Monday, August 25, 2008

Presidential Politics Inescapable, Even at State Fair

With vacation closing in and the work week looming we figured that yesterday was probably our best bet to make it to the annual Maryland State Fair. Plus, we wanted to see how Chris made out during the first week of the Home Arts Baking Competition, though she wasn't optimistic about her chances.

Turned out she did better than anticipated, with her chocolate cake and white cake receiving third- and fourth-place ribbons, respectively. Week 2 entries need to be in by tomorrow night so she's planning on some additional baking over the next two days to get her entries in shape.

Apparently, we weren't the only ones who thought hitting the Fair yesterday was a good plan. Based on the filled parking lots and bumper-to-bumper traffic on York Road it seems everybody in the state wanted a chance to get out and stretch their legs on the fairgrounds.

After doing a big loop around the grounds we finally secured a parking spot across from the main entrance, and picked up a nail in one of our tires in the process. Sigh... not the expense I was looking to encounter four days before vacation, but I guess that's life.

Once we checked the entries and saw how Chris and our friend Debbie from Roguefood did in the baking we high-tailed it down to the 4-H barn so we could show Ryan some of the cows, chicks, ducks and pigs in attendance. Along the way we even had a brush with royalty as we saw the MarDel Watermelon Queen in a rare moment out of the spotlight, sitting on a bench placing a phone call. Checking on her subjects no doubt.

Ryan seemed to like all the livestock and barnyard animals, frequently sitting bolt upright in her stroller, pointing and saying "woof-woof" – her stock animal noise for everything other than ducks (which get a guttural "quack-quack" that sounds like a cross between Lauren Bacall and Cookie Monster).

It was interesting to see entire families hanging out with their animals and kids curled up in the hay with their calves and other entries in the competition.

More surprising was the political statements being made in the stalls. From a McCain sign stuck in a bale of hay to a cow plastered with an Obama bumper sticker, even the State Fair isn't immune from some politicking. (For the record I spotted far more McCain stickers on attendees but this is strictly unscientific polling with a margin of error of +/- 100%).

Sadly, the Fair continues to disappoint with its food offerings. Last year's Deep Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly was still being featured, along with the obligatory deep fried candy bars, Oreo cookies, etc. There didn't appear to be anything new on the artery-clogging horizon and we simply settled for a sweet and cold lemonade.

After all-too-briefly hooking up with WP Tandy (Smile Hon), Davida Breier (Xerography Debt) and family, it was time to head back home. Next year's trip to the Fair will undoubtedly include some kid-sized rides for Ryan and, hopefully, some deep-fried atrocities for yours truly.

1 comment:

John said...

I never made it to the State Fair this year. That's fine, since I had other things to do. Maybe next year I'll submit a cake. And I didn't know cows could vote :)