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State Fair Fun!

Yesterday we went to our state fair–it was our first time!



We got up around 6 a.m. to get chores and everything ready to leave.  Our goal was 8, which means we could be on our way by 8:30! 



We got going a bit later (around 8:40) due to trying to find the stroller!   We were very glad later that we took the extra time to find it! (And Dallas blowing it off with his air compressor–it had collected quite a bit of cobwebs!)



On our way!  I slept the first leg!   Actually, I think most of us slept a lot on the way down!  Just a little north of the state capital, my husband asks if we got the crackers–oops!  We were supposed to get them in our little town before taking off!  No problem–there’s a Marsh, so in we go!  They were even on sale!



The directions worked out pretty well–except we weren’t sure what "gate" to go into!  We turned into a lane that we thought was it, and a police officer told us it was the next light!   I guess that one was only for those bringing in their animals.   Okay, next light, turn right….and we go and go and around and then we can give the tickets to them!





The blue ones are free thanks to the three girls that had state fair projects!   The little guys were free because they were cute!       No, really, because they were under 5!



So we drive and drive and drive (how can you go so long just going in circles?!) and under a bridge to the horse track–where the parked us on the infield.   That is, with about 5000 other cars!








Then we walked (and walked and walked) to find a walk tunnel under the track.  We headed for the north side of the fairgrounds first, where there was a pioneer village, a DNR building, a FFA building with lots of activities for the kids (including a miniature golf course!) and the exhibit buildings.



This was one of the 4-H exhibit buildings.  The first two floors had exhibits.  There is another building to the left of this one, longer, and it had three floors of exhibits!





After seeing the girls’ projects (you’ll have to visit their blog to see how they did!  ), we decided to go back the way we came and check out the DNR building.   We got to see what happens during a flood to low-lying areas with a model of a reservoir, dam, and then an area without a dam.  Little cars and houses floated away!    They even sprinkled us with water from the back wall where the workers were!  






Next we headed over to Pioneer Village.  I think we could have spent all day just there!   There were many facets of life "back then" and people dressed in period costume.  They were actually building another frame building, just like in the old days–no nailguns!   Some men were actually sawing and making their own boards with an old fashioned planer.  There was a "kitchen" which was open so you could see into it.  No one was working there when we went through.  It was interesting, though, to see how many more cupboards we need for all the paraphenelia we think we need these days!



Next we went into a Pioneer Building that had many old farm implements, a beeswax candle booth, men making wooden bowls and chairs, ladies quilting and tatting, even making brooms!  There was also a replica of the cabin that once stood on the land where the state fairgrounds are now located.  Talk about small!






To give you an idea–there wasn’t much space on either side of this fireplace!




The bed below was across from the "living area".  There was a loft over the bed area–the bed is a small double bed and the head of it was on the other wall–now that’s family togetherness!  Can you imagine weathering a long winter in a cabin that small?  Do you understand the term "cabin fever" a bit better?!






We were walking around looking for The Dazzling Mills Family, who were the main reason we decided to go to the state fair!   They were supposed to be roving the fairgrounds—with a place bigger than our small town, just how in the world were we supposed to find them?!  We just kept wandering around hoping to see them! 




Instead, we found out about a "pig race".  We found out where it was going to take place, but had a little time, so we checked out The Stars of Peking acrobats…..or contortionists!   It was quite amazing how flexible they are, and how well they could balance.  We couldn’t watch for very long–it kind of made our necks hurt!!!



So, on to the pig races!   These guys were a hoot!  Here is the "pig wrangler", who put on quite a pre-show all by himself!






The announcer (not pictured) would tell jokes and "ham it up", giving the pigs celebrity names like Arnold Schwarzennhogger, Brittany Squeals, Sarah Jessica Porker….you get the idea!   I honestly don’t know all the celebrities he was spoofing on, but I’ve heard their names at least to be able to get the joke! 




Oh, the pre-show guy would go around and get four ladies’ names, give them pom-poms, then they had to stand in the center and "root" their pig on!    (You are just getting a small taste of the piggie humor!)




So here is one set–racing to the finish for the oreo! 






Pretty cute, huh!



After the racing, Dallas wanted to talk to someone about windmills, so the girls and I went back to the Pioneer Building to hang out in the shade.   Isaiah was already asleep, and Noah fell asleep, too!   We let them get a bit of a nap, then we headed back down the street.  We decided to go eat at the van.  We have a double stroller, but it doesn’t fold up easily.  So we took the one I mentioned earlier, and did what we always did in the days before double strollers!






On our way, we often had to get over for the "trams" carrying people–I think they must have gone through every 3 minutes or so!  Probably not quite that bad, but they came fairly often!






The parking lot was quite warm, but our van was hotter!  Some of us sat in the shade of the van (what little there was!) and a few of us sat in the van, with the windows open for a bit of a cross-breeze!






After lunch, we went back the way we came and decided to make our way around to the other side of the fairgrounds, where the animals were.  We went over a covered bridge (well, we went beside it as the trams came through the bridge!).   This was the bridge we went under to park when we got to the fairgrounds.






Over the bridge, then you’re going by the midway.  No, we didn’t do any rides!  






We found the cattle barn–I don’t think we got a picture of it, but it was HUGE!   It was as big as our property, which sits on 2 1/4 acres!!!




After going through the cattle building, we saw the sheep building.  It also held the goats.  Yes, I said building!   As in, air conditioned! 






It was just as big on either side as the middle shown above!




Here’s the inside.







There was a sheep show in progress.






Then on to the swine building.   Only we were on the back side, so we went to what we thought was an entrance.  Instead, it was the basement of that building!  No piggies, there, but we went down and around and back up and finally to the front of the building!  Whew!  We just went in, around a little bit, then back out so as not to be in the way.



Remember I said the main reason we went to the state fair was to see the Dazzling Mills Family?



We came out of the swine building, and Susannah and Dallas both saw four people dressed alike sitting across the street…..could it be?



Yes!!! It was the Mills Family!!!



Now, the funny thing is…..another guy was about to do his show–Slackwire Sam (who juggled while on a unicycle while on a…slack wire!).    I guess he and the Mills’ were going to do a little pre-show together, and he spots us (remember, we’re all dressed alike!).  He asks Mr. Mills who we are!   I guess he thought we were another act!   (Oh, if only he knew!  HaHa!)   Mr. Mills comes over and talks to us–I guess he saw us on the other side of the grounds!   How we missed him I don’t know!


He said he told Sam we had an act!  I said, well, we do sing and play together, but no juggling!     We were talking and told him how we had wanted to see them perform but just weren’t in the right place all day!  They actually weren’t doing another performance then, but he said they’d do a little bit after Sam’s act for us.   So the Lord blessed us with both performances!  Sam’s was quite amazing!!!









Here’s a video of him–remember, the guy is crazy!   But good! 




Here’s the Dazzling Mills Family!












We have a few short videos of them.   Here is the first one–Dazzling Mills Family.




And the second one—you’ll have to turn your head towards the end!   Jessica forgot that when you turn our camera, it doesn’t adjust for the fact that you are still right-side-up!   And of course if we rotate it, then the first part would be sideways!  It’s not long, so you shouldn’t get a crick in your neck!   




Here’s the second video of The Dazzling Mills Family.





On our way back, we had ice cream–no, we did NOT try for 100 milkshakes here!  After all, we were only here one day! 






Here we are–the happy family at the end of a long but happy day!





Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our day at the state fair!




5 Responses to “State Fair Fun!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It looks like a fabulous day! I can't get over actual brick building with multiple floors for showing animals! I'm used to our town fairs with barns! ha ha The oldest fair in New England is just a hop skip and a jump away on Labor Day weekend. Our Son-in-Law rented a booth so he could promote his book.

    Jennifer (just7)

  2. missladybug says:

    that looks like a lot of fun…can't wait until the girls update =) ttyl!

    kate k.

  3. fruitbuns says:

    Feels like I was there now:)

    I still don't understand why you had to have 100 milkshakes, could you elaborate!

  4. busymommyofseven says:

    Sounds like fun. Wish we could have gone. Starr

  5. Mama9blessings says:

    Jenny, last year at our county fair (much smaller than this!) we happened to eat 76 milkshakes between all 11 of us. It was hot, they're yummy (you really need to eat them with a spoon, they're so thick!), and only $1! (Not sure what that is in British pounds!)

    So this year, we actually made it a goal to reach 100–kind of a silly but fun (and yummy!) goal! ; )

    Hope that helps explain our craziness!



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