Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th -- An early season County Fair

Happy 4th of July to all!

We weren't exactly sure how this year's holiday would shake out for us.  Now that the kids have scattered near though mostly far, the many years of traditional 4th of July day for us is nearing its end.  Our oldest did grace us with her presence today, so the 4 of us headed to the Cannon Valley Fair, though are long standing schedule for the day was altered a bit to fit 'modern' times.

I was outside early as the sun was rising to find that indeed our wild raspberry plants next to the house were busy ripening a few more berries overnight.  At their current pace, we're keeping up with pick-and-eat harvesting.

They are black when ripe; my uncle used to call them Black Caps.  I doubt that's a very proper Latin name but it's easy.  The photo didn't capture any ripe ones since those were still in the shadows.

We did NOT attend the fair's parade this year, though we did arrive at the fairgrounds while it was still in process.  It wasn't berry harvesting that gave us a later start, rather the long, slow breakfast that we all enjoyed together.

The fairgrounds were very quiet since most everyone was still watching the parade, its route adjacent to and just outside of the Midway.  We didn't plan to watch the units go by, didn't bring our chairs but did stand and watch a few of the participants go by.

We had politicians in old cars....

Local 'haulers' showing off their shiny, air-horned trucks.....

The local FFA Chapter.....Note the upcoming gap; luckily we've got very patient parade watchers around here.

We took the gap between units as our chance to go back on the grounds before it got busy.


Young steers doing what many young boys do.....

Young calves doing what they do....

 We normally attend the harness races but decided that it wasn't in today's mix of plans.

 The Starting Gate Car waiting for 2PM.

 They've traveled far......

 We didn't try their food but I sure enjoyed their music.....

 The moment of truth...I thought he'd done a great job but didn't stick around to see what they thought.  Daughter does look concerned though.....

Parade over, the crowds moving in......

The grandstand, jockeys just finishing their riders meeting, racing about to begin.

We're off to fireworks in an hour so, arriving early for just the right spot in the City Park.  Noise and light always starts promptly at 10PM, no matter how anxious everyone is.  Before dark, some cribbage, Kings in the Corner, snacks, a beverage or two, etc.

Hope you've had and are having a fantastic 4th of July!!


  1. Cool county fair but you're right, very early in the year. I'm guessing that there weren't very many vegetable entries...

    1. If MN has an earlier fair we don't know about it. Actually our county has 2 fairs, the other one is early August.

      Waiting for fireworks now, our 24th year of not being rained's that for a stat?

  2. Replies
    1. Ever since we've been 'rural', these fairs mean a lot to us. Now we just visit and enjoy. When the kids were small, we participated in a big way....4H projects, animals, vegetables, Peg's quilts, etc. Lots of work but all good memories.

  3. Coop, I was surprised you'd call this early. Country fairs are on since early May, and there are berries and other fruit galore... but we have another climate, too. The call the area we live in "The German Tuscany".

    1. Sonja, most of our county fairs are not until later in the summer as Richard mentioned. Harvest time, animals ready for market, etc. Typically I think at least mid-July into early September.

  4. A wonderful day spent with family. The fair doesn't look too busy in those photos, which is nice.

    We typically avoid our Benton County fair because of the people. The fairgrounds are only a few blocks away so we can usually hear the bands from our backyard though.

    1. Bad people at your fairs?? :) Our county fairs are not very crowded by most standards; the Minnesota State Fair is another thing entirely. Standing Room Only on good days.

      It was a very fun day, fireworks spectacular over Lake Pepin, honks from the many sailboats out on the water and hoots from we watchers. One more time, no rain!