Our fair fairgrounds

You might say that the county fair is a place to see, smell, and step in different kinds of shit. And I would agree with you but if you watch where you walk it’s a lot of fun.

A big brown cow in a stable.
The farmer showed us this large but friendly cow.

I’ve always found agricultural fairs to be educational because suburbanites like me can see what food looks like before it goes to the hot dog factory. This was the last night of the Johnson County Fair but there were still some animals in the exhibition buildings. The sheep were well-trimmed, the pigs stinky, and the cows huge. And I ate a chili dog so I had a real farm-to-table experience.

Two teenagers sprinkle penned pigs with water.
Two future farmers sprinkled the pigs with water.

While Iowa City sometimes seems far removed from Iowa’s rural base, the county fair, which is just on edge of town, is pretty rustic. Country music lives there in exile. In the swine building, some thoughtful farm kids sprinkled hot pigs with water. Later, a fast-talking auctioneer on a wagon sold off chainsaw-carved sculptures. Lore was afraid if I lifted my camera to take pictures I’d accidentally buy a giant wooden raccoon. I got my pictures though.

Spectators watch an auctioneer sell wood carvings from a wagon.
There is a lot of Iowa in this picture.
Colorful rides in a county fair midway.
Colorful carnival rides

To Lore the colorful fair midways are typically American (she says they are in a lot of movies and music videos; I’ll have to pay closer attention to that). So we got on the paratrooper ride (before the chili dog, wisely) and then played some skee-ball. Our low scores won us a couple of inflatable animals. I chose a shark, Lore chose a dolphin. I think mine would win in a battle, though thematically both animals were out of place there.

So here’s to some good old-fashioned wholesome fun: the county fair.

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Adam

Adam's artificial habitat is my official website and blog. I write as often as I can, so it is the best way to keep up to date on my goings-on.

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