Where can you find pigs, preachers, leaping dogs, carnival rides, tractors, and food? You guessed it: the county fair in Fertile, Minnesota, next to Climax. These multi-day events happen all over the midwest during the summer. We attended the one in Fertile.
And it was great.
Because it was Sunday and they had “preaching on the grounds,” we decided to combine our Sunday church service with the country fair. I did miss the fine print that said the preacher would be a woman. At least she didn’t distort the gospel since she never talked about it. The music was good, though.
Foot tapping good.
The upside is that they transformed the preaching area into a parade route where everyone in the county with a tractor, old car, or trailer came through throwing candy at us. And for a bonus, they redid the area again into a demolition derby.
It’s amazing at what you can do to a church service if you have a pile of dirt and a few front-end loaders.
We Could Not Resist
Our goal was to mill around for a bit and then go home, but there was so much happening that our “milling around” turned into an all day, early evening event. It was that good.
The smell of pigs, horses, cows, chickens, ducks, hamsters, dogs, and cats was stupendous. It was a “full on” countrified event that entirely satisfied my inner-redneck. And then there were the rides, the petting zoo, all sorts of 4H displays, plenty of food, and four-wheeled everything.
We toured the barns first. They had scores of prized animals, big and small. I had no idea that there were so many brands of rabbits. Or chickens.
After the barnyard, we went to the petting zoo where we saw birds, camels, llamas, potbelly pigs, goats, and more. (We have since talked about getting one of those little pigs. They were so cute.)
Be a Kid at the County Fair
Later, we could not resist the rides, or at least two of my children could not. Tristen seems to be in the later stages of her childhood.
Now, I’m sad.
But I’m dealing with it, though I have not come to terms with her growing lack of desire for kid things.
Fortunately, the two other children are clinging to these wonderful years, but the clock is ticking for them too. In the meantime, they got their “fix on” by riding most of the rides. Multiple times. I was so happy for them.
The biggest draw was the dog jumping contest. The fairground folks had filled a large pool with water and then had the dogs jump from a platform into the water. Each trainer threw a “bone looking thing” way out in front of the dog as it was leaping from the platform. The judges had a laser that measured the dog’s jump distance.
Step Back in Time
It was a great opportunity, and we can check it off our list, though I’m game to do it again. And again.
It did appear that many of the folks took the county fair seriously. The 4H kids were the most serious. Pig and pie competition is big business as it sets the youngsters up for future college and vocational choices.
The country residents were also into it, which I suppose it is because there is not much to do in the area. The towns are small, and the endless fields are massive. And the work is hard, a far cry from a lot of my fellow Americans.
I did appreciate the simple life in the breadbasket of our country. I was also grateful for the lack of civil discord and nonsensical noise that seems to be accelerating at warp speed everywhere else.
There was also a tent meeting with an old-timey preacher doing his thing. Nine people were attending. All of them except for one teen was over sixty years old. I’m not sure what to think about that. They seemed out-of-step and disconnected from our culture. It was an innocuous echo from another era. Nobody was interested in what they were doing. Sigh.