Thanks to my brother, who is exhibiting his wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry under the Grandstand, Karen and I made it, together, to he Illinois State Fair for the first time in many, many years. Decades is more accurate.
Not much has changed with the passage of time.
The crowds are still thick, the carnies still call out and look tired, the smell of food is mixed with lord knows what other smells (it is an agricultural event with livestock right next to the food) in the air. The carnival is full of the usual rides, some of which I recall from my days of riding them. There’s everything on a stick to be eaten, saltwater taffy, lemonade shakeups, milkshakes and all sorts of sweet things to munch on.
Like I said, the usual stuff seen at every fair across this land of ours.
At night, when we went, the younger crowd is thick in the carnival area. A sea of teens and young families swirled around me as I stopped to get this image. The flow kept going, conversations trying to rise above the noise of the games, the music of each ride and the nearby rock concert at the grandstand. The two carnies working this cork gun shoot-a-can-off-the -shelf-and-get-a-prize game looked tired, ready for their end of shift to get there so they could get off their feet.
A slice of the night at the fair. I think I’ll go again next year.