This weekend the mountain area holds the event I wait for all year – the Mariposa County Fair. Nothing beats a good old fashioned county fair!
The fair always brings back wonderful childhood memories for me. The smells, the rides, the exhibits, even the carnies warm my heart.
I grew up over on the Central Coast, and every year my family made the annual pilgrimage to the San Luis Obispo County Fair in Paso Robles. In the old days, the Paso Fair, as locals call it, was really just like the Mariposa County Fair is now.
In those days the fair wasn’t just about entering contests to win products – although my mom did “win” a sunroom addition to our house for only $5,000 – it was about entering things you made with your own two hands to win a ribbon, maybe a bit of cash, and some bragging rights.
I still have a check stub from 1973, a remittance for three first-place ribbons and one third place, with jams that I made as a 4-H member. We picked the berries from bushes filled with thorns and who the heck knows what else, and spent the whole day in the kitchen preparing the jam for canning. In those days you won money (it may still be that way, I’m not sure). $2.50 was big bucks back then.
Anyway, back to the present. Where else could you possibly go this weekend and see Mariposa County’s tallest weed? I’ll bet you didn’t know that you can find a whole display of tables beautifully set with china, silver and crystal glasses waiting to be judged.
The animal barns provide hours of interest for young and old. The boys and girls who spend months, raising their lambs, pigs, cows etc. waiting with anticipation evident on their faces, to see if their animals will sell for a good price, and the sadness on their faces when they do.
The food is both good and “bad.” Come on, think about a fair corn dog, can you smell it? Those cinnamon rolls with that yummy cream cheese frosting, fried Snickers bars – yah, I know I need to stay away from those!
The fair after dark creates a whole new energy, particularly for the younger kids. Remember the Tilt-o-Whirl or getting to ride the Ferris Wheel while sitting next to your sweetie? The lights from the rides make everything and everyone look just a little better.
I think what I love the most about the fair (other than the corn dogs) is that there are a lot of things to do, but I never feel rushed to do them. An almost aimless stroll through the exhibit halls, ahhhh, it’s a great life.
See you at the Fair!
The Mariposa County Fair runs from Aug. 31 – Sept. 3
For everything you need to about the Mariposa County Fair go to www.mariposafair.com