By Tim Leeds
Another Great Northern Fair has come and gone.
I didn't really have a lot of time to go to the fair, other than working at it. Not working a booth or taking tickets at the derby or anything like that, but taking photos and doing interviews, things like that.
Actually, I didn't really do that much interviewing or anything at the fair. Makes me feel a little guilty, and I'm sure my bosses won't be that impressed. I watched Ron VandenBoom and Brent McCown actually working the fair, and what I did really doesn't count. I don't think Alan Sorensen did that much interviewing or anything, either, but he was so busy collecting, editing and laying out pages for information and results of 4-H, rodeo, the derby and so on, he might have worked the fair more than any of us.
But I certainly had a good time. The little bit of work I did at the fairgrounds was fun (I do enjoy my job, most of the time,) and we did get a chance to take the kids up for some fun.
In fact, they each got to go twice. Our day care provider took our little guy with the rest of the kids she had on Wednesday, and my older boy went with the Salvation Army day camp on Friday. Then we took them again on Saturday. (I don't remember being that spoiled when I was growing up.)
It's worth it. There's nothing like the fair for kids. They loved the rides, they loved the food, Richard saw people he knew, and I could barely get Patrick out of the petting zoo.
It's a funny thing; I never knew how much fun it is to watch your kids have good, clean innocent fun before I had kids. Of course, I don't suppose there's any way to know that before you have them.
Outside of helping the kids have fun, it was fun for us, too. It was kind of nice to walk around the fairgrounds; look at exhibits that interested us, or at least interested my wife (you have to look at your own kids's entries, of course;) visit with people, some of whom I hadn't seen in a long time, and just generally relax and have fun.
(I kind of liked the exhibits, too, to be honest.)
One thing I'm lucky in is that I don't seem to have allergies or sinus problems (yet.) That was one drawback for my poor wife, who spent six-and-a-half hours in the dust and heat Friday taking tickets for the derby, and then another five-and-a-half hours with me and the kids Saturday. Her headaches and sinuses didn't seem to appreciate it, but she acted like it was probably still worth it.
It's funny how what attracts you changes. When I was younger, it was the games and rides that brought me to the fair. Now, kiddie rides make me sick and I just can't trust the games, having spent way too much money on them in the past.
It's just the chance to watch the kids having fun, visit with people, look at the fantastic work people enter, taste the food that you just can't find any other time.
A friend of mine asked an interesting question Saturday night, too. Why is it, he wondered, that everything tastes better at the fair? I'm not sure why, but he seems to be right. Especially looking at the double lines, both up to 100 feet long, going to the MSU-Northern Math and Science Club scone booth.
My reasons for going to the fair seem to have evolved over the years, but there are always reasons to go back. See you there next year.