Last night we went to the Tanana Valley Fair and blew our budget for the whole week. I wish there was a way to just see the farm animals and giant cabbages without having to go past the games and rides. The thing that irks me the most is the rows and rows of tents hawking their wares that have nothing to do with a county fair. Okay, I can understand how this may be a big money maker for people who make pet ID tags for a living, but do we really need Mermaid Imports at the fair? What do things made in China have anything to do with a county fair?
If I was in charge of the world, county fairs would not allow anything not grown or made locally by hand to be sold at a county fair. Heavy equipment would be limited to farm equipment or environmentally friendly machinery that uses renewable sources of energy, like windmills. No hot tubs (cedar built saunas okay), no four-wheelers, no Army tanks. Just rows and rows of honey, goat cheese, wool hats and mittens, jams, pickles, birch bowls, wooden toys, handmade musical instruments, kites, fleece clothing and backpacks made out of recycled plastic water bottles, and organic fruits and vegetables for sale. How about a race track with cars that run on recycled vegetable oil. There would be a steady supply from the food booths. What if each car, instead of being decorated with decals advertising Home Depot, Lowe's, and Old Spice, each car had decals of the stand where the oil came from: Elephant Ears, deep fried zuchini and beer batter halibut.
And another thing: do we really need deep fried Twinkies? Does any other country on Earth take a nasty, artificially flavored snack pumped full of chemical preservatives and dip it in hot grease? 'nuff said.
The annual farm fair family photo.