Life after Work

County Fair!

Celia had told me that one of her riding students was going to compete in the Maricopa County Fair with her pig and I thought – why not check it out? Today finally was the grand day. John picked me up from the office at 2.45 PM and we made our way to the fairgrounds. We had brought enough canned goods for the St. Marys Food Bank food drive to get 50% off coupons for the fair entry, checking the fair website ahead of time was a good idea!

Based on what I had heard about the County Fair I didn’t really expect much other than farm animals, but we found a number of flashy (and scary) rides assembled next to the Coliseum. Passing several shiny food booths we located the livestock barns and entered the universe of 4-H and FFA, belt buckles, blue jeans, boots, and hats. Everywhere we looked, kids were prepping their animals, filling feed troughs, cleaning out stalls, and leading critters to and from the judging arenas. It was exciting! The first barn contained sheep and goats. Obviously fiber isn’t a big deal in Arizona, the sheep were all freshly shorn and showing off their well-fed physiques. However, we didn’t stay around too long because we wanted to find our friends who were hanging out with the pigs. Next barn was pygmy and dairy goats, followed by cows, and finally – swine! We unknowingly came in from the wrong (exhibitor only!) side and hung out with the piggies for a bit, then located Jimmie and Celia in the bleachers of the judging arena. Sadly, we had missed Kristen, Celia’s young friend show her animal. Apparently Princess, Kristen’s pig, had been very ornery during the showmanship class and decided to run all over the place. When we caught up with Princess after meeting Kristen and her family she was sleeping in her stall, all tuckered out from her big adventure. 

Kristen, one of her sisters and one of her brothers were brave enough to try the mechanical bull ride next, which was tough! The operator didn’t even give them a chance to warm up a bit. None of them lasted very long and sadly, Jessica hurt her hand when she was thrown off. She was such a trooper though! Her mom took her for x-rays, I hope it was just a bad sprain!

Then the whole group of us wandered back through the other halls to take a closer look at the goats, sheep, and poultry which were in a hall with rabbits and guinea pigs. The chickens were especially interesting because of the sheer diversity of sizes, shapes and colors present. In a corner, a very impressive turkey made his presence known by fluttering his wings and making turkey sounds (not gobble-gobble).

After all the walking around it was time for a break and Jimmie and Celia shared some funnel cake while we saved our appetites for dinner at Persian Garden Cafe later. We chatted some more, then all of us took off. It was fun!

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