Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The 155th Annual Bloomsburg Fair - Project 365: Day 19, Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a sampling of our crazy Saturday at the fair!

We noticed the leaves turning as we continued on 80 past Pocono Summit and 380 where we usually get off to visit my mother-in-law. Pretty far north as the leaves weren't turning at our house or CS Dad's mom's house in Pocono Summit yet at that point. That's my dad, Poppy Neil, and his girlfriend, Miss Debbie, directly ahead of us in his car.

I wish I'd gotten a picture of the muddy parking lot, but there was no time! The lots were filling and we didn't want to miss the tram - in case it was the last one to come down the row that morning before it filled! My dad muscled the wagon onto the tram and the ride took forever to go 200 hundred yards, but at least we didn't have to slug through the mud before breakfast. ;)

My dad kindly paid our admission (thanks, Dad!) and as we walked through the gate, I promptly pulled the front muddy wagon wheel right up the back of my right leg. Good thing I chose dark jeans and brought a change of clothes for each of us. ;)

The day began heating up right away, so we made a quick potty break by the exhibition buildings and looked for a breakfast pavilion so we could get out of the sun, get some coffee, and carb-up. ;) I had an awesome sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit with coffee (so did CS Dad, my dad, and Miss Debbie). However, if I had to do it again, I'd have a Mickey waffle like Spawn. ;) He also had an apple juice, but it was a bit sweet for him and the lid/straw situation wasn't working so well. :p

Dad, Miss Debbie, and Spawn (the little, red hat in the foreground) check out their menus:

CS Dad checks in with his mom by phone because she hadn't called that morning as she usually does on Saturday mornings and made us worry ;) :

Spawn's massive Mickey waffle - which we had to convince him to try because he was adamant that he wasn't hungry as usual - that he ate every last bite of. ;)

After breakfast, we skipped the Farming Museum (saved that for later in the day) and headed over to the Educational Exhibits to get some learnin' in.

Look at these HUGE FFA sunflowers! (Spawn has been placed in this photo for perspective, but he's several feet away and you lose a bit of the awe we experienced when we saw these in-person. That one big one is larger than my biggest commercial-grade lasgana pan. :o)

I'm honestly not sure what this was about, but it looked like bath and body products made from EMU OIL?! Really? I was afraid of the impending lecture if I asked, so we just shuffled by this exhibit.

Spawn was fascinated by some of the projects made by fellow elementary-age children:

And it inspired an idea in him that I'll be mentioning to his head elementary teacher. He'd like to try to get his school involved in the fair - maybe even find ways to make the fair greener or suggest ways to vendors to make their stands more ecologically-friendly. (He was very upset over the styrofoam plate his breakfast was served on that morning and that his juice came in a styrofoam cup. :( We don't do that at home and the thought of all that waste at the fair upset all of us. :( )

One of Spawn's favorite booth/displays in the Educational Exhibits Building was made by Central Columbia High School:

Underneath the flower pot, it has a recipe for Carrot Patches. Sorry this one is so blurry! (If you click on any of the recipes, you'll see the high-res image and better detail.)

Below that was this little garden and these pepper lights that Spawn fell in LOVE with. =D

Left side of booth:


Right side of booth:


One of my most favorite displays (I'm so sad so many of these came out blurry without the flash on. :( ):

This display was based on the book "Eat This, Not That" and suggests that readers eat Twinkies?!?! Um...okay, but I don't think that's really the message they wanted to send. ;)

Poppy Neil explains how this display of an electrical system, circuit breakers, and switches works:

Spawn was all learned-out and needed to burn off some energy, so we did a loop through the kiddie rides by the old schoolhouse. I tried to talk Spawn into a Pony Ride or Elephant Ride, but he has concerns about animal exploitation (thanks to his vegetarian Aunt Bibi, methinks. ;)), so he opted for the greenest ride he could find - a walk-through fun house that he did with Poppy. (Spawn and I had done the same exact fun house 2 years earlier, so I was happy to pass this time.) Poppy had to talk the poor kid into going down the slide at the end alone. It's really high!

That's 6 tickets (1 ride for 2 people) = $7.50. For an attraction that takes 3 minutes at most to walk through. :o So ridiculous!!!

I missed most of Poppy Neil's slide as his weight carried him down the slide a LOT faster than Spawn. ;)

Spawn was delighted to find this little bulldog in the fun house mural:

From there, we headed over to the Poultry Barn (had some funnel cake and orangeade along the way ;)) just so Spawn could pose with what he thinks is the world's largest chicken. I'm sure there ARE larger chickens, but this is the biggest one he's ever seen. ;)

Just for Rachel - Baby Chicks!

Their little sign made me sad. I was glad they weren't out in the little open pen for petting when we stopped by. They looked a little peaky. :(

Our next stop was the Dog Show Barn. At first, we were just excited at the prospect of seeing more bulldogs, but when we started down the aisle, we realized unless you were one of the lucky dogs like this little guy on the end of the row, there was very little air circulation in the barn. :(

Anyway, while we were there, Spawn wanted to see a Chihuahua. He wants to get one as a pet for his Bulldog, Nugga. =)

We made our way to the cattle barns then.

This picture CRACKS me up! LOL! =D

Spawn 'discovers' where chocolate milk comes from and has a happy. ;)

The calf in the middle was born within probably an hour or so of our visit to the cow standing on the right.

I sat down on a bench for a few minutes to put my feet up on the wagon while CS Dad took Spawn to check out the horses, pigs, sheep, and - Spawn's favorite - the goats!

This a really huge horse named Fred. Spawn had to stand on a straw bale to reach him!

I think Spawn may have changed his mind about the adorability of goats after this little incident:

Ouch! Yup, Spawn got bit by a very hungry little goat!

CS Dad tells me the smell in the pig barn was too overwhelming to stay, so they made their way back after I called CS Dad's cellphone to see where they were for so long. Upon arrival at my bench, CS Dad reached for his cellphone to check the time and it was missing! :o Crap!

We left Spawn with Poppy and Miss Debbie and ran over to the goat barn to find it. I called it several times from my phone while we searched. Eventually, someone picked up. My dad. Uh..."Dad? You found it?" "Yup, come on back." When we got back, my dad explained that he heard the phone ringing several times and noticed it sitting on top of a power supply box at the entrance of the cattle barn they were sitting in front of. Someone must have found it just as CS Dad dropped it when he came back before and dropped it off by the doorway. We got very lucky!

Our day was winding down, so we went off in search of some dinner. My dad can't resist these usually, but he gave them a pass that day because of the heat.

I had seen a sign earlier for some cheesecake on a stick, so Spawn and I ran over towards Gate 3 to check out the ice cream stand near the kiddie rides while CS Dad took my dad and Miss Debbie over to check out the end of the world timeline crazies. =D Sadly, the ice cream stand was all out of the cheesecake on a stick, so Spawn had a twist in a cup and climbed in the wagon while we watched some nutter in the bull riding ring next door.

I opted for a half pound of fried cheese on a stick while CS Dad, my dad, and Miss Debbie all got some pizza. Spawn was happily eating his rapidly melting ice cream and I polished off my cheese, so I ran around the corner for a Lime Hawaiian Shave Ice. Yum!

After our quick bite, we made our way over to our last stop - the Farmin Museum (passing the old Cosmos Crystals trailer on the way and not even realizing it). Spawn checked out some horse-drawn sleighs and several piles of unrecognizable junk - according to Poppy Neil. :p We went back out to look for some blue barn stars as our last planned stop, but I couldn't find one I liked, so we decided to call it a day. As we were passing by the Cosmos Crystals trailer again, I explained to CS Dad that they were based out of Marshall's Creek - near where we used to live in East Stroudsburg. He stopped to look - because CS Dad can't pass up a hippie gift shop - and he realized he actually knew the two people running their booth! Never fails! He knows every hippie in PA!

Spawn was about tapped out at that point and feeling logie from his ice cream, so we made him a little nest in the wagon to lay down while we looked for CS Dad's deep-fried Twinkie before heading home. There were a lot of jealous comments and looks from adults as Spawn passed by in his wagon. ;)

Pulling a wagon full of 7 year old was wearing me down, so CS Dad parked us in a hot tub tent while he ran ff to look for his Twinkie and my dad and Miss Debbie shopped for hot tubs.

CS Dad never did manage to find the deep-fried Twinkie stand, so he came back to get us and we decided to head over to Gate 5 because my dad told us it was closer to where our car was parked. We passed this guy on our way - yup, that's a giant rubber duck on a massive hot tub. =D

We split up there so my dad and Miss Debbie could make a restroom break and we trudged out to the parking lot. We skipped the tram because the wagon was loaded, Spawn was beat, and the car was supposed to be so close. Ugh. Long, dusty walk! When we got there, Dad and Debbie were already there! They'd skipped the long restroom lines and cut across the lot and got there just before us - not being encumbered by a loaded wagon. ;)

We said our good-byes in the parking lot, knowing we would probably have to stop somewhere on the way home for some allergy meds for Spawn. The animal barns had not been kind to his poor, little sinuses. ;( He's still struggling with those allergies several days later. :( At the end of the day, though, we all agreed the animals were our favorite part of the fair. Spawn loved the goats!

Anyone else go to the Bloomie this year? Or another fair? What's your favorite part of the fair?

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom


Eileen said...

What a long, fun day. I think I may have to consider a trip there next year!

Kelly said...

Oh, I'm so jealous!!!! I actually attended Central Columbia High School...and I miss the Fair so much! Do you know we always got the whole week off for Fair when we were in school (and I think they still do)?

We go to a lot of fairs down here in Florida, but they are all mostly in the winter, when it's much cooler.

Looked like you all had a great time!

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