Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fair Fare

My original plans for this (sham) holiday weekend fell through. Can't say I was all that upset by this development because, well, I really wasn't but it did offer Joe and I the opportunity to visit the last day of the Fryeburg Fair. We originally were supposed to have gone earlier in the week but it rained and rained a lot and well, we didn't need fried dough that badly.

Yes, we go to the fair pretty much to eat and eat some more. And nothing else.

But today became unexpectedly open and was sunny and even warm so together with Heather, we headed on an adventure. A food adventure.

The adventure started early when we tried to find a place to park. There are a lot of places to park and if you don't mind walking a little, you can park for $5. We opted for a lot that we thought was $5 but was actually $10. Then, because Heather has a little car, they stuck us in this little tiny spot between a large sedan and a tree. We just barely had enough room to get out of the car. Good thing we hadn't eaten everything in sight yet.

It was another $10 for admission to the fair and then we were in! Heather and I were immediately on a hunt for Tom's Giant Donuts because the Conway Daily Sun had shown a picture of the giant donuts in Saturday's paper and we were people possessed. We had to have a giant donut and spent an hour wandering around the fair looking for the giant donut stand before we found an information booth to help point us in the right direction.

Giant donuts, pre toppings (honey dipped, chocolate or sugar)

When we did find our way to Tom's, we found ourselves at the end of a very long line. Not as long as the line at the Sunflower Farm pizza booth, but still quite long. The line, however, moved quickly and it was maybe only a ten minute wait before we were in possession of two, still warm, honey dipped donuts. I know chocolate was a possible topping but it somehow didn't seem as appealing to me as the honey dipped donut. But regardless of topping, the damn thing was super delicious.

We also made a stop at the Sunflower Farm pizza booth. The Sunflower Farm is based out of Brownfield, Maine and makes their pizza dough from sunflower flour. There are three options: cheese and tomato, pepperoni and then black olive and garlic. The pieces are large and square and the lines of people waiting for a slice never shrink and there is one reason for that: it's damn awesome pizza. I've never really been a pizza fan but even I have to admit that this pizza is well worth the wait. The fair is also the only time and place you can get this pizza. Every year after the fair has come and gone, I find myself fervently wishing that they would open a pizza place because although Brownfield is about a half hour drive away, I'd drive it. For pizza.

Sunflower Farm's pepperoni pizza (the pepperoni is underneath the cheese)

This line moves quickly too, so long as you didn't want the black olive and garlic pizza. There was apparently a run on that pie early in the day and people interested in it were forced to wait a bit longer. Joe wanted pepperoni though and so we were soon on our way to find yet more unhealthy things to eat.

The fair, and this is probably true of all county fairs, seems to be a big fan of deep frying. Every time I think about deep frying, I also think of that Thanksgiving episode of Gilmore Girls when Sookie and Jackson deep fry their turkey and then literally everything else. The fair offered deep fried pickles, oreos, whoopie pies, vegetables, devil dogs and god only know what else. I decided to pass. We all decided to pass.

Next came sandwiches because, by then, it was time for lunch. Gyros and roast beef eaten in the bleachers by the racetrack where there wasn't a single race going on. Instead, we watched people jockey for position along the fence in anticipation of a race.

After lunch, we took a stroll through the animal barns. We checked out some of the dairy cows who were stabled in pairs and given adorable names like Fred and Barney and Smokey and the Bandit. One cow was sniffing her stable buddy's ass when the stable buddy decided to take a crap on her head. I apologize that I didn't have the camera ready to capture that moment for you.

We skipped the hogs. We also skipped the goats because Heather isn't really a fan of goats. She had a bad childhood experience. We did go see the sheep and had a grand old time acting like we were in middle school once again (I'm sorry but that sheep had some really big balls and it was funny. Probably because of all the damn sugar. Yeah, that's it. The sugar.). And by 'we', I mean Heather and I walked around acting like middle schoolers. Joe kind of skulked around at a safe distance behind us, pretending he was in no way affiliated with our antics. We're used to it.

After the sheep exhausted their entertainment value, we went on to the draft horse barns. I know draft horses are big horses but DAMN, these were some insanely large animals. They are also extremely gorgeous animals. I've always been a horse nut. I inherited that from my great grandmother. My niece, Jupiter, is a horse nut too.

We saw Belgian and Percheron draft horses. One of the Percherons was irritated with all of us passers by and kept kicking the stall's wall but most of them couldn't have cared less that we were there. There were a couple of babies too. One who was four months old was actually the size of a normal (non draft) horse. I asked Joe if we could get one and keep it on our new lawn. He pretended he didn't hear me.

After we finished with the draft horses, we were over by the racetrack just as they were announcing the start of another race. There were five entrants in this particular race and the last of them was a horse named Iwannahawkalugee.

This was the horse I selected to cheer for. We found spots on the rail and waited for the race to begin. Then we waited some more. Then the pace car went by and the race was on!

Iwannahawkalugee won.

But of course he did. Unfortunately, we didn't put any money down on the race because if we had, we could have financed our next and final round of food. Joe had apple crisp with ice cream and Heather had a giant root beer float. I was supposed to have fried dough but honestly, I couldn't have eaten another bite of anything. This made me a little sad as sunflower pizza and fried dough is the reason I even go to the fair in the first place and pay $10 to park and another $10 to get in. But it's all right because while Joe and Heather were sitting at a picnic table enjoying their tasty treats, I got to go to the ladies' room.

Iwannahawkalugee coming down the stretch

The ladies' room is really rather clean, especially when one considers how many people are at the fair, and the reason behind the cleanliness is the restroom attendant. She's a big, scary woman who commands obedience. If you cross her, there's seriously a chance you'll never pee anywhere in that town again. Right outside the bathroom door is a duct tape line over which you had better not place even a single toe, lest risking the wrath of the bathroom attendant (Note: that is not even remotely a joke.). After someone exits a stall, she checks to make sure you didn't make a mess (and god help you if you did because she's going to announce it to everyone within earshot) and then will call out the number of the available stall. When my turn came up, I got in just before she announced, "I don't know why all these nasty people are coming in here today. What is wrong with these people that they'll come in here and do that?"


For the record, I don't know what that was but I wasn't about to find out. When I was leaving the restroom, everything had come to a standstill as the attendant was shouting at a woman trying to get her baby stroller into the stall with her. I made sure the attendant witnessed me washing my hands with warm water and soap because I didn't want to risk getting yelled at or labeled a nasty person.

After that special experience, we figured out time at the fair had drawn to the close. Even the thought of eating anything else was nauseating and so we found our way back to the car where we discovered that the car parked in front of us had already gone, making it even easier for us to get out of the spot into which we had been crammed. Then, because we were taking the back roads, we didn't even have to sit in traffic. Woo Hoo!

The back roads did offer this sign:

Hmmm...somehow, that seems wrong.


  1. Oh my what a fun day. It reminds me very much of our annual outing at the State Fair. And my bad eating habits. I've woulda check to see if they sold those Giant Donuts by a bagfull (to go with my sack of Cheesecurds). All the part of my low chloresterol diet. Thanks for visiting my book review corner. My other blog is more focused on the nature stuff. :)

  2. At the Iowa State Fair you can see the giant cow sculpted out of butter too.