Summertime in Pennsy. Country fairs. It’s that time again. Every week-end it’s time to eat and watch people eat, listen to country bands, rock bands or just local bands on wooden stages, smell the greasy fried foods in the air, hear the carnival callers squawk “a winner every time”, listen for the splash of the clown being dunked by the guy that can throw the ball on target (I like that kind of guy), and eat funnel cakes, fried oreos and potato pancakes. Oh yea-I did say eat in the beginning. Food is pretty popular at the carnivals. Aside from drinking beer. Longest line would be the funnel cakes by far, second the potato pancakes, third probably the curly fries. Not going to mention the beer tent, that’s a separate entity set aside by the music stage and always popular and crowded.
This particular band had a clever idea. They advertised themselves and their shirts right on the front posts of the stage. Cute and profitable. Can’t forget their name when it’s right in front of you all night, right? I know I won’t forget their name. It stared at me the whole damn time I listened to them playing. Awfully ingenious for country folks, eh?
What do children see at a country fair? The rides. They see these colossal structures that twist and bend and emit colorful lights and screech weird sounds that beckon to them to climb aboard because after all, they’re children and don’t know any better. They haven’t heard about whip-lash or herniated discs and don’t care about throwing up the $8.00 funnel cake, $5.00 potato pancake, $4.00 candy apple, $6.00 cotton candy and $5.00 soda on the $7.50 ride for 3 minutes of guaranteed wild fun that they can tell their friends about tomorrow.
To me, sometimes the rides just look like pretty pictures. This one reminds me of a ship in the night. Kind of like a tall mast of a ship.
Hey, it’s just what I see. What I see now. My kids are all grown. I used to take them to carnivals when they were little ones. I let them go on the rides and eat the food. They played the games. I put down the money so they would win. My daughter would bring home her stuffed animals and my sons would be batting each other with the blow-up bats in the back seat of the van on the way home while they were in their sugar high. It’s all in good fun. The money usually goes to a volunteer fire department or to a church that’s sponsoring the event anyway.
People watching is the best part tho of country fairs. Perhaps a little frightening, but always my favorite. From the adorable babies in strollers, to the senior citizens strolling hand-in-hand, there are all types in attendance. Teen girls with too much make-up and too little clothing, teen boys trying to look tough enough to catch someone’s eyes, bikers with a Harley, old-timer’s with a story to tell if someone will just listen…they’re all there.
A piece of summertime, the country fair is. I like potato pancakes and funnel cake and cotton candy, I admit. I’m not as adventurous to try some of the foods offered as I’ve seen tho. Here’s a run-down 8 carnival foods that you might never want to try (or maybe you would) who knows?http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/photos/8-carnival-foods-we-dare-you-to-try/battered-fried-and-served-on-a-stick.
So why do I go? For the food. To people-watch. For the cool night air. To support whomever is sponsoring the carnival. I like to see if the band is playing any kind of music I might want to listen to that night. And maybe if I’m lucky? An old-timer might just sit down next to me and tell me a story.