The Iowa State Fair was a constant in my childhood. My dad and I would go nearly every day. My parents camped at the fairgrounds for three weeks every summer for years and years.
The fair was one of the first places I got to experience total freedom. Dad would give me some money, we’d agree to meet at the Pepsi Clock at a certain time to have lunch together, and off we’d go our separate ways. He’d go look at farm equipment or find some farmer to talk to in the animal barns, I’d go walk through the buildings, see the butter cow, have a glass of lemonade, and just wander around watching people and drinking in the wonder of so much humanity.
When Buds and I moved back to Iowa to start a family, I picked up with the state fair where I left off. Buds, however, hated it. Did I mention all the humanity? Too much humanity! He could give me about 3 hours there, then he was done.
But, once we had Monkey, who so kindly coordinated her birth with the state fair, we discovered how much fun it is to take a child to the state fair.
Several years we would celebrate her birthday at the fair. We’d take party hats and hand them out to anyone we saw. We packed a full sheet cake, and plates, silverware, and napkins, and took it all to the horse show with us, and shared the cake with anyone willing to eat cake from a stranger. (In Iowa, everyone was.)
Getting sunscreened for her first fair.
Ready for her first fair.
This is how Monkey spent much of her first time at the fair.
Buds and Aunt B enjoying the spin art booth…a Lion’s Club Tradition.
Monkey’s 2nd fair, with a very little brother along.
The horse shows became part of the tradition.
She loved watching the horses back then, too.
The year with party hats and cake. Dad had just had cataract surgery, hence the fashion shades.
3rd fair, another horse show
The Buster can walk at the fair this year.
Best babysitter Jessica going down the slide with Monkey.
Monkey chose Jessica over her dad for riding the slide.
This year we took Great Aunt Kathy and her crew with us. This is Mike or Nick as cone face, can’t tell which.
Another turn on the slide. Monkey’s old enough for her own burlap sack.
It’s going relatively well.
Holding on to Dad for dear Life.
Glad to be at the bottom.
This year our trip to the state fair was also great fun. We went to a horse show, rode the trams in the rain, spent time with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Charles, and had a relaxed, busy visit. And no pictures of it, but the girls and I did ride the Giant Slide. Buds was much missed the whole week, but especially when we road the Giant Slide.
The trams to go to the campgrounds.
Aunt Kathy and Uncle Charles camp at the fair every year, too, and The Buster was absolutely enamored of their gorgeous RV. He told Uncle Charles he wanted to live in it when he grew up, and he had many questions about what it was like for them to live in it. Uncle Charles loved it.
My niece, Teresa, and her boyfriend, Jeremy, were in town, and we got to have lunch with them. It was so good to see them, and meet Jeremy.
The Dining Tent was crowded, so we had to sit in a long row.
It made conversation a little difficult, but I did get a few minutes to chat with Kathy, T, and J.
A few other shots of our time this year:
It was very rainy on one day.
Waiting for the tram.
More of the great art at the fair
The spin art tradition continues, but now with cowgirl hats.
Ice cream from the Dairy Barn, another tradition
We thought of Chloe when we saw the baby chicks.
One of the new sculptures at the fair
Giant Watermelon winner
Watermelon and a cowgirl hat…perfect.
The whole row of us.
And we found weapons to replace the lost Ireland ones…all is well in the world.