Have you ever had that moment when you wish you were a kid again? I had that this week when covering the Jackson County Fair.
It was so nice being back. Everything was just as I remembered it, and yet everything had changed
There were Black River Falls FFA milkshakes over here and Brenda’s Fry Bread over there. I am pretty sure I had at least 10 milkshakes and two fry bread tacos, which are both amazing by the way.
I also adventured into the 4-H Food Stand and found a hidden gem in there…corn on the cob. Man did it hit the spot. It didn’t hurt that they slathered it in butter.
On top of all the food, it was a lot of fun watching the judging when I had a chance to sit down. My favorite fair event growing up was showing dairy cattle.
I had all I could do not to grab my own calf and walk it out in the ring this past week.
Luckily, I have Carter to help me with this problem. I spent the entire week getting really excited for when Carter can get to experience fair as an exhibitor.
It was kind of surreal to be honest. I kept thinking about all of the Lego clocks, photography and cattle he was going to show when he got older.
Then one afternoon, I all of a sudden came to the dreaded realization that it would also be a fun-filled, tiring week for Steph and I when that happened.
I can still remember the amount of time my parents spent helping me with my projects and getting everything ready for me to shine.
It was pretty common that when I was getting my pigs ready for show Thursday morning, my dad was bringing in the dairy cattle I was going to be showing the next morning while my mom was entering everything else that I took to the fair at the Lunda Center.
This craziness would continue the entire weekend, with minor respites here and there.
Even though getting everything to the fair was a chore, there was nothing like the clean-up. It is probably the most dreaded time of the fair because that is when everything has to get taken down, loaded up and hauled away.
Then, you get home and have to put everything away and tidy it up for next year.
The thing I hated cleaning out the most after the fair was my tack box. My tack box was wooden and held everything I used to get my cattle ready for the fair like lead ropes, clippers and brushes. However, as fair went on, this tack box would fill up with anything and everything. There tended to be some musty clothes and a bunch of half-empty water bottles laying in there.
It was just like unpacking a suitcase after a long getaway, but with everything smelling like sweat, mold and poop.
It is in these memories that I wonder how my parents did it...how they got through this week.
They had to deal with really cranky children, little sleep and a lot of responsibility in order for my sister and I to have fun at the fair.
I don’t know why they did it, but I am grateful. Fair is one of my favorite times of the year and a lot of that is because of my parents. For that, I say thanks Mom and Dad for putting up with all of it.
I also want to give a shoutout and appreciation to all of the people that make fair possible, including the fair board, superintendents, parents, kids and anyone else that I missed who had a hand in making this event a realty. It was again a great event this year. One that will definitely make memories for kids and parents alike.
Even though I am a little nervous for when Carter becomes an exhibitor, I am also really excited that he gets to experience everything great the fair has to offer.