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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 01:39 pm

That's a wrap

Five reasons to love and hate the Illinios State Fair

The metal cow with the circuit-board brain outside the Dairy Building was one of my favorite things at the fair.
Anita Stienstra

Five reasons I like and hate the Illinois State Fair all at the same time.

ONE (1) --     “An empty stomach is not a good political advisor,” said physicist Albert Einstein. “No man can be wise on an empty stomach” touted novelist George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans). I don’t know about these adages. I only know these yummy barbecue brisket sandwiches are really tasty. And Mexican corn on the cob. Delic-city. BUT -- better bring your toothpick! And a fat wallet! At $7.50 each for a not-so-full-size barbecue sandwich (more like the size of a White Castle burger), the food is expensive.



TWO (2) --  “The journey not the arrival matters,” wrote poet T.S. Eliot. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware,” stated philosopher Martin Buber. Anytime I go anywhere, it is unexpected beauty or inspiration that I eagerly anticipate. The fair is large enough there’s sure to be adventure. Unfortunately the day I visited the fair, almost all the animals were gone and I couldn’t find the produce and crafts building (I don’t know why I couldn’t find it and I don’t really know why it was such a bummer to me, but it was.). Mainly though, the entire time I was waiting for something spectacular to happen. It never did. It was a bummer.



Fish were staring me down.
Anita Stienstra


... and down ...
Anita Stienstra


So I made my own fun and took pics of my daughter.
Anita Stienstra




I was always told if you're bored, you're a boring person. So I try to make fun. My daughter happens to be a really good actress and impressionist.
Anita Stienstra


This is my daughter, NOT, just thought it unusal and out of place.
Anita Stienstra


So casually positioned it almost looked real.
Anita Stienstra

THREE (3) --    Walking in the great outdoors is exercise toward a better state of mind and body. I love fresh air. BUT – it is always so hot at the fair you can’t walk far or fast usually or even slow for that matter. I’ve been at the fair when I thought I would have heat stroke. The temperature at the fair on the day I went was only 82 degree and overcast but it was still SO hot the back of my hair was doused. Usually I’ll walk through the misters, but I had my camera. Something else I might add, the dairy building is not air conditioned anymore. What the luck. Though I must admit, I did walk three miles. I know because I mapped it on a walking app. Yes.

This little guy struck my eye!
Anita Stienstra


... and I like those wood whistles. This young man was blowing one and noticed I had a camera and seemed to think I might take his picture. I wanted to but wanted a candid shot so I sneaked one in after I was passed the booth.
Anita Stienstra


FOUR (4) --     “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies,” said politician Winston Churchill “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time,” explained Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. The Illinois State Fair is a great place to bring the kids (or yourself for that matter) for the day to broaden their horizons. They love the carnival and activities such as rock climbing and the big slide. We always liked to tote our kids to the educational tents and Conservation World. Lots of fun, as I remember. BUT then I passed a screaming child with a mom who looked on the verge of collapse from frustration. The cloud of unhappiness made me remember temper tantrums and fussiness (and temper tantrums and fussiness in 90 degree weather).

The regular activities ... big slide and rock climbing. Fun!
Anita Stienstra



A popular booth ... shooting rubber bands.
Anita Stienstra


Always interested in the recycling and energy booths and exhibits. Perhaps you can think of what recycled materials you could make a garden arch out of.
Anita Stienstra


FIVE (5) --      The butter cow mecca. Repeat -- “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies,” said Winston Churchill. What is it about the butter cow? Folks flock in droves to get a look at the butter cow. Is it tradition? Is it a destination that always brought relief from the heat? Do they come out of curiosity for what the artist has crafted this year? At first I thought this year’s exhibit was based on the selfie because the butter woman held a camera and was taking a photograph. But after I stood up from the bench I saw that the butter boy was milking the butter cow. But perhaps it still was a cellphone she’s holding. I sat on a bench awhile and people watched. Everyone was taking pictures with their cellphones. Everyone was taking photos of their kids or themselves. And I was no different. Here I was, sitting at the butter cow, taking pictures of people taking pictures of the butter cow. I was never one to follow the crowd. I don’t like it. BUT ...  I like it at the same time! I like it a lot.

What I thought was the first butter selfie.
Anita Stienstra


This woman was almost mimicing the butter woman ... if only she would raise her elbows. Doesn't everyone shoot pics that way?
Anita Stienstra


OK ... that's it folks!!!! BUT wait here's two last pics from the 2014 Illinois State Fair. This is a pic of some of the dog contest entries and winners.
Anita Stienstra


This guy looks like a winner to me! Thanks for looking at my five favorite things about the fair and my five least favorite things about the fair.
Anita Stienstra


Anita Stienstra               
                BYE Y'ALL!!!!!!


For blog ideas or to submit poems, contact astienstra@illinoistimes.com.


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