August 11, 2003
How Now

Just back from a trip to Ohio and that perennial favorite, the state fair. I hadn't been to the fair since the late '80s and I had a sneaking suspicion that it had been moved, or at least changed, since then. But when I got out of the car I knew it by the humidity, and the dust, and the smell of bug spray. (Here's a representative link, accompanied by a photo of some reluctant-looking children dressed as llamas.)

The highlight of the fair, for me, has always been the Butter Cow, a lifesize butter sculpture that stands in a refrigerated glass case in the Dairy Barn. Fairgoers can shuffle past it on their way to buy gigantic bowls of ice cream (which, alas, I did not do). I did get to take a few photos, seen below.

I was not able to photograph:
-the pig race ("a snort time to post time!")
-our group eating roasted corn like a pack of crazed wolverines
-E. laughing in the chicken barn (well, I did photograph this, but have opted not to post, as it seems bad manners to laugh at animals)
-fried twinkies in any form.

Here's the Butter Cow, with its own Butter Churn. There was also a Butter Calf.

What's more, there was also a Butter Orville and Wilbur Wright.

We also saw a "Border Collie Demonstration" in which border collies herded sheep and ducks. This was actually a much lower-key event than you might think. The moving dark blur in this photo is the dog, of course, somewhat successfully inducing these ducks to run up and down a slide into a wading pool. The man off to the side is the trainer, a retired schoolteacher whose patience seemingly knew no bounds.

I find it suspicious that one bear in this group is wearing a hat. What does he know that the others don't?

Posted at August 11, 2003 09:10 PM

Ahhh, Ohio, I barely knew thee.

Posted by: brian on August 13, 2003 04:32 PM

My one and only trip to the Ohio State Fair while I went to OSU, I ended up buying a crappy set of Ginzu Knives. But it was fun!

Posted by: Andrew on August 14, 2003 03:38 PM

Ohio is always there, waiting for you! (uh, not sure if this is a comforting idea or not.)

Posted by: Anne on August 14, 2003 07:12 PM

I miss going to the state fair. There more or less isn't one out here; they have regional fairs instead.

The part of attending the Indiana State Fair that I liked the most was the air of timelessness that pervaded it. Standing in a pavilion full Boy Scout projects, it was impossible to tell that it was the '70s. It could of been 1950, 1932, or even, if you squinted, 1910.

Posted by: mike on August 14, 2003 09:25 PM
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