Ohio State Fair

Featuring the state fair logo, I saw this in a special decorative food sculpting competition taking place in one of the exhibition halls.

Made it out to the Ohio State Fair earlier this week, mostly to see Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson play, but also to take in the delights of the fair, too.   Now even though we were there to see Merle and Kris, it was a different singer/song providing the soundtrack in my head pretty much the whole time we were there:  John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses”.

Having grown up in suburban/urban settings, the state fair always feels almost exotic to me.  Livestock, and giant gourds, and tractor salesmen.  And there are so many categories for people to enter things in:  agricultural, of course, but all kinds of interesting crafts, too.  Those 4H kids stay busy!

Winning wooden fish in a wood carving category.

Winning preserves and vintage state fair pennants.

My husband doing his best “American Gothic” scowl. Who knew Brillo Pad art was even a thing?

Trooping around with our friends, T & M. The sky ride thing above is sponsored by White Castle and called the “Sky Slider”. Hopefully minus the angry stomach the burgers usually engender!

What would the state fair be without some bizarre food options, deep fried and usually on a stick? Yet deep fried butter is going a bit too far, no?

Now, deep fried buckeyes, on the other hand, are hard to be mad at: what could say Ohio State Fair more loudly? (Buckeyes are the state tree, and while the real nuts are mildly toxic, the candy versions are pretty tasty.) Nevertheless, I did not partake.

Deep fried cheese on a stick with marinara and ranch dressing? Well, yes, we did sample that.

T & M with some Merle fans to the right, pre-show. Vegetarian options were pretty slender for M, although we found her some sort of broccoli spinach cheese pocket concoction after some searching.

M & K greeting a lovely cow. (It’s not all fried food!)

Alas, the cow milking station was closed. I got a pin that said “I milked a cow at the state fair!” as a kid when my parents took our family to the fair after moving to Ohio. I was able to milk that cow on my first try, none of my sibs had the touch. 🙂

The butter cow sculpture is a fair tradition that made its first appearance back in 1903, according to the Columbus Dispatch. An odd, old-timey must see.

Chuck-wagon display extolling the wonders of beef.

After the concert, we took in the sights of the midway.

We even braved a few rides, my husband eventually sticking out his arms, plane-style, when we were on the swings.

The Haunted House ride was a bust, although I did appreciate the serpentine fangs Edward was sporting.

The Hunted Jungle ride, however, wasn’t half bad.

Terror on the Haunted Jungle ride!

The show was good.  Merle and Kris are such seasoned pros, and made a nice combo.  They seemed to enjoy playing together, even though it took Merle a little bit to warm up.  But once he did, it was excellent.  It was fun to be part of the enthusiastic crowd, singing along with “Mama Tried” and other classics.  Their version of “Pancho and Lefty” made me happy, and I liked when they pulled newer singer Jamey Johnson up and he covered “Long Black Veil”.  And Kris Kristofferson sure came across as a sweet aged hippie.  Good stuff!

Also?  There was this entry in the doll-making competition that made me smile.  Check her out:

Meemaw on a rocker, resplendent in fuzzy bunny slippers, shower cap, a robe, and pearls, smoking a ciggie and drinking some wine.  Although this doll didn’t win a blue ribbon, she sure made us smile!
And, to quote Mr. Mellencamp and the song that was stuck on repeat in my head, “Ain’t that America”?  🙂

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