Sunday, July 29, 2007

Elkhart Co. Fair in review...

I was hoping to get to this one a bit sooner (like while the fair was still going) but when the schedule is pressed blogging gets pushed WAY down the priority list. What follows is merely my humble opinion on the parts of the fair that I was able to take in.
Not a long list here. Saw a few of the harness races the first Saturday. One of our boys picked the winner all three times. That is a power that could be used for evil.
The kids got wristbands on Thursday because the $1 ride night was rained out largely Wednesday evening. I did not personally ride any rides this year but the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. In the I'm getting old category; this is the first time in my life's memory that they did not have the Zipper ride. It was fun to watch my kids enjoy some of the oldies like Tilt-A-Whirl.
The tractor pulls were Thursday and I was able to catch almost all of them. The massive, multi-engined, or jet powered ones are cool but my favorites have always been the 2 and 4 wheel drive pickups. They did have the semi tractors this year, which were fairly disappointing; save the first one with the sparks. I took quite a few pictures and when I have a chance to sort through them a bit will be posting some of my favorites.
Due to the overlap with Camp we were unable to check out the rodeo or demolition derby.
Dog Club:
This portion was definitely an up and down thing. We went into the fair with fairly good hopes of high showings; Chili was really seeming to get it, even the off-leash stuff. In both Agility and Obedience demonstrations he started off strong and got distracted midway which led to disasters. In Showmanship things went smoother but a couple minor things cost Caleb in the end. He finished 1.5 points behind the winner. The important thing is the discipline and confidence building that comes out of these experiences. Ribbons are nice but character lasts.
Let me quickly begin with my main beef about this year's food: WHERE HAVE ALL THE CURLY FRIES GONE???? The places that have always had the fresh made curly fries have gone to the pre-bought bagged seasoned ones -- not the same. It seemed to be the year of the onion blossom (we never got one though) everyone had them it seemed. I'll quickly run through what I and my family deemed the best this year: (in no particular order)
Neddermans: although I personally never visited the "steak tip man" this year, he was there and as always had a line of people waiting. My family made a couple visits.
Flappers and More: right next to the steak man is probably my favorite newer booth. They have been at the fair for a couple of years and they are great for their food and especially their value. Pulled pork sandwiches, Pig wings, and my favorite: Southern fried wings are on the agenda here. You get 12-14 of the fried wings for $5.
Dairy Bar: Year in, year out, you cannot miss getting a custard from here
Giant Tenderloin: raised the price but still a full meal. The patty is nearly the size of the paper plate it is served on.
Bounthans: This is almost always one of my favorites because I love Chinese and they have a great value and big portions. Fried rice, entree, and an egg roll for $7. This year it was just OK.
Nelsons: They win for best surprise this year in my book. For $4 they make a large wrap sandwich with their chicken (mmmmmmmmmmm), lettuce, tomato, and cheese.
We spend a lot of time at the fair so good value is something we look for; it's getting harder to find all the time, but it is out there. Another good year -- not the place to hang out if you are trying to lose a few pounds though.

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