Saturday, 11 August 2007

Missouri State Fair

On Friday Sarah, her mum and dad and me went to the Missouri State Fair. Which on the face of it is a large agricultural show but it is also so much more. In the past you can see how the farmers would meet annually, buy and sell livestock, feed and machinery. Ensuring that the wheels of agricultural where oiled for the following year. This means that there are shows of the best animals, largest vegetables and there are any number of stalls promoting products from tractors to animal brushes. To stop there however would not be shining a light on the full glory of the fair as there are also booths from many other organisations from the rights for gun owners, hunting conservation, highway patrol with Otto the speaking car, right to life, left to life, republican party, democratic party, car manufacturers, vegetable peelers, local organic produce etc. (ok I made one of those up) but everyone who has an organisation in Missouri has a stall. On top of this there are a large number of food outlets and honourable mentions should go to corn dogs, funnel cake, pineapple whip, salt water taffy, jerky and tasty and succulent pork chops. Alongside the people trying to sell products and food where a whole host of different shows and exhibitions.

The first one that we saw was deciding on Miss Missouri State Fair. In the part we saw each contestant had to explain how a particular topic affected them and agriculture in general whilst wearing a sparkly ballgown. The topic surprised me a little for instance how does BSE affect you and agricultural. The answer ranged for the obviously learnt, plain wrong and surprisingly good. Sarah accurately predicted the winner and she ended up as the overall winner as well. Maybe the decision to wear a bright yellow dress helped as most of the others were in red.

The second was pig racing which was really fun and well done. The couple that run it played along to the stereotype so well it had you wondering if it was real or not. With pigs running such as Lindsay Loham the gags and humour were great and audience participation was encouraged well.

The third was similar to a dressage event except that you would have multiple riders and horses in the ring simultaneously. Sadly in some classes there was only one rider making it look a bit like a dying art. It was interesting to try and pick a winner as the horse walked, trotted and cantered passed and I was usually wrong. Luckily as reported earlier in the blog there was no-one in a class on there own who came second or third.

The final one was a rodeo which was really good. The pace between events usually flowed well and the action did not stop. There was bronco and bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, team roping, wagon racing and barrel riding (a race around a course of barrels). There was obviously a lot of skill, strength, balance and bravery required especially for the bull riding which looks mad especially as if you come off quickly there are a steel gates to one side and an angry bull to the other. The wagon racing looked like it was going to be good until one of the competitors tried the equivalent of a hand brake turn and one of the wheels fell off thus ending the race. My favourite was the barrel riding as it was fast and exciting and as times were around 15 seconds it gave you a chance to get into it a bit more whereas wrestling a steer in 5 seconds is a superb piece of rodeo skill it does not give you time to get into it before it is over.

Overall the day was really fun and exciting and I now need to go to the Norfolk Show to compare the experience.

No comments: