The 158th Bureau County Fair is revving up, and the entertainment is already on a roll! Hopefully everyone has their special event tickets in advance and are looking forward to another great year.
Whether it’s just to eat elephant ears, corn dogs and lemonade shake-ups or to get a close up photo with the barn animals or watch the expression of little kids ride their first carnival ride – to me, the fair offers some sort of special attraction for everyone.
As a reporter, I always get a little excited knowing I’ll be out and about covering the excitement that some people wait all year for. I have to admit, being outside of the fun watching in can sometimes be just as enjoyable as experiencing it firsthand.
I always get a little nostalgic feeling while out walking through the fairgrounds looking to capture peoples’ perfect fair moments with my camera.
I’m always taken back to when my mom used to dress me like a cowgirl and take me to the county fair in Michigan, where I grew up.
My parents have many buried photos of me back then trying to pet the cows, feeding a bottle to a little goat, smashing my face into a snow cone and riding the little kiddie rides, complete with an armband pass that gave me a ticket to ride all day.
Back then, getting to experience all the attractions the fair offered was an adventurous deal for me. The fair brought a whole new world to my attention.
I grew up in town, so watching the young fair kids get to hangout in the barns with their animals when they weren’t showing them seemed like such a cool deal to me. I can still remember being amazed at kids washing their own horses before a show, or milking their cows and even brushing their pet rabbits.
It seemed like serious grown-up work, and I admired them for it.
I know I always left the fairgrounds begging my parents to get either a horse or piglet we could raise and keep in our backyard. I always promised I would feed them, brush them and give them what they needed just like the kids at the fair. It seemed like a reasonable deal back then, however today I realize why the answer was always “no.”
Although my time of being that animated kid at the fair is far gone, I still enjoy watching the fun continue into the new generations.
I now get to witness the little kids enjoying the same experiences for themselves. It seems every year, while I’m walking up and down the barn aisles looking for a great picture, I hear at least one kid asking their parents to buy some sort of pet. This always makes me smile. It’s a comforting feeling knowing things have not changed with being a kid at the fair.
Perhaps the lack of change is what keeps people coming back year after year. As kids grow into adults, the fair becomes a place to reminisce about what things were like when they were younger.
There will always be new people and maybe even a new ride here and there, but the feel and vibe of the fair is something I truly believe will stay the same forever.
BCR Staff Writer Goldie Currie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.