Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The country fair

When I was growing up, the fair visited town once a year in June. They set up in the town car park and Thursday night was 'trial night'. All the rides were half price. Supposedly this was because they were checking that they were all correctly set up. (I was never allowed/never wanted to go on trial night!) The fair had all the usual fair things - a merry-go-round, waltzers, bumper cars, a big wheel, fishing for ducks, candy floss . . . It was loud and fun and we looked forward to it. Apparently the future of the annual fair is now in doubt because the car park where it was held is about to be lost to a Sainsbury's supermarket.

Around here there is not just one but several fairs within easy driving distance each year. All of them are held at dedicated fairgrounds that are used for a variety of gatherings over the year. The one we went to last weekend is the traditional end of summer event for our family, and many others, as it is always held the weekend before school starts. It is, of course (this IS America after all!) bigger than the fair in my hometown. Perhaps not so much in the number of rides, but certainly with the sheer quantity of other activities! It's a sort of cross between a funfair, Women's Institute show, and Young Farmer's Club event.

I would have said that there was nothing like our local New England fairs in the UK but I bet if we visited the Cheshire County Show nowadays we would find it very similar to the show we went to last weekend. The Cheshire County Show was in somewhat of a decline when I was growing up and we never went to it but it has changed significantly in the past few years. It's just another reminder to me of how long I've been away from the UK and how careful I have to be when speaking about it. So much has changed over there in the last 24 years! The UK I left does not exist any more.


Expat mum said...

They say it's sometimes harder to repatriate than it is to move in the first place.

Molly said...

For me, the fair was always SUCH a special event. I didn't care much for the rides (tho I did love the fried dough) but for me it was the first time seeing my friends from school before school started. Every Tuesday night night after Labor Day was 99.3 night. We would all go, watch the greased pole contest (my dad got nailed annually), ride a few rides, eat some bad food, go home, pick out an outfit and get ready for school the next day.

packing supplies said...

Nice Fair i like it.It is states biggest event.It describes a culture of the city or state.

Iota said...

Fairs are fun. For me it's all about the atmosphere, rather than the activities themselves.

Almost American said...

Expat mum - exactly! There's that saying about how you can never go home . . . I realized many years ago how true it is!

Molly - I think it discombobulated a lot of people when school started before the fair in town happened this year!
We didn't get any fried dough at the fair (went with maple cotton candy instead), but I bet DH will buy some at the Ashfield Fall Festival in October!

If I Could Escape . . . said...

We had a couple come to the town I grew up in, but the big one was the annual regatta. They set up the rides on Whitby pier itself -- quite a feat really! It's still much loved and bigger than ever.

Daffodilly said...

Oh my I remember the Cheshire Show as we lived locally....homesick moment!

I do love the fairs over here too though.

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