It’s State Fair time in Indiana. As the newest member of the Rare Bird staff (aka “Baby Bird,” which perhaps is not the most apt but is, so far, the least head-scratching of my proposed nicknames), I decided to find out how my fellow birds feel about this Hoosier tradition. Here, for your edification, entertainment, musing or mulling, are some of our thoughts . . . in no particular order:
Brad: “When I went as a younger lad, I remember the train ride from Fishers to the Fair was my favorite part.” (Brad was 11 when Rare Bird started, so remove the Sam Elliott-esque voice from your head when reading “when I was a younger lad.”)
Kyle: “Nerd confession time: my favorite day at the fair is Band Day. Many of my friends and both of my siblings were involved in marching band or color guard (sister), so I’ve grown to appreciate the immense amount of work, planning, and technique that has to come together to have an effective performance. Band Day at the State Fair for years was a big culmination moment I vicariously shared with friends; as a bystander I saw how different schools approached the competition from different angles.” It’s been a few years since Kyle went to Band Day, however. We suspect other nerd-type activities may have taken its place. Stay tuned for future confessions.[caption id="attachment_323" align="alignleft" width="194"] Come and get ’em! Deep Fried Samoas at the Indiana State Fair. One order is $5 and proceeds benefit the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. Eating them will also cause your FitBit to explode.[/caption]
Mike: “I’ve never been. What? They have deep-fried Girl Scout cookies? Yeah. I’d try those.”
Jeff: “I am not particularly fond of the fair myself. Aside from the fact that I don’t like rides that spin, spin fast, go high or go high fast, I also don’t like the food at fairs. Yes it smells very appetizing until I get it in my stomach and then I wish that I had spent my money at a decent restaurant.” (Ed. note: Given how much food can cost at the fair, that is likely a fair point. Also, there are generally no rides at decent restaurants that either spin, or spin fast, but if you know of one . . . well, don’t tell Jeff, but the rest of us would like to know.)
Jim: “Full disclosure: I can’t remember the last time I was at the Fair, but Char and the kids go every year. On the day that you get in for free. To my knowledge, they like the livestock barn and the rides, but have never gone in for the fried-fill-in-the-blank.” Rare Bird reading between the lines: As far as Dad knows, what happens at the State Fair fried-fill-in-the-blank, stays at the State Fair fried-fill-in-the-blank.[caption id="attachment_337" align="alignright" width="240"] Velma (Sarah), Daphne (Tori) and Fred (Troy) taking over the Mystery Machine at the Get Animated exhibit at the 2013 Indiana State Fair.[/caption]
Troy: (edited version) “We have a young daughter and she enjoys the rides, but they’re expensive, so finding a discount day is a good idea. The animals are always a big draw. This year’s Get Animated exhibit is definitely a highlight. Saw everything from strollers to cowboy boots to tattooed grandpas . . . it’s a pretty true cross-section of America.” The rest of Troy’s comments had to do with his unfortunate childhood county fair experience of guessing a woman’s weight. It’s not that he got the answer wrong. It’s just that she wasn’t asking anyone to guess.
Lori: “Chickens make me giggle.”