As you might have guessed, I love family and tradition and traditions that involve family the most. Bonus if they involve the Indiana State Fair. Mom and I made our annual visit on Wednesday and I’m hoping Dad can go with me tomorrow.
This morning I was in the barn by 8:00 and excited for another Fair tradition – meeting up with Cousin Leslie and her sweet family. They travel from Cass County each year with sheep and pigs and trailers and feed and everything it takes to show the animals and stay away from the farm for days. I’m in awe of her and Jeff for pulling it all off each year.
Both kiddos, Miah and Ari, have shown livestock for years. Today I was lucky enough to see Ari show his Dorper Ewe in the Sheep Barn – and he got first! I think we embarrassed the 14 year-old with our waving and cheering.
There was an hour or so before he was to show in the Swine Barn so I took a quick jaunt to the Indiana Arts Building to check on my cake – I still get goosebumps when I see the purple Best of Show ribbon. I also wanted to make sure it was looking okay. I turned it in for judging almost two weeks ago.
I visited with two of our Second Helpings graduates in the Beef Tent. I can’t imagine how many ribeye sandwiches they’ve cooked. Tonya and Amos are still smiling after nine days in the heat and smoke.
I popped in the Hoosier Lottery tent under the Grandstand to scratch off the tickets that I won there a few days ago. I like to see if my $5 investment can last through the whole Fair. I tried that with a goldfish a few years ago and that didn’t end well. Anyway, I wound up winning two more tickets, fingers crossed they’re big winners.
I wasn’t sure when Ari’s Hampshire pig would be shown. The timing depends on how long the previous classes take and how many entries and how well-behaved the pigs are. I wound up in the stands an hour early….and that’s not like me at all.
The extra time was good. For one I got to rest my stupid ankle. And I learned a ton about how the judging works and that they’re looking for. I appreciate that the judge talks about each of the entries and what he liked and didn’t like about the pigs. By the time Ari’s class was called I sort-of knew that I was looking at. The fact that the judge had Ari “driving” his pig longer than some of the others, I thought for sure he was the winner. He placed fifth, which was right were Leslie thought he should place. I clearly have some more to learn.
I took a walk/shuttle ride around the Fairgrounds and ran into so many friends. Several of them had been to visit my Ugly Lamp. I hope the kids don’t have nightmares. I hopped off the shuttle in Pioneer Village to chat with neighbors and hear about their visit so far. Red Vines was giving away their delicious red candies and they had a VW bus outfitted with a photo booth. As they say, Peace, Love, and Red Vines.
It was another great day at our Indiana State Fair.