Thursday, August 10, 2006

To the Fair

We all went to the Tanana Valley State Fair this week! Great fun! Great excitement! I know this is a small fair, but I like the size. Here's the demographics from the 2000 census- Fairbanks city limits: 30,224. Fairbanks and vicinity: 82,840.

Last year at the fair we had an attendance of a little under 130,000 for the week, which includes all the outside vendors and performers plus all the people who drive in from outlying areas to attend. Less than a lot of cities outside...

Anyway, what that means is that for all four of the children's rides we put our three year old on she only waited one run through the ride before she got on, she was one of three children on the carousel, & she and her daddy were the only people on the dragon. Do you remember the dragon? Kind of shaped like a viking ship, goes back and forth like a swing? Well, this version would have only held about eight people. And because they were alone on the ride when Deborah started to panic and cry because it was going too high the ride handler slowed it down for her and brought it back down low. Deborah was able to ride the entire length of the ride while the woman kept it low enough and slow enough for my baby to enjoy the whole thing. Thank you God for ride handlers who understand that three year old's are not stupid when they get scared! Deborah ended up wanting to go on more rides because of this woman and the way she handled Deborah's panic.

The other adventure took place in the petting zoo while we were headed out to the car. Of course, she started crying when we got to the gate and she realized we were going home. So we offered her the chance to go back in the petting zoo one more time. (It's a quarter to get in, and right by the gate we entered) My sister went in with her, 'cuz I was holding the baby. And my sister sat down right in the middle of the puppy pen, which worked the first time, 'cuz there was one child for every puppy. This time there was only one other child and when Beth and Deborah sat down and held out the puppy chow Deborah was inundated with puppies. At least three puppies were crawling all over her, and she couldn't get out from under them. They were licking her face and chewing on her hair and she was stuck under them. Panic ensued! Which is too bad, 'cuz four hours before we'd had to drag her out of the puppy pen... She's got scratches all over her face from over-enthusiastic puppy paws. So this has become the recitation for anybody who asks about the fair: "The puppies' liked me so much they tried to eat me up!"

All told we had a fantastic time- we ate wonderful food, pet more cows and goats and sheep and puppies than we probably should have, saw several friends (small town), saw an air brush artist (treated rather like a rock star, with an adoring rowdy crowd), saw a man dressed up as a live tree, saw some pretty gifted jugglers and an amazing crew of drummers, spent more money than we should have, and brought home very silly goodies. Deborah has a harmonica and an umbrella ( it rained part of the time we were there, a yearly feature of the Tanana Valley state fair). Yay, Fair! Our state fair is a great state fair! Don't miss it! Don't even be late!

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