Down at the fairgrounds, they’ve only just packed up the last of the midway amusement rides and swept up after the festivities last weekend.
Our family went on opening day. We toured the animal barns, rode the thrill rides, and put our 2-year-old on the green John Deere tractor for the obligatory photo op. Along with consuming my share of kettle corn and funnel cakes, I got a healthy dose of nostalgia with my fair experience.
I grew up in a small farming town in Pennsylvania, so I went with my family to at least three fairs every summer. It was a tradition that marked the end of summer vacation. Since we were townies, we had no animals to show.
My mom made spectacular jams and jellies, but she never entered anything. No, we went as outsiders. It may seem strange, but it was kind of a literary experience for us, something out of our tattered copy of “Charlotte’s Web.” We reenacted the same story — the same family story — each time we went. And of course, that story revolved around food.
My sister and I each got to choose a treat. I usually went straight for the cotton candy, in various unnatural shades.