Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Alaska State Fair

We were lucky that Logan's vacation coincided with the Alaska State Fair, which is i the next town over, Palmer. Yeah, it seems strange that the State Fair would be in a town even smaller than the one we live in, but they certainly have the space for it.

There don't seem to be many places to have a fair up here. There's the State Fair in Palmer and I know I saw a place for fairgrounds on the map of Fairbanks when we took our little jaunt up there a few days ago. I'm not even sure if Anchorage has fairgrounds.

So that would probably explain why the Alaska State Fair was about the same size as the El Dorado County Fair in Northern California. That was the one I went to most of my life.

So here's some differences, and I know the people who understand the most will be the ones who also live in Northern California and have been to the El Dorado County Fair. But this may be comparable to many others across the US.

The strangest part for me was the weather. I'm used to blazing hot sun and wearing my red shorts with the buttoning pocket so I don't loose my wallet on the rides. Sometimes I'd even get sunburned because I didn't put on enough sunblock that morning.

But here in Alaska, I was wearing long jeans, a sweatshirt, and Logan got me one of those winter hats with the long tassels from the ears and I wore it most of the time we were at the fair. And I was comfortable! And it rained for part of the day, but not much more than a sprinkle.

There were more booths and interesting things for sale at the Alaska State Fair. And it was totally crammed with people and wheelchairs and baby strollers. We couldn't walk anywhere without getting caught behind people or almost getting run over by impolite ones coming the other direction. I swear they needed lines painted on the paths and stop lights for each booth.

There were just as many rides and the same ones that you usually see, the Gravitron, the spinning strawberries and dragon roller coasters for the kids, the Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round, the scary ones that spin you upside down. They also had that slingshot one, but I don't remember seeing that at El Dorado.

El Dorado County definitely had the Alaska State Fair beat in the animal department. There were tons of empty cages here, no horses, and a couple of cows. It was mostly rabbits, some chickens, a few sheep, pigs, and goats.

But Alaska had some fantastic entertainment shows. We got sight of a group that played all sorts of familiar songs with a country/Irish style and they danced with exuberant energy while they played their banjos and violins and guitars and such. Complete with audience participation, of course.

We didn't go on any rides or play any games. We mostly just visited booths. By the time we left, though, I was depressed and sad. I missed my family. I know going to fairs is not my husband's cup of tea. He's just not into it. But now I have no one else to go with. I used to go with my friends and my family. Play games with Tiffy, ride the Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round with Myndi, check out the animals with my father, the crafts and projects with my mother, and crash the bumper cars with my brother.

Sigh. This has to be the hardest part about living in Alaska: being so far away from the people I love.

But at least I got my Hawaiian Shaved Ice!

1 comment:

Dark Rapunzel said...

I miss going to the fair with you, too. We used to go together every year, shouting movie quotes and such when we got to the top of the ferris wheel!

I haven't been to the fair since you left.