, as it was quite funny.

Next up was the rabbit and poultry area. The rabbits are at one end of the building, and the poultry at the other. The rabbits are calm and peaceful, and oh-so-disapproving.

See, he’s disapproving my taking his photo.

I’m not a fan of the poultry area. Between the ducks, chickens, roosters and turkeys, its loud as hell and there’s always some child freaking out.

At this point, I started realizing that I had a wicked blister forming on my foot. So I did the logical thing, and got some ice cream and sat down for awhile. (It was black raspberry soft serve, if anyone cares.)

Since I was done with the animals, I headed over towards the midway and building area. The Creative Arts Building is always great to walk through, as its a mix of photography, handmade crafts and tablescapes. Yes, our county fair gives awards for tablescapes. Yes, they are definitely more restrained than the ones Sandra Lee creates. The Grange building showcases the best fruits and vegetables from local farmers. This year, the Grange also featured a butter sculpture of Obama and McCain.

I’m not sure what the object in butter McCain’s one hand is. A butter knife? Does butter Obama need to watch his back?

The one building I wish I would have been able to spend more time in was the Historical Building. This building usually contains life sized dioramas assembled by each local community’s historical society. This year, the Buffalo News helped bring in an exhibit featuring the Top 40 News Headlines of Our Time. Each event had one to three newspapers from around the USA showcasing how that particular newspaper covered the event in question. The exhibit did a really good job of pulling newspapers from the city where the event happened: the Dallas Morning News for JFK’s assassination, the New Orleans Times Picayune for Katrina, the New York Times for 9/11, and so on. There were also side exhibits on the history of newspaper printing, as well as some of The Buffalo News’ most memorable editions. Since the building was crowded, I could only spend 10 minutes looking around. I could’ve easily spent an hour, but then again, I’m a media and history geek.

The fair is always one of the must-do activities on my summer to-do list. And monkey jockeys aside, it didn’t disappoint.