County Fair 2011

Every year since Jack was just shy of 1-1/2, we’ve been to the County Fair. This year, we spent time with two sets of friends! It was also the first year that it almost rained.

Yes, it’s California, in June, and it’s been raining. The last time I remember this happening was June 1993, the week I graduated from high school. Today’s high? 65 F. *sigh*

Another first for this year: Grandma Sandy was here! Max’s mom is visiting and we dragged her all over the fairgrounds.

We got there at precisely the same time as our friends Christy and Anika. We all went in and immediately went to get our wrist bands.

I’ve said it before: Kids get in free, but that’s because the rides cost so much. However, they had a buy 1, get 1 free on wristbands, so we paid $10 for Jack and Christy paid $10 for Anika. Not too bad, really.

Jack started out snippy. He went on the carousel with Anika, but didn’t want to ride a horse. I was getting cranky, so we sought out some lunch. Max took one bite of a hot dog and decided it was the most vile thing he had ever eaten. Then, he and Jack got some pizza. I had corn on a stick and a baked potato.

Jack played the darts & balloons game and won a panda. He actually had a choice between a (cheap knockoff movie version) Transformer and a panda, and he chose the panda.

We tried to go on some rides, but the kids were too short for the ones in the middle of the midway. We made our way to the front and kiddie rides.

On the way, we found the wild animal tent. We saw a parrot, a cockatoo, 2 huge tortoises – which the kids got to pet, sleeping ferrets, an alligator, snakes, a monitor lizard, and 2 real kangaroos.

The wild animal tent was conveniently located next to Jack’s school, Antioch Charter Academy II. (I wonder if the school gets half days on fair days.)

After the animals, we went on the train that went around the fair. It was fine, but not what Jack thought it was going to be.

When we got back to the kiddie rides, the kids – OK, my kid – was in a much better mood. They took turns choosing which rides to ride. They rode almost all of them. Jack is just over 42 inches, it seems. (The same height as Anika.) This means he can ride all of the kiddie rides now. Next year, he might get to 48, and then he’ll be able to ride the rides in the middle midway.

As usual, I took an insane amount of pictures, some of which you can see at the end of this post.

I almost forgot – while there, we ran into a friend of mine from the Moms’ Club. I left the Moms’ Club when Jack was 2-1/2, but I remained friendly with a few members. It was good to see Kristen and her kids.

Finally, Christy and Anika had to leave. But, at the same time, some of our new friends arrived! Gilly is 3 and one of Jack’s new good friends at his preschool. Her parents are very cool people, so we were quite happy to have them join us. (Gilly has a baby brother who is turning 1, too.) Jack and Anika went on one last ride – the caterpillar roller coaster. Anika didn’t want to go on it last year, but Jack went on by himself. This year, they both went together.

After Anika left, Jack went on the caterpillar roller coaster with Gilly and her dad. We went on down to see the animals from the 4-H, and stopped for a pony ride on the way. It was Gilly’s first pony ride! Jack rode Max again. He rode Max last year and asked specifically for him this year. The guy was impressed that Jack could point him out. (Their names are on the saddles, and Max was the second word Jack could read, thanks to his Dad.)

Upon arriving at the animal tent, Jack declared: “We have to find someone who works here.” Jack is 5, so he can join 4-H and raise a bunny or a chicken. He’s been looking forward to this all year. In fact, when we were on the tour train ride, and the tour guide mentioned the auction on Sunday, Jack said, “Mom, we have to be here on Sunday so I can get my animal.” I explained that it wasn’t that type of auction.

We finally found someone who could help us out. She’s a poultry leader, and told us that Clayton/Concord has a great poultry leader. She was really selling us on raising a chicken. I’d prefer a chicken to a bunny. I don’t think Max concurs.

We really didn’t spend that much time in the barn. Jack didn’t even get to pet a cow. Jack wanted his cotton candy, so we got some of that for the kids to split. He, Gilly, and Gilly’s dad then went on a bunch more rides. (And I had a caramel apple. Tasty.)

Jack was actually very helpful with Gilly. He held her hand and helped her on the rides. He helped her get buckled a few times. He had to be told not to pull her. Now, under normal circumstances, I would have worried that Jack was bossing Gilly. But Gilly is a girl who knows what she wants. She doesn’t really let Jack boss her. Still, she seems to adore Jack, which I think is cute.

Gilly is of mixed heritage too (her mom is from St. Lucia). At least one ride operator thought they were siblings. I thought it was cute. It also made me nostalgic for events that haven’t happened yet.

The fair had a Kids’ Zone, which was filled with musical instruments. All of the kids played the drums. Jack and Gilly played some string instruments. Jack played some electronic instruments. I like the Kids’ Zone because it’s a departure from the regular fair. Kind of a time to charge batteries.

After the Kids’ Zone, the kids went on even more rides! They rode the carousel twice and the dragon roller coaster three times. Oh, and the teacups twice, once with Jack doing the spinning and once with Gilly’s dad doing the spinning.

Instead of sticking around for dinner, we decided to go out to a local family restaurant. We said goodbye to our friends and headed out…

Jack asked if we could go to the fair every Friday. I had to remind him that it only comes once a year. He was bummed. In a way, I am too. It would be so great to be able to have that atmosphere all the time. But then, I suppose, it wouldn’t be special.

‘Til next year!

The Fairs of the Past

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One thought on “County Fair 2011

  1. Pingback: County Fair 2012 « The Chittister Family

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