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

Fairs and Festivals

On Saturday, August 8th, we went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. This was an unusual outing for us, since it was Time Traveler’s/Steampunk Invasion weekend, and we decided to go in summer Steampunk attire, rather than the Ren Faire garb we usually wear when attending. There were quite a few other people in Steampunk outfits, including several other members of the Milwaukee Steampunk Society, but we were still in a minority compared to the hordes of attendees in mundane clothes.

The cloudy, relatively cool day made it an ideal day to be at the Faire, and rain the night before had quelled the dust. Turnout was very heavy: when we left about three PM, all nearby parking was full, and there was an unbroken stream of cars still heading into the outer parking areas.

We had a very good time, consisting mostly of a leisurely stroll around the grounds, chatting with acquaintances, shopping, and snacking. Oh, and having our pictures taken. I can’t recall any occasion at which we had so many strangers ask us for pictures. Partly, this may have been due to the understatedness of our outfits, which some of the people said were “elegant”.

Between events like this and Lytheria Halloween, I can’t count the number of perfect strangers that have pictures of us in their collections. I sometimes picture future generations looking at the family photo album—“Who’s that, Grandpa?” “Oh, just some people we met. Great outfits, though!”

On Sunday the 9th, we doubled down, and went to the Wisconsin State Fair. We tended to follow our usual routine there as well, although we did see some things we had never seen before, notably the pig judging. We happened through the pig barn as a couple of classes of spotted sows were being judged, which we were surprised to discover does not just consist of weighing and conformation. The pigs must also be shown, which means walked around the exhibition space. This is done by guiding the animal with a “show stick,” a light rod about three feet long. One guides the pig by tapping the side of its face on the side you want it to turn away from. It’s quite interesting to see a sow being driven in this manner by a boy or girl obviously less massive than the pig, especially when it gets off course.

In the horse barn, we encountered miniature donkeys (about the size of a large dog), something we hadn't known existed, although evidently, unlike miniature horses, the small donkeys are part of the natural size range of the animal, and are still used as beasts of burden in some places.

We got our usual lunch at the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s stand, which I think has some of the best hamburgers on earth. I’m sure they use prime beef, but there’s just something about them other than that.

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Tags: bristol, state fair
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