It's that time of year again and the Iowa State Fair is in full swing. For a few years I was lucky enough to live in the Des Moines area, making the fair and easy evening trip. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to make the road trip for my fair fix.
Someone at the hospital asked me the other day why I love the fair so much. I really didn't have an answer for them. I just do. It's always hot and you always end up dirty and sweaty, but I still love it.
I love the butter cow, the big pig and of course the food! I read that there are over 200 food choices this year; over 50 of them are on a stick. I have a tradition I have to get a corndog first. After that I normally try to experience something new. I'm rarely disappointed. Chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick is awesome. Deep-fried Oreos were pretty good. Mini doughnuts are a must have. The fair was the first place I ever had deep-fried ice cream. Delicious.
I think another reason why I love the fair might be because it was the first place I ever experienced karaoke. I don't know how old I was, but I know we went to the fair to help cook at the Cattlemen's booth. I was supposed to pour pop with the other kids, but I wanted to help at the grill. I just had to be different. I'm sure the Cattlemen really appreciated my help.
After we finished serving the hungry fairgoers delicious beef we stopped in a bar a few buildings away. I remember a girl was singing "Free Your Mind" by En Vogue. She nailed it. I fell in love with karaoke right then and there. Of course I was too scared to sing alone on stage for many years, but that's a whole different story.
The first concert I ever went to was also at the State Fair. Sugar Ray opened for the Goo Goo Dolls. After the show we stood by the fence and got autographs, which I still have, and my sister touched Mark McGrath. It was a big day for a bunch of teenage girls. I've seen numerous shows at the fair since.
Well, I guess we have an answer to why I love the fair - music, food and fun with family and friends.
One of my best friends is getting married in Des Moines on Saturday. I think I just might have to make a side trip to the fair.