You know that it must be summer when the county fair comes along! Maybe this will be our big break in the weather, huh? Going to the Grays Harbor County Fair bundled in layers of fleece does not make me happy. Weather that requires a light cotton sun dress and wide brimmed hat makes me happy. Two weeks ago we attended the Mason County Fair in Shelton, and it was a scorcher. One day of hot sunshine does not a summer make. A few days ago my husband happened to mention that he could quite understand why our early ancestors worshiped the sun. Those long cold days of staying huddled in a dark cave surely led our great-greats to think that perhaps a sacrificial offering to the sun might do the trick. At this point in the conversation hubby happened to give one of our cats a particularly intense look. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the cats until we get some sunny weather.
County fairs are somewhat of a specialty of mine. We have visited many of the Wester Washington county fairs and I’m here to tell you that ours is exceptionally fine. For more years than I care to recall, I have had a standing fair date with two of my best buddies from school. The three of us look forward to the day just as anxiously as if we were ten years old again. We go through the same planning discussion each year. Which building to visit first? For a long time there was a temporary tattoo booth set up close to the entry. We would stop there first, getting decked out in outrageous colorful tatoos that expressed our inner rebel. It took an effort to try to keep them from getting washed off before Sunday. That was the best part- walking into church sporting our tattoos.
Since we always arrive soon after the fair gates open, we’re able to give careful consideration to what we’ll have for lunch. We never, ever go to the same food stand. We want to be able to compare notes when we haul all of our goodies over to a table. One of us usually buys a burger from the Democrats booth. Gotta show our support, and besides- we are well qualified to give an opinion about their consistent yumminess. A thumbs up is the full extent of the report.
Rhonda usually gets one of those enormous spiral cut potatoes that creates the worlds longest continous french fry. We all dive into it. The Greek Gyros often end up on our table, as does yakisoba or teriyaki chicken. Ribs? Oh, why not! Pizza? You bet! Corn on the cob keeps us virtuous, adding an actual vegetable to this hodge-podge of once a year indulgence.
As we waddle away, we wave to the scone booth. They can wait until we’re departing. There must be some self restraint shown. Besides, we have to save room for the mid-afternoon snack from the Dairy Farmers booth. In our younger days we were able to consume their huge banana splits. They are unbelievably scrumptious and you can request whatever toppings you want. It’s been a few years since I was able to tuck into one of those, but I can still manage a healthy scoop of ice cream.
This year I will make a beeline for the Arts and Crafts building. The Hoquiam Farmers market was exceptionally fortunate to have lured last years top prize artist into joining our coterie of artists. Each week Naomi Offner brings in stunning new works. Her two favorite materials to work on are rock and leaves! Polar opposites- the indestructable rock and the fragile leaf. Naomi will be demonstrating her technique of rock painting on Aug. 12th and Leaf painting on Aug. 13th. Do stop by, you’ll be amazed.
Tucked away somewhere in my musty boxes of memorabilia are my own county fair ribbons. A few are even the coveted blue color. After you have admired all of the prize winning delicacies at the fair, come over to the Hoquiam Farmers Market. We have Blue Ribbon winning products on our shelves every single day of the year.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, upholding the standards of the Hoquiam Farmers Market and Deidra’s Deli thru constant taste testing. A tough job, but someone must do it. We’re open Wed. Thru Sunday, but Deidra is cooking all week long!