The Indiana State Fair
Upfront admission: I love fairs and festivals, big and small. The small ones can be especially entertaining for many reasons, like Hoagland, or Roanoke; but the big ones, like state fairs, really pack it in. The fun I mean; and, maybe, the pounds.
So Sunday it was To The Indiana State Fair, and for $14 (I think we could have saved $1 each if I'd been to CVS recently) entry was ours to Year of the Corn. (We had been warned that "there was corn all over" the fair, and spent our entire visit trying not to think of, nor make jokes about, "Children of the Corn," but to no avail.)
I'm guessing that the Fair sub-theme was, Year of Fried Foods, because even a veteran fair-goer like me was stunned at the choices of items--some (formerly healthy, most not) than can be deep-fried. Like, STRAWBERRIES! Why fry strawberries? And yet, someone has. And, pickles? Sodium aside, pickles are a pretty good snack, low cal, tasty, vitamin C, etc. Why ruin them with FRYING!?
Twinkies and Oreos, candy bars of various types, well maybe they deserve frying. But why bother? Just what does the FRYING add to them, besides grease, calories, and possible sudden future death?
The knowledge that the GREASE these nutrients are being fried in is TRANS-FAT FREE...not comforting, in the slightest.
I did NOT see fried corn, (popped yes, grilled, yes) but that's prob on the menu for next year.
Certainly an indulgence at the State Fair can be forgiven. I broke my "don't drink calories" rule by having a massive lemon shakeup. I countered with grilled chicken for lunch, taking only the smallest bite of the incredibly tasty skin.
We visited in the morning, so it was cooler than what it might have been; the crowd seemed light.
We somehow missed The World's Biggest Pig; also, The Pig With The Most Babies. Since I've seen them the past two years, and all pigs mostly looking alike, I did not feel overly deprived.
But the FFA hall, the DNR building, the kids petting area...we hit them all. The building where vets operate, on live TV, on live animals--oh yea, we hit that one right before lunch. The John Deere shop, the Homier tent, the flea market tent, all good. The IU tent, yea. The GM area, the Venus razor coupon trailer, yes. The commercial building. The 4H winners.
We missed the Superbowl Trophy--they announced it was on display just as we were leaving. A heavy Colts presence throughout the fair.
Not much music at the fair--oh I know, there are concerts I always miss, and high school band day, etc. But I couldn't help but wonder, in a state that's the "home of Hoagy Carmichael" and the hot-bed of high school band competition, why there aren't more little performance stages and groups entertaining scattered about? I'm just sayin'.
But on leaving the fair, the object of my desire, my No. 1 reason for visiting: a CREAM PUFF from the bakery. Cool, tall, full of whipped cream, drizzled in chocolate. Worth a two-hour drive and $14 admission fee. Who makes these things!? I can't find out.
Hit Trader Joe's on the way home and stocked on some pantry staples, like spaghetti sauce, olives, and cereal. Maybe next year, I won't have to stop....