Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

State Fair, 08-03-03

Wisconsin's State Fair is a great state fair, and we got an early start on a nice sunday morning--so much so that we were inthe grounds by 8:45 and had to mark time before the Exhibit Hall opened at nine. This is aour usual strategy. The huckster hall gets mighty crowded later in day, so we like to get in early while you can still walk at a reasonable pace and see things. The new hall combines the functions of both the old North and South Halls, plus the Family Living and Youth Center buildings. It is much brighter, cleaner, and airier than the old buildings, but on the other hand has the acoustics of, well, a barn. It was kind of odd to see dealers from the old buildings plus some of the International Bazaar sellers all mixed up and resorted. We got a clear look at everything, and actually had a chance to chat with some of the dealers.

Then off to the othr end of the grounds to check out the animals. We got to see the end of some of the draft-horse judging, the Youth Cart division, and it was fun to see a huge Clydesdale being driven by what appeared to be a ten-year old girl (accompanied by an adult). Then the dairy barns--the milking parlor isn't what it used to be--nowadays, they just hook the cow up to the milking machine and it stands there, which isn't very interesting. The new Horse barn is truly fabulous! Again, bright, clean and airy. It actually has two stories, and the second floor has the biggest ceiling fans I've ever seen--no kidding big enough to provide lift for a small helicopter. We also have to look at the rabbits and poultry, and the unexpected treat there was some newly-hatched Chinese quail, which are about the size you expect songbird nestlings to be. We hit the Wisconsin Products building for snacks, cranberry juice and cookies, and cherry and raspberry ice cream sundaes. We were just getting done seeing the Big Pig and the year's Little Pigs when we noticed nearby lightning, and took shelter in the Exhibit Hall again. We hung out there for about an hour while it poured. When we got hungry again we scrounged around and found the Milwaukee Bucks had plastic rain ponchos left for sale and bought two. Thus armored, we made our way though the thinning rain to Rupena's where we had a couple of delicious rib-eye sandwiches for dinner. By that time the rain was about over, and so was our energy, so we made our way home, stopping to pick up an obligatory box of Helmut's strudel on the way out of the grounds. We'll probably stop back again Friday night so that we can see the Belgian horses and get the world's most delicious hamburgers from the Beef Producers' booth.

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