Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fair Adventures

Tuesday marked a round of firsts for the Bauer Bunch at the Southwest Arkansas District Fair.

{One of which was not me riding the Gravitron.}

We started in downtown Hope at the fair parade. We lined our chairs along the crowded street and settled in for Nora's first show. Finally, after a time or two of pulling my daughter back from the pavement, it began. Her baby blues lit up when she heard the fire truck's sirens blaring and she waved at pageant queens and princesses of all sizes. Owen busted a move as the band marched by and Nathan perked up in his chair when the antique tractors started rolling.

The came a few rounds of discussion as to whether going to the actual fair would be a good idea. The fair isn't my favorite. I'm no rider. I can't handle the Ferris wheel. For heaven's sake, I can't even hold onto my kid bopping up and down on the merry-go-round. I remember attending in my teenage years as more of a social event, but rides are not my thing. Regardless, we quickly found ourselves parking on the grass at the fairgrounds.

We weren't there for three minutes before the stroller storage started filling with prizes. Nathan and Owen {!} each popped a balloon with a dart, and no one was injured in the process. They picked up ducks, fished for sharks and Jonathan desperately tried to shoot out a paper star.

As we made our way from the games to the midway, the boys' eyes danced. The only fair they know is at the county level and they usually skip the rides in favor of farm animals and prize-winning exhibits. That's still a good time, but this scene was a new one. Lights and music came from every direction and they cautiously watched as kids were tilted, scrambled and swung into oblivion. The first order of business was more low-key: Owen chose a black horse on the carousel. Nana rode with him.

Then they found the roller coaster.

It was the exact kiddie coaster I rode at the same fair decades ago. Owen was nervous as he climbed the stairs and I tried not to think about the age of the ride as my baby was strapped into it. Terror flashed in his eyes as he gripped the bar in front of him. Then it melted away in the dips and turns and not-so-lightning-fast speed. He was happy when it ended, and both boys happily handed the guy another ticket.

As for Nora, she didn't play a game or win a prize or a ride a ride, but she was content. From her comfy stroller seat, she held every sword and yoyo won by her brothers and chomped away on a funnel cake. Life was sweet at the fair.

How do you do the fair? Are you more of a watcher or a rider? Do you know anyone who has ridden the Gravitron and lived to tell the tale? Happy Hump Day, friends!

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Unknown said...

I have ridden it many a time just like riding in a dragster.

Jessica Bauer said...

Poppy, as long as the dragster never turns and just goes very fast in a very straight line, I'm along for the ride. It's the turns and spins that leave me holding everyone's drinks on the sidelines. :)