Our summers often pivot on two fairs: the Sterling Renaissance Festival, and the Erie County Fair, which we attended on Friday the 12th. (I would have posted about it sooner, but then that dumbassed virus showed up and put its feet on the furniture and drank from coasterless glasses and got crumbs over everything and was basically just a big asshole.) While The Wife was unable to attend Sterling because of her recent foot surgery, she was able to attend the County Fair, by virtue of a day-long scooter rental.
This year we were graced with probably the most perfect weather for the Fair we’ve ever had: it was clear with low humidity, there was a light breeze all day, and the high temperature was 72 or so. It was simply a perfect day for going to the Fair.
We had a mostly great day, though The Wife petered out quickly by the end (it was her first major long outing since before her foot surgery in June). There are some notable things from years past that aren’t there anymore, which does happen every year but seems more sadly common moving forward. The biggest thing I missed this year was the giant model railroad exhibit that used to always be set up in the Grange Building; hopefully that manages to return next year. Also, the lovely old building that used to house the woodcarving exhibits is entirely gone, having been demolished for safety reasons, which is a shame. The Fair is still a huge amount of fun and can easily kill and entire day, but it did feel–this year and last–a bit more wide-open, which is to say, a bit more empty. I’m hoping for rebounds in the future, but…who knows.
After reading lots of online complaining about prices, I have to report that while prices were up, they did not seem wildly up to me. I spent roughly what I usually spend in terms of food, plus a little. But I never got the sticker shock that I had at the Sterling Renfest when I saw that the turkey legs that were once $9 are now $16. They also rolled parking and admission into a single price, which eliminates the need for money handlers at the parking entrances and makes getting into the park that much quicker, but folks are complaining about that online too, for reasons I can’t fathom.
Here are some photos from our day at The Fair. I have more available in a Flickr album, if you like this sort of thing.
I’m already looking forward to the 2023 Fair!
I love evenings at the fair myself, especially the time right around dusk when the sky is still light but the darkness is growing down on the ground, and the lights along the midway start to come on. Carny games with their masses of incandescent bulbs, the neon on the rides, and the smell of food that’s really, really bad for you, along with that vague softness in the air that says fall isn’t far away…