"You Too" and Stuff...

If it's "a penny for your thoughts" but you have to "put your two cents in", someone is making a penny somewhere.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Illinois State Fair 2006

You either love it or hate it, but if you live in Springfield, there's no avoiding it. It's the Illinois State Fair. For my entire life, I've gone at least once each year. I go to eat the customary corn dog to remedy that feeling I'd get if I didn't go that I had really missed something. The state fair is one of those things that you look forward to, but then you want to leave immediately as soon as it arrives. Unfortunately, it sticks around town for ten days.

V was off studying for his exam, the weather was as nice and mild as it was going to get, and I had a craving for Culler's vinegar fries, so off I went. This was a mission that I had to accept. Making a solo venture to the fair doesn't bother me. I like to have a plan mapped out to assure that I get to see everything so sometimes having someone else with you involves too much compromise that just might slow you down. The Illinois State Fair is a sensitive operation, you're in, you're out, you're finished until 2007.

There are certain things that you have to see every year to make the trip count and there's some things that you just don't expect to see. I saw much of both.

The one thing that everyone looks forward to seeing once the fair starts its annual promotion is which new food will be featured. This year it happened to be "Egg on a stick", which is nothing more than a hard-boiled egg on a skewer with a variety of dipping sauce options. For some reason, when I think of the fair and the accompanying heat, eating eggs just doesn't come to mind.

Although the weather was gorgeous, it was still a little warm. This led to me missing out many of my favorite fair treats simply because eating them would only make me hotter. Unfortunately, I had to skip one of my new favorite stands, "Fried What?" It's only been around for a few years, but it has already become a fair favorite. I've tried the Snicker's Bar, the Twinkie, the Cheesecake, and the Strawberry Shortcake in previous years. They were each surprisingly good.
One food that I didn't eat and totally regret it...
Oh well, I still have to go back next week to hang out with the Counting Crows. I'll hit Ethnic Village then...

Among the fair standards that I couldn't miss seeing were the giant slide, the giant abe, the giant Milkshake stands, the man making popcorn in the giant kettle, the giant sand sculpture, and the giant Buttercow. Yes, it's a cow made out of butter. See it for yourself in real time, along with the other fairgoers, here.

And you thought things were bigger in Texas.....

While I expected to see all of these fun things, one thing that I wasn't expecting to ever see was a reindeer! Did you know that they're antlers are fuzzy?
In Conservation World, I saw this crazy racecar made of recycled containers. I wonder if it runs on some type of Biodiesel... Yep, that V and his tree huggin' is really rubbing off on me.

By this time, I felt content with my visit to the fair. I also felt that my sunscreen was wearing off so I decided to get my mandatory lemon shake-up to go. So until next year, or at least next weekend, so long old friend!


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