Last year they cancelled the State Fair, because of the virus. This weekend, they're holding a Kickoff to Summer at the fairgrounds in support of maybe having again this year.
The State Fair has been held every year except a few breaks for the Civil War and WWII, and in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I guess that puts into perspective how big of a deal the pandemic really is. They didn't cancel for WWI or any of the events around or since 9/11.
We've gone to the fair, together or before, pretty much every year we have been around while it's on. I enjoy the whole thing, for a while. I like the animals and plants, the machinery and equipment, and even the academic displays and bazaars. I've worked at the fair, when I was younger, and have gone to races and concerts there, too. It can be a blast.
This weekend's events kind of compressed some of the best, without some of the other best. It was about a bunch of food, the big slide and a couple other smaller things, and some music. Food is the wife's favorite part, so she liked that was largely the focus.
The other thing they did is limit attendance. Each day of the weekend is limited to one or two time slots, and each time slot to just 10,000 attendees. A very busy day at a normal Fair might see over 100,000 people, so 10,000 seems like a lot less. In reality, given the parts of the Fair that were open, the 10,000 people were really like any normally (as in not extreme) busy time. Very few people wore masks, even the children, leading us to believe very few people were following the "personal responsibility" guidelines of the un-vaccinated people continuing to wear masks. We and our kids wore masks, except when eating, which was a lot.
We ate some shaved ice, giant egg rolls on a stick, French fries, mini donuts, and Pronto Pups (not corn dogs, the wife proclaims, despite the "original corn dog" sign on the building). The kids ate a burger and hot dog (one to a child, not one each), and shared some cotton candy, while the wife and I split a steak sandwich and cheese curds. No one left hungry.
The kids also did a trek down the giant slide, without parents! They were psyched to have that independence. We were psyched to not have to trek up the mountain of stairs. After the fun, bouncy ride to the bottom, the kids didn't want to make the trek to the top again.
We brought a wagon, and the kids rode in it much of the day. At some point, each of them took a brief nap. It certainly made the long walk to the car easier while that happened. It wasn't too hot, but it was plenty hot. Much better in the shade than in the sun. The day started out cool, and standing in the sun was the way to be warm. By the end, hiding in the shade was how to keep cool.
Tired and stuffed, we meandered home and settled in for some shade and sitting.
Everyone is healthy.