Fair Weather

_C1_9367A county fair is an annual melding of two worlds.

The first world is one of goats and droppings and wood chips, and it arrives with the morning. Kids and teenagers give early mornings and months of time to bring animals to full form or strength. They wash their pigs or steers or rabbits, scrub them, preen them, brush them, trim them, spray them and heave them through the crowd, no matter how cantankerous the animals get. They win ribbons and pride and thousand-dollar bids and think about things like how and whether to grow food for a living.

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_C1_0525The second world is one of summer jobs and suburbs and supermarkets, and it arrives in the evening. The kids are less familiar with livestock and feed but still have their share of early mornings. Instead of a competition, the county fair is a blur of lights and excitement. The kids win stuffed monkeys and balloons and toys and think about things like how expensive the food is.

The county fair brings in both worlds. Inside the livestock arena, the rapid-fire rhythm of the auctioneer’s voice floats above the chatter of people and bleats of goats. Outside, the air thrums with screams and laughter and bass-heavy music. Somewhere among the funnel-cake stands and Ferris wheels, the worlds, to an extent, overlap.

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I went to the Washington County Fair four times last week — twice for work, twice for fun. I hope the images turned out all right. I took a whole lot of photos this week, so I’ve got another post coming up quickly for you.

Thanks for looking!

Dan

Cooled Off

_C1_9017Today started unusually steamy and reached about 90 degrees, but it took only about 20 minutes to change that in the afternoon, when temperatures fell 20 degrees, the wind picked up and the storm rolled in.

I should’ve seen it coming, really. The most humid days always seem to bring a storm — I remember one August day in Nebraska where it dropped from an oppressively humid 96 to about 62 in less than half an hour. You can bet you’re in for a good time when that happens.

This storm happened to hit right as I arrived at Tontitown’s Grape Festival, an annual carnival of food and rides named for the town’s vineyards, planted by the town’s Italian founders a century ago. I didn’t get to ride anything, but I did get to feel the excitement and energy as rides closed down and people ran for cover._C1_8975

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_C1_8994The carnival workers had the unenviable job of making sure the stands and prizes didn’t blow away, though this guy seemed to keep in good spirits.

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_C1_9043It was a fun 20 minutes! We’ll have to try this again sometime, Tontitown.

Thanks for looking,

Dan