Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Puyallup Fair - 2008

Every September in the city of Puyallup (you're not a real Washingtonian until you can pronounce it) is one of the biggest events of the year. The Puyallup Fair is one of the top 10 fairs in the entire world! It seems like most people in this area don't ask "ARE you going to the Fair this year", it's more like "WHEN are you going to the Fair this year?" So even though Robb and I weren't in a particularly Fair mood, we decided that we must head over to Puyallup (about a 15 minute drive) to partake in the experience.

We headed over on a Sunday afternoon. I expected to be there about 3-4 hours, max. How silly am I? Eight and a half hours after we parked (and parking is a whole other matter -- it took an hour to get through the traffic and find a parking area that had an open spot) we finally went home. And there were whole sections of the Fair that we hadn't even gotten to yet! I really wanted to see bunnies, which we didn't get to. We didn't ride the Fair rides because by the time we got to it, it was dark and cold and I didn't have a jacket. Again, who knew that we would be there after the sun went down?

What did we see? Livestock, 4-H arts and crafts, square-dancers, a very fake hypnotist, flower arrangements, award-winning vegetables, and scones. Oh the scones are quite famous. Everyone talks about the scones. While we were waiting in a very long line to pick up our scones, we started talking to a couple in their 70s who had been coming to the Fair since they were kids. They remembered the scones being $0.10. Now they're $1.25. These buttery scones are filled with a strawberry jam. And I must say, they were quite delicious.

Now, let me vent for a little bit. I'm not a huge fan of country/state fairs in general. However, the reason I go and the reason I love going to festivals is because I adore looking at different booths of artisan crafts. The last few festivals and fairs I've been to have been very disappointing. Instead of booths upon booths of crafts, there are booths upon booths of window sellers, gutter cleaners, and croc shoes. There are usually a few craft tables, but not a lot. And I have to say, that the Puyallup Fair also has embraced this massive commercialization. We saw rows of window installers, frying pans, jacuzzis, and people selling kitchen knifes. Robb told me that he thinks the price for renting booth space just keeps increasing, and the normal artists can't afford the booths anymore, while the commerical companies can pay those prices. My parents just visited Texas again and chose to fly in on the weekend of the Pecan Street Festival. We used to love the Pecan Street Festival when we lived there. Just a weekend after I was moaning to my Mom about the commericalization of fairs and festivals, they also were very disappointed in the Pecan Street Festival. In only 10-15 years, the quality of festivals and fairs have really gone down and it's such a loss!

But, Robb and I did manage to find a couple artisan booths. At the blacksmith's booth Robb found a meat turner and skewers. I found a pottery business card holder for my desk. And Robb even bought something from one of the more commerical vendors. Now that we are in a house, Robb has been researching composting. He found a great worm composting bin at the Fair for a fantastic price. So now we have to order a pound of worms and then we can start composting! (Robb's already bought a book on composting and worms. He says to me, "Katherine, I want you to read this book too. I really want us to do this together.")

So, in the end, the Puyallup Fair was certainly an experience and we had a good time. It's not something that we need to go to every year, but when we want to go again, at least now we know to block out a lot more time and take a bus so we don't have to play the traffic game!

A cute pygmy goat!

A display made entirely of farm food (grains, eggs, fruit, veggies.) These displays were fascinating and beautiful. This picture shows this year's winner!

Fisher's Scones

I love finding a wine garden!

The handsome hubby!

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