Bloomsburg Fair 2012.

Five years ago I had complained to my co-worker A. that there were no state fairs in the New York area, the kind you hear about with the butter sculptures and deep-fried beer. He mentioned that three hours away where he’s from there is exactly that. So I went and it was everything a girl could want and more. Here’s the blog entry on that. I wanted to take my parents but every year when it would roll around I would be busy or my parents would be out of the country, whatever. But this year my dad had nothing going on, so we went. I had a great time. My father had a slightly less great time due to his disinterest in livestock and livestock-related activities. But still, a fun time was had. Since it was pretty much the same as last time (fried foods? check. tractors? check.) I’m not going to give a big ole overview again.

Yay fair!

As we came in, we skedaddled past the vendors selling threshers and tillers and backhoes to the livestock-judging area. We saw the standards – cows, horses, pigs, sheep. But some of the goats were new to me. These are small velvety goats. They looked really soft. These two were snuggling.

This one was napping. Look at him. Do you not wish to climb into his paddock and nap laying against him? I bet you do.

Now, every goat I’ve ever seen has big floppity ears. But because humans cannot stop themselves from screwing around with genetics, I saw this goat. And he was not alone. There were others like him.

Little finger-ears. What’s up with that, breeders? Is that a thing we need? I’m going to go with “no”.

There was the rabbit and chicken-judging area where I saw two bunnies that I seriously considered shoving into my shirt and fleeing off into the night with. They had great complicated titles too. They are “Lilac Mini-Rex Doe Jr.s”. They were wee and softy-soft and I wanted to have them in my life. Especially the second one who was starting to fall asleep but looks like she’s consumed with rage. ANGEE BUNNEE (really just drowzee bunnee).

There were a few new and different beastie-activities to engage in this year, and you bet your sweet patoot I went to all of them. In one giant shed there was a partitioned-off area where for $2.00 you could frolick with butterflies. The two dollars went to the local hospital, so I was totally going. Charity AND insects? I’m in. They handed me a Q-tip soaked in blue Gatorade (really) and sent me past two screen doors (to prevent escapees). And then there were a gazillion monarchs and other like butterflies fluttering around.

You know how when you go to butterfly enclosures, the butterflies never land on you and you leave dejected and disappointed? Not here. There were two people at the exit, and you had to turn around in a circle so they could make sure that none of the lil’ flappers were clinging on. I was looking at two little mothy guys when – whump! – a big hefty monarch landed on my finger and startled me. He was the biggest chubbiest monarch I have ever seen.

Then another one took a liking to my pants. He landed on my pant leg and did that open, close, open, close thing they do. I didn’t want to startle him, so I dragged that leg around slowly behind me like I was a butterfly-encrusted zombie. “Ehhhhhhhhhhh, braaaaaaainssss… and pollen.”

Then further on there was a “pet a fawn for $3.00” area, and I was in there before you could say “potential to catch lime disease”. They were so sweet. I plopped down on a hay bale and commenced lovin’ on this little guy. Look at those eyelashes.

There were two smaller fawns in there, and one was all white. The non-albino one was all about licking, so he happily clippety-clopped over to me and started suckling on my fingers. Their mouths feel almost identical to ours. They have sharpish bottom front teeth, and they have a fleshy tongue as opposed to cats and dogs, who have flat tongues. It was very sweet. Other people offered to feed them milk, which seemed to sate the little fellers.

The other cool animal-thing I saw was on the opposite side. I’ve seen many horses before (like this one wearing neon green shoes):

but as I headed over to the stables on the other side, I saw two of the biggest horses I’ve ever seen in my life. Huge. HUGE. They are called Percherons, and they are draft horses, like Clydesdales. Twelve hands high, 1,500 to 2,500 pounds. Humongous. Here’s a picture of one of them. I thought his pattern was lovely.

And here are two people standing next to Percherons to give you a sense of scale. BIG HORSES.

After thoroughly examining all the beasties, my father and I headed over to the Horticulture and Home Arts and Crafts judging area. They had a flower-arranging area that blew my mind, and I’ll tell you why. I felt like I had wandered into 1972. The building was all wood paneling, there was a giant clock made of carnations in the center of the room, and Lawrence Welk-style music was piped in. Along both walls were cut, dried and potted flowers and plants for judging. Apparently the arranged-flower theme this year had a time motif (hence the carnation clock). There was every plant imaginable. I took photos of the clovers, the bonsais, the cactii and the dahlias. Look at the giant blooms in the center.

Also, whenever The Moomins and I buy a fern, we love it and care for it and give it food and light and water and it dies. Look at these guys. I am so jealous.

But what really made it feel like 1972 were the organized themed displays. Like the canning and jarring area. Anyone notice the open bible as part of the display?

Every fiber of my being wanted to yell out, “I got your implements of husbandry RIGHT HERE,” but I did not because I am classy.

The clincher, though, was this. Take it all in. The font on the signs. The scalloped, off-white display niches. And, of course, the Phyllis Diller daisy arrangement.

And there was a ton of produce. Everything you could imagine. I took a picture of the “Bean and Brussel Sprout” quadrant.

The top shelf is regular garlic. The second shelf is elephant garlic. That is some large garlic.

In the Home Arts and Crafts barn was, without a doubt, the whitest thing I have ever seen, ever, and that was the Angel Food Cake Bake-Off. It didn’t help that the booth was manned by Betty White’s doppelganger.

There was, not surprisingly, a ton of food to choose from. This is a very Polish area, so Polish cuisine made a strong appearance.

What are cactus taters? Anyone?

The thing I noticed this year was the church groups selling foods. I insisted on saying the church name followed by the foods offered therein in a loud monotone voice, which caused me to crack up and my father to distance himself from me. For example:




I amuse myself.

Here is a sandbox filled with corn.

And here is a typical cross-section of the people of the Yoo-Nited States of ‘Merka. We are not a beautiful people.

And finally, an organ that plays by itself. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or it was going to give me nightmares. I’m still undecided.

Anyway, I may go again next year because even though it’s a three-hour drive from my house, I get to see stuff that does not make its way to New York.

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