The Cleveland National Air Show is a Labor Day Tradition and for the last 6 years, I would get to watch the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds or the U.S. Navy Blue Angels doing practice runs from my office window. This year, not only was I not in my office anymore but there wouldn't have been any practice runs to see anyway. Sadly, the air show was cancelled because federal budget cuts grounded all military participation which is a huge crowd draw.
With nothing to do that weekend, I decided to head to the Great Geauga County Fair. Don't make the mistake of calling it the Geauga County Fair. That would be like saying Bowl Sunday instead of Super Bowl Sunday.
The Great Geauga County Fair has the distinction of being the oldest continuous county fair in Ohio with the first being held some 190 years ago. Yes, 1-9-0. How wild is that? Here's a pic from fair days of old.
I love carnivals and fairs and THE FOOD! Although, calling some of it food is questionable. See, exhibit A:
The elephant ear, AKA fried dough. It was about 12" long so it didn't even fit in the photo. Pretty simple recipe. Take a piece of dough, fry it, spread butter all over it and then sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
You might not want to wear black while you're eating this. I looked like I had been caught in a snowstorm by the time I was done. And, yes, I ate the whole thing.
For as much as I love fairs, I have never been to a county fair before. City and church carnivals, but never a county fair. I had no idea what I had been missing! There were 12,000 exhibits, over 2,000 animals, rides, music, games, tractor pulls. What didn't it have?
I went with my friend Michelle, her granddaughter and her 16 year old son. Since 16 year olds would rather not hang out with Mom and her friend, he wandered off ensuring us that he had his cell phone with him so we could coordinate when we wanted to leave.
This was our "shuttle" from the parking lot (grass) to the gate.
First stop. The pony rides!
So many animals.
Butterfly, the Appaloosa Alpaca
Brad Pitt, the fawn male Alpaca
Yorkshire, the piglet
No wonder she thinks his tractor's sexy. It's so biiig!
This sign should go on my back.
After 3 hours of fun, frivolity and food, we decided it was time to head home. Michelle tried calling Justin but had to leave a message. And then another. And another. And another. I tried calling from my phone. Voice mail. Over and over. Michelle was starting to panic and caught the attention of a woman passing by.
"There's no cell phone service out here."
Greeeeeeeat. We were out in the boonies, in the middle of 12,000 exhibits, over 2,000 animals, rides, music, games and tractor pulls. How were we going to find a 16 year old boy??
We went to the volunteer fire department but they were no help and suggested we go over to the "guy in the booth" to see if he could do an overhead page. He took off his hat and let out a deep sigh. When he started talking, he revealed a mouth full of missing teeth.
"I've been doing this for 40 years and every year I tell people, pick a spot where y'all going to meet so that no one gets lost."
No shit, Sherlock. Hindsight is 20/20. Apparently, losing a 16 year old boy at a fair is not an emergency. We asked everyone if they had seen him.
Have you seen Justin?
I saved the best for last. This was definitely the highlight of our trip. The pig races! They race for an Oreo cookie. You can hear me laughing at the end.
Promise you'll go with me next year!