Saturday, September 17, 2011

Udderly Awesome! ... or not.

York, Pennsylvania.
A town known as "the White Rose City"; a town not known for much.

The Greater York area has just over 100,000 residents but somehow, average attendance exceeds that amount for weekend days at the fair. In 2010, over 107 thousand people attended the fair on one Saturday alone. Why?

Well, it is America's oldest fair.

That certainly doesn't make it the best, though. 

The fair is host to a variety of things. You have the Toyota Grandstand where musical acts, big and small, take the stage. I happened to attend my first concert there - Brittany Spears and 98 Degrees, of course. Other features include shows of farm animals, petting zoos, rides and amusemants, pumpking decorating contests, pig racing, I Got It, and perhaps the best part? The food.

I've never been much of a fan of the animal portion of the fair but I suppose that it's growing on me. The longer I live away from home, the happier I am to see chickens, sheep and cows - though the overly large pigs still frighten me. (And they probably always will.) This year, the fair featured a live birthing station where you could see piglets being born each day. Personally, that's too much for me. But Aiden? Well. He found a new girlfriend there, so he's a fan.

Aiden is perhaps the only real reason that I drug myself to the fair this year. He takes after me though - he hates rides. He loves playing I Got It. And most of all, he loves planning our route with the free map you receive as part of your low $6 admission. (Do you sense the sarcasm?)

I must say that I do enjoy looking at absurd vegetable displays though. I love wondering how in the world a preschooler painted a lifelike portrait of Barney on a pumpkin. Or why a pumpkin is wearing a winter hat when Labor day has just passed.

Some pumpkins are much too enormous to paint, though. I'm not quite sure how in the world a 960 pound pumpkin is grown or how such a large vegetable makes it to the fair. What I am sure of though, is that it certainly deserved that blue ribbon.

While I understand the allure of an overly enormous gourd, I'm not quite sure why an entire building is dedicated to showcasing fruits and vegetables grown across the county. Perhaps I would be more interested if you could purchase and or consume the delicious looking produce.

The peaches sure were tempting.

Nestled among the fruit and vegetable displays were flowers, canned jellies and a display about bees, hosted by Penn State, of course. At least there is some educational value in going to the fair. Perhaps that's the meaning behind student day.

It's not all about learning though. Sometimes you have to break down and enjoy the food faire of the fair. Like deep fried oreos. Funnel cake. Sausage sandwiches. Okay... I wish. But cotton candy will always do. And R.C. Cola? Not sure about that part but for some reason, it's all that is sold at the fair. Even Flipside tweeted about the absurdity of that one.

One of my favorite fair activities though has nothing to do with consuming fattening food, feeling nauseous on carnival rides or spending absurd amounts of ones on games I will never win. I love seeing what the latest clothing trends of York county are. As you can see, Aiden has his look under control. We thought that dark jeans, blue/white striped shirts and Ray Ban style sunglasses were the way to go. Believe it or not, we didn't plan to coordinate. (It's telekinesis, we swear.)

My favorite fashion trend this year though, other than way too short of shorts or Tweety Bird t-shirts, had to be the amount of Hope for Cope shirts that I saw. If you squint, you can tell that the cancer ribbon shirt above includes the name of Jazmine Rae Cope, a brave teenager who fought her hardest against cancer. It's incredible to see so much love in our community for Jazmine, her family and her foundation. If you aren't aware of Hope for Cope Foundation or their mission, check out their website!

After a disappointing and rainy day at the fair, we did manage to find a little bit of fun underneath a big red tent. For those of you who have never played, you don't quite know what you're missing. A man with a microphone makes silly rhymes about numbers while you throw bouncy red balls into the squares above. 5 in a row? Well, you've got it.

We even won.

Perhaps if my Kohr's Orangeade has tasted less like water and more like oranges, I wouldn't be so bitter. But for now, my opinion is that the York Fair wasn't quite as "Udderly Awesome" as it claims to be. But if you're in the area, you've still got two days to see for yourself. (And if all else, a game of I Got It is only 50 cents, which is quite a consolation.)

Until next year.

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