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Puyallup Fair

Posted by joeabbott on September 14, 2008

Today was “go to the Fair day” for Suzy and me.

We’ve been regularly going to the Puyallup Fair for the past 6 years or so and each time we have a ball. The theme seems to be “over eat” or “eat more than you should” but our diets are good enough that we can weather this storm without too much damage. Still, it’s a bit of indulgence that’s probably good to only come once a year.

We normally park in the Gold lot and enter the Main gate but this year traffic and directions were such that we ended up at the Blue lot. A quick look will show that it’s not that big of a difference but it through our game off just ever so much. It turned out to be OK but traditions shouldn’t be messed with capriciously! We aimed to enter at the general opening hour of 10 AM but were a few minutes late.

This year I started off early with a trip to the Fisher scone booth for a couple of the delicious treats.. If you have a couple of minutes, this short clip from the Seattle Times does a nice job of introducing you (from afar) to this wonderful little comestible. Score: Joe-2, Suzy-1.

From there we walked to the far end of the lot where we had our lunch at BBQ Pete’s long-time barbeque stand. It’s more of a log cabin than a stand and they serve people from both sides. The best part of hitting up Pete’s early is that you don’t have to wait in line for food or a table!

We both had a BBQ pork sandwich. Suzy enjoyed a diet Coke with hers, I enjoyed an ear of corn with mine. 🙂 I think I came out ahead! One of the best parts about this stop is that we found they’re opening a new location nearer to us! We’ll be able to have BBQ without the long drive! Yay!

After this we washed up and headed across the midway to see some of the exhibits we enjoy viewing. We walked through the flower displays and then through an old western motif building. It’s the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage Center. Neither of those things are areas of strong interest but fun to walk through and see what’s up.

From there it was a trip under the grandstand. While Suzy found a bathroom, I found another scone. She caught me in the act of eating it up, so I had to pay her off with the corner of one. Sated, we waddled to the building that has all the hawkers selling their wares.

Here we were on the look out for two things: Suzy had found a makeup that worked for her, and I was looking for some industrial drill bits. We found both and got her makeup then but waited until we were leaving to get my drill bits.

Now, in some ways I wonder if I should have my head examined. I bought a set of 13 Rodman bits for about $90. Yes, they come with a lifetime warranty against defect, breakage, or even dulling, and will send me a replacement in the event of any of those happening. In the aftermath is still seems a damned fool expensive drill bit! But, in my woodworking and home repairs I’ve destroyed my share of bits and have an odd collection of lots of bits, some sharp, some not, spread about. Some are sets, some missing a bit or two, and most in varying degrees of quality. Most are whatever was on the shelf at Home Depot when I was running through and needed one. So, I’m hoping this will suit my needs.

After this we walked the Hobby Hall and I noticed that there were people playing cribbage! Most years there’s just a booth and some brouchures but this year about 6 people were playing all comers for some enjoyment and to talk about the ACC (American Cribbage Congress). Too many people were in line for me to get a game in just then but later in the day I walked by and got schooled my some old timer. I’m losing with enough regularity that I believe I’m just a mediocre player.

I know the rules and have played for a while, but enough games go to my opponents that the conclusion is inescapable: it’s not the cards that aren’t good, it’s how I’m playing them. Alas … I so wanted to be good at this game. When I got home I downloaded a shareware version of the game and vow to play more regularly!

After the Hobby Hall we stopped by the old Wilcox Farm building. They greatly reduced their offerings last year … which is a nice way of saying the all but went out of business. I think they still have their egg business, but all their dairy seems to be gone. The building is now run by the Darigold folks but both Suzy and I felt the Wilcox ice cream treats were better. I got a “snoball” … a cup of ice cream with Oreo cookies crushed into it … and Suzy got a chocolate cone.

After this we toured the Fair a lot more. Walked the aisles, looked at animals, watched rabbits being judged, watched people walking about (this was the year for strollers!) and generally enjoyed the day. Around 3:30 we stopped to watch the horses in the ring. They were all pulling carts and some were little ponies and others huge Clydesdales. I don’t know all the breeds but they were beautiful animals. I ran out for a soda and picked up Suzy an ice cream drumstick to nibble as we watched.

After the show it was getting to be dinner. Neither of us were really hungy but she was on a mission for a Funnel Cake (donut batter drizzled in hot oil and sprinkled with powder sugar when it’s cooked) and I was looking for something a little leaner. We ended up finder her Funnel Cakes after a long search and I had a bowl of mediocre teriyaki chicken over rice.

We again stretched our legs and started toward the exit gate and our car. Before leaving we toured the 4H building where we looked over the arts. Lots of great stuff here and really imaginative works. We always enjoy touring this building but by this time our feet were killing us. We weren’t at our best for looking at art.

With that completed our tour of the Fair was over. We’d gotten the few things we wanted, we over ate, and we saw the lot that the Fair had to offer. We didn’t see as many “shows” as we normally do, but the cat judging was held the first weekend, there’s only so many times you can see “mutton busting”, and the other offerings just didn’t catch our eye.

The theme for the Puyallup Fair this year is Epic Fun. Mission accomplished.

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