#5Faves: The County Fair

Five Favorites

We recently took our kids to the York Fair. Having grown up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, I did not frequent such fairs as a child. While I recall my family talking about a park fair that sounded akin to a traditional county fair, I’d never experienced one until I moved farther east, where sprawling farmland abounds. Here are my 5 Favorites from our experience:


The Animals

We strode up and down aisles of cows and goats. We marveled at the hours-old piglets. And my three youngest lapped up the soft, furry cuddles at the kids’ petting zoo, where they held kittens, rabbits, and guinea pigs for the first time in their lives.

(As a side note, am I the only (formerly) nursing mama whose heart pangs with empathy when I see a sow conked out while a dozen babies clamor for her teats? Or whose chest aches when I notice a cow’s udder dripping milk? I wanted to scream for someone to relieve the poor bovine posthaste.)

newborn piglets

Newborn piglets


The “Freak Show” Element

I treasure the memory of watching my two oldest fish through their respective wallet and change purse to find enough quarters to view The World’s Smallest Horse and accompanying attractions. They ran from one carefully-guarded display to the next, eager and wide-eyed. I laughed when my daughter returned exclaiming about the giant rat: “It’s a capybara!” These types of displays always spur my husband and I to reminisce about seeing the Minnesota Iceman at the local firemen’s carnival when we were kids. I also blame our fascination on The X-Files episode entitled “Humbug.”

freak show

Love me some old-fashioned side show attractions.


The Mechanical Bull

I’d never even seen one of these things in real life.  (Wait, maybe in a restaurant/bar in the 1980s after the release of Urban Cowboy . . .) After watching a couple good-natured attempts, my two-year-old looked at me with innocent eyes and said, “Me turn?” And so, since it was surrounded by inflatable surfaces and welcomed all ages, we let our toddler ride a mechanical bull.

mechanical bull

Riding the mechanical bull. I believe diapers provide an unfair advantage.


The Food

I’m not much into greasy fair food. The idea of deep-fired Oreos does nothing for me. But, we did share a delicious pumpkin funnel cake. There was a time after helping my mom make funnel cakes at our parish festival that I thought I’d never eat a funnel cake again, but apparently I’ve regained my love of the greasy, sugary blobs of dough. We enjoyed that and Kohr’s Frozen Custard, which I’d only ever eaten at the beach. So since we didn’t visit a beach this year, the cones were a special treat.


The Ambience

I often forget how much time I spend in a homogenous, white-collar town. So different from how and where I grew up. I enjoyed the mix of people and music at the fair, where you could hear plenty of great live music just for the price of admission. I think next year my husband and I will slip in a concert as a date night.


For more Five Favorites, visit Call Her Happy.

Do you visit the county fair? What’s your favorite part?

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