Five More Days Of Fun at Future State Fairs

Hoosier Perspectives

Did I say fun, not torture? It's all in your point of view.

Published on: December 13, 2010

The news came across email on a cold December day, one about 80 degrees cooler than the last day I spent at the Indiana State Fair earlier this year. That's why you won't catch me complaining about the cold, I'm still just getting warmed up.

Sounds like I'll get to do it again, into the foreseeable future this time, for as long as Kayla, our oldest, shows in 4-H and for as long as I cover the fair for Indiana Prairie Farmer. The powers that be, namely the Indiana State Fair Commission, saw fit to stay with the 17-day format for as far out as they scheduled dates, which is 2013. By then, the fair begins August 2!

Admittedly, I'm biased. That's allowed because this is my blog — my opinion. You're more than welcome to respond if you like. I'm not just biased against a 17-day fair, I'm biased against the state fair, even though Indiana has the best state fair anywhere, and I'm biased against county fairs in general. They're just not my cup of tea.

Why? I guess I don't see the fun in sitting around when it's 95 degrees in the shade and 110 degrees in the hog barn, and I'd like to see proof I'm wrong about that from last summer if you think that's an exaggeration, just sitting there, watching pigs sleep. Or I could go to the semi-air-conditioned but nasty smelling sheep barn at the state fair, and watch my sheep sleep. I don't sweat as much, but I'm still just as bored.

Now my wife and daughters are fair rats. They love being there, talking to friends, just sitting, chatting, dreaming up how to make this animal a little better or that one a little better. More power to them- just don't make me stay there, and they don't! That's not for me. I enjoy raising animals, not showing them. Let me raise them, watch the kids load them on the truck to go to the fair, because I'm not very good at that either, at least the kids think I yell a lot — at the animals, at them, sometimes at both — just let me be, and I'm fine.

I'm not totally kidding about the heat. I can't stand heat. It's hard for me to breathe, I perspire something affright, and I get too hot. As a matter of fact, I literally got clinically too hot last summer just getting feed and tack ready for the fair. I was so sick I missed the first day of the county fair— darn the luck.

If it was up to me, the state fair would last one week, and finish before school started. We could show 4-H one year, and open class animals the next. The 4-H'ers need time to enjoy the fair, they say, so give them a year off from showing and they can enjoy the Midway or whatever else, like riding the shuttles with sweat clinging to the back of their shirts, without worrying about their animals.

If I knew I wasn't going to come as often, I could chow down twice as hard and get twice as much cholesterol in just one visit, rather than three or four. And I would only be tempted to yell at parking people once, not on five or six different sweltering days. They would like that.

Charge me double to get in. I don't care. I'll save money on gas coming less days.

Maybe I'm a bah-humbug, and yes, I do enjoy parts of the Indiana State Fair, certainly not the 95 degree days. My hat's off to those who love the fair. Being different is what makes the world go 'round. But if you think this blog is all tongue-in-cheek, have fun figuring out which part is 'tongue' and which part is 'cheek'!