Some things in life are universally disliked. A trip to the dentist. The IRS. Dr. Phil.
And some things are universally loved. The ocean sand. Ice cream. The Warren County A&L Fair.
Hold your horses – or better yet ride them – because our fantastic fair gets underway Friday night after a painful one-year hiatus. There will be pageantry, poultry, and even a few pony rides as activities on Night 1 feature two pageants and a sheep show. That’s not a baaaa-d way to get this party started.
One of the great aspects about the fair is it’s one of the few places where it’s perfectly OK to over do it with a knife and fork, albeit in this case plastic ones. To paraphrase the great American patriot Nathan Hale, when it comes to the fair, I regret I have but only one stomach to give to my country.
The fair is perhaps the one place on earth where cheese fries, cotton candy and a funnel cake represent a well-balanced meal.
In all my trips to the fair, I don’t ever recall ordering a salad. And if I did, it would be covered with powdered sugar.
When I was a much younger man, my favorite part of the fair was getting a ride band and tackling everything from the Ferris wheel to the Himalaya. Now that I’m a little more seasoned in life, I find myself drawn to Edna’s blue-ribbon floral arrangement more than the Tilt-A-Whirl.
Next thing you know, I’ll be excited about getting socks for Christmas.
If you think about it, the fair symbolizes the phases of life, kind of like the phases of Santa Claus: 1) you believe in Santa, 2) you don’t believe in Santa, 3) you start to look like Santa.
With the fair, it represents untamed fun for the children. There are farm animals to see. Little motorcycles to ride around in a circle. Waves and smiles to flash at mama as she stands next to the ride fence snapping pictures.
The older we get, the more our interests at the fair evolve, to the point where we one day look forward to watching the tractor pull. For the record, I have not reached that point.
The fair is also the place to find one of the great concepts embraced by American culture – a baby show.
America proclaimed its independence from Great Britain in 1776. Shortly thereafter, it is believed the Johnsons wanted to prove their baby was more adorable than the Henderson baby next door and thus the groundwork was laid for the nation’s first baby show. I can’t find this anywhere in the history books, but this also must have coincided with the invention of the corndog.
So let’s prepare to embrace so many of the things which make our country great – cattle, carnivals, and that guy with the really large scale who can guess our weight.
The Warren County A&L Fair has arrived. Let’s enjoy.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.