8/31/2013

Going to the Fair

Walking into the fairgrounds
There's nothing like a good old-fashioned county fair. If you want a classic, it has to be the Wyoming County Fair, commonly known as the "Pike Fair." Since the fair is held in Pike, NY it makes perfect sense. When we travel back East to NY in August, the fair is a must. As with many county fairs in the northeast, the Wyoming Co. Fair has been around a long time--since 1843. It moved around to different towns until it was permanently settled in the village of Pike some years later. That was because it had empty potato storage barns, which were perfect for housing the livestock and vendors for a week.* Historical note: Pike is no longer a village, but a hamlet. It became unincorporated in 2009.

The hogs
The fair hasn't changed since I was growing up in another hamlet--East Koy, just about 3-4 miles away. While other county fairs charge a stiff admission price, no admission fee has ever been charged as far as I know. The rides have changed a bit over the years, but the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel remain popular fixtures.

Eating BBQ
The BIG tractor


Fairs are really all about celebrating agriculture, and Pike Fair does that with aplomb. Whether it's a prize pumpkin, jam, chicken, hog, or cow you'll find it at the fair. There's nothing like walking the livestock barns--the smell of sawdust, hay, and manure filling the air. Cows are mooing, pigs squealing, and some horse is snorting its irritation with the whole deal. There are the 4-H competitions with dogs, horses, and livestock. The school exhibits--paper mache castles, waxed leaves, drawings in every media covering the display boards. 

Then the big guns appear for the ever popular tractor pulls on Friday and Saturday nights. The roar of astoundingly huge tractors engines entertain the masses with their equally astounding power.

Walking the fairway is a veritable feast for the senses. The ring of the bell when someone on the fairway scores in the ring toss. The music of the merry-go-round and the thrum of the crowd. The smell of fried dough, cotton candy, and burgers waft along with the crowds. You must check out all the vendors in the business buildings and see what free gizmo they're giving away. Be sure to stuff it in your bag, so you can toss it out at home. Why do we feel the need take free stuff we'll never use? 

The fair is where you meet up with people you haven't seen in years. In fact, most of our time was catching up with old friends in between eating chicken BBQ and walking the grounds. It's a one-stop visiting opportunity. The vendors are the same year after year, predictably stationed in the same space. You know where everything is and the familiarity is comfortable. 

There's that home-like feel as you enter--the tractors and cars at the entrance, the VFW or Letchworth Band Boosters hotdog and burger stands, the merry-go-round that's been in the exact same spot for endless years. The one David and I rode as kids, as did our daughters, and our grandsons. Nice memories.
Washing "You Know What" off the shovel.
The Iconic Rhode Island Red








Cow Barn

We stroll back to the car with our treat of powdered sugar coated fair waffles. Until the next time--good old Pike Fair.




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Positively encouraging

8/31/2013

Going to the Fair

Walking into the fairgrounds
There's nothing like a good old-fashioned county fair. If you want a classic, it has to be the Wyoming County Fair, commonly known as the "Pike Fair." Since the fair is held in Pike, NY it makes perfect sense. When we travel back East to NY in August, the fair is a must. As with many county fairs in the northeast, the Wyoming Co. Fair has been around a long time--since 1843. It moved around to different towns until it was permanently settled in the village of Pike some years later. That was because it had empty potato storage barns, which were perfect for housing the livestock and vendors for a week.* Historical note: Pike is no longer a village, but a hamlet. It became unincorporated in 2009.

The hogs
The fair hasn't changed since I was growing up in another hamlet--East Koy, just about 3-4 miles away. While other county fairs charge a stiff admission price, no admission fee has ever been charged as far as I know. The rides have changed a bit over the years, but the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel remain popular fixtures.

Eating BBQ
The BIG tractor


Fairs are really all about celebrating agriculture, and Pike Fair does that with aplomb. Whether it's a prize pumpkin, jam, chicken, hog, or cow you'll find it at the fair. There's nothing like walking the livestock barns--the smell of sawdust, hay, and manure filling the air. Cows are mooing, pigs squealing, and some horse is snorting its irritation with the whole deal. There are the 4-H competitions with dogs, horses, and livestock. The school exhibits--paper mache castles, waxed leaves, drawings in every media covering the display boards. 

Then the big guns appear for the ever popular tractor pulls on Friday and Saturday nights. The roar of astoundingly huge tractors engines entertain the masses with their equally astounding power.

Walking the fairway is a veritable feast for the senses. The ring of the bell when someone on the fairway scores in the ring toss. The music of the merry-go-round and the thrum of the crowd. The smell of fried dough, cotton candy, and burgers waft along with the crowds. You must check out all the vendors in the business buildings and see what free gizmo they're giving away. Be sure to stuff it in your bag, so you can toss it out at home. Why do we feel the need take free stuff we'll never use? 

The fair is where you meet up with people you haven't seen in years. In fact, most of our time was catching up with old friends in between eating chicken BBQ and walking the grounds. It's a one-stop visiting opportunity. The vendors are the same year after year, predictably stationed in the same space. You know where everything is and the familiarity is comfortable. 

There's that home-like feel as you enter--the tractors and cars at the entrance, the VFW or Letchworth Band Boosters hotdog and burger stands, the merry-go-round that's been in the exact same spot for endless years. The one David and I rode as kids, as did our daughters, and our grandsons. Nice memories.
Washing "You Know What" off the shovel.
The Iconic Rhode Island Red








Cow Barn

We stroll back to the car with our treat of powdered sugar coated fair waffles. Until the next time--good old Pike Fair.




No comments: