Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Fair

Adelaide successfully began Kindergarten last week.  She got off the bus that first day sweaty and tired, but finally perked up enough to tell us about her day and let us know that she had fun and liked her new school.  She quickly learned that Kindergarten is very different from preschool, however. 

Soon after we all got home, Derek asked Adelaide if she had made any new friends at school.  She replied, "Daddy, Kindergarten isn't like preschool.  You work all day long at Kindergarten."  Apparently Adelaide + Work = No Friends.  At least for now. 

After her first two full days of school, we decided to reward her with a trip to...  The Iowa State Fair!

I've made it pretty clear that I am not originally from Iowa.  I grew up almost seven hours south of here, in Kansas.  Where I'm from, the county fairs are terrific.  There's lots of people involved, lots to see and do, and because you're in an area of the country that doesn't see a whole lot of excitement, a county fair is a Big Deal. 

The Kansas State Fair, while also pretty neat, is really just like a Kansas county fair on steroids: bigger, but with a higher voice and an irrational temper.  (I may or may not have just taken the steroid analogy a bit far.  But believe me:  I could have gone farther.)  For the most part, larger amounts of the same stuff that you find on a county level.

Here in Iowa, the county fairs are pretty pathetic.  Not the least bit impressive.

The Iowa State Fair, on the other hand, is pretty dang awesome. 

First of all, it's humongously gigantic.  Or maybe gigantically humongous.  Either way, it's big.

It also has crazy stuff like this:

Behold, the Butter Cow.  That's 600 pounds of pure cream Iowa butter.

Also, the Butter Cow's friend, Butter Farmer, doing something to a Butter Calf and her Butter Mama.

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Butter Cow at The Fair.  That's 100 Butter Cows.  Moo.

There are fair- and farm- themed ice sculptures:

That's a cow, a pig, a 1st Place ribbon, and... maybe a motorcycle.  Because nothing says fairs and farms like an ice Harley.

There was also a big 4-H building, full of awesome 4-H projects: food, clothing, stitching, wood-working, antique restoration; you name it, it was there.

This was one of my favorites.

Some crafty little 4-Her took one of those toy horses- the kind are attached to a metal frame with four big springs, and kids can sit and bounce around on- detached it from the frame, recovered it with fabric and paint (and probably half a gallon of Mod Podge), attached a pole, and made it into a darling carousel horse.  I love this.

I also lingered for quite a while around the 4-H cakes.  Because, you know, cake.

Those are frosting roses.  It was beautiful and absolutely deserving of that blue ribbon.

And something about this coconut cake just spoke to me.

Maybe it's because Derek doesn't like coconut and so I haven't made anything with it in the last... oh, seven years or so.  I miss coconut.

When we weren't looking at all the cool stuff, we were eating... and eating, and eating. 

We ate so much that I think all that delicious fair food deserves it's own post.


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