Monday, October 22, 2007

Our State Fair Is A Great State Fair

This weekend I visited my parents in Raleigh, and got to go to the NC State Fair. It's the only state fair that I've ever visited, but I think it's a pretty good one. I love the colors in the photo above, of the entrance to Kiddieland. Kiddieland itself was a little frightening and led to a discussion of how many fair attendees actually ride the scary-looking rides there, but let's just focus on the pretty colors, and the pretty photos that those scary-looking rides make. And isn't the sky always just perfect in October?

This is the winning cake-decorating design in the non-wedding category. Every decoration on that thing seemed to be made of fondant and/or icing except for the measuring tape around the base-- this includes the embroidery thread and regular thread and all the fabric and notions. Very impressive in person.
I also really liked this cascading cake. What fun-- so free, unlike most of the cakes there! You can't really see the silver dragees on the end of each pendant in this photo, but it was really a magical cake. Too bad fondant tastes so bad. The crafty entries (cakes, garment sewing, quilts, crochet) are some of my favorite parts of the fair, along with the animals and the (terrible but wonderful!) food.

The Mt. Olive Pickle people set up shop in the same group of buildings as the crafts, and we always enjoy a 50 cent kosher dill. After the yummy dill there was a pulled pork barbeque sandwich at one of the church booths and ice cream churned by John Deere motors near the Village of Yesteryear.

That Village is great fun. It's a group of "traditional" crafters supported by the NC Department of Agriculture for over 50 years. The members wear pioneer-type clothing and demonstrate and display their old-timey crafts like woodcarving, soap-making, furniture making, weaving. This guy's realistic decoys went for $7000 apiece-- so beautiful. Plus, he probably makes enough money at the fair to take it easy for awhile. I'm so sorry I missed out on the hand-braided rugs made by Virginia Boone-- they were all sold (well, except for an ugly purple one) when we got there. She had a beautiful gold and tan one with brown tweeds and red that I would have loved to bring home for my craft area. I hope she'll still be alive next year. And the animals. We saw bunnies and some amazing geese and turkeys, ducks and chickens (such plumage!), cows with their sprayed-up mohawks and goats playing king of the mountain on piles of straw. My one regret is that since this was the last weekend of the fair the pigs had all gone home. Too bad-- their beady little eyes always seem to be trying to tell me something important.

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