I’d like to welcome you to the first installment of what I will call ‘Under the Rainbow’.
Under the Rainbow is a series that is and will be dedicated to all things found in and around the Kansas area. A place that for 28 years I’ve called home. Despite all of my travels in and out of the country, there are some things that are simply unique to Kansas.
What will this include? Pretty much any unique towns, restaurants, events and anything else that may be of some interest to someone who hasn’t visited Kansas before.
You won’t find mountains or beaches here but what we do have in terms of landscape is unique to the area and the country.
For example, did you know that Kansas holds some of the last remaining Tallgrass prairie left in the country? Less than 4% remains and most of it is right here in the flint hills of Kansas. It’s one of the many thing that make Kansan’s proud.
Today, let’s talk about State Fairs, and in particular the Kansas State Fair. For those of us who live in the States, it’s that time of year when each state has one (or more) celebratory fair to promote and celebrate everything their state has to accomplished in terms of agriculture and livestock. At least, that’s the way it is in the midwest. People come together to ride carnival rides, consume any and all fried food and look at all the livestock, homemade goods and fruits/vegetables they can handle.
Unofficially, 2014 marks the 149th year that there has been a state fair in the great state of Kansas, where it started in a single stable behind a bank.
Hutchinson (a city that once a year changes it’s name to ‘Smallville’) holds the fair for ten days at the beginning of every September. This makes it, according to unofficial sources (Wikipedia), one of the top attended (and more than likely, grossing) events held in the state.
My BFF (the lady from beauty-bitch.net) and I took a trip out to Hutchinson yesterday to discover everything the State Fair had to offer. Thankfully, unlike other years, it wasn’t a bajillion degrees outside and we got to enjoy the fair without the added joy of heat stroke and dehydration.
It’s the small things.
Our first stop of the day, after indulging in an ice cream cone (as one does) was bypass the farm equipment and head straight toward the animals. I mean, who doesn’t like looking at the bunnies, cows, llamas and chickens and want to take them all home?
BUNNIES! I just wanted to cuddle them all and take them home with me. They were SO adorable!
After taking our time looking at all the animals, we went off to look at all of the rides, the games and of course the food stalls.
As much as I enjoy watching others ride the crazy rides, I’m not a huge carnival ride person myself. I love the ferris wheel and any other kind of water ride but I can take or leave the rest of them. Motion sickness is a pain, let me tell you.
As a child, I can remember fondly riding all the rides until I was green in the face. Nowadays? I’ll leave the roller coasters to the youngins. Let’s just ignore the simple fact that I’m still fairly young…
One thing that was there this year and that I didn’t see a couple of years ago was a Kansas State Fair Museum!
This year’s exhibition was about Bardo the Clown, the State Fair Official Clown for a number of years. They had original nose pieces, buttons, carousel pieces (such as the horse) and of course a wagon. For everyone who entered the museum, they even got a free headshot of Bardo the Clown.
I mean, it’s probably a good thing I’m not terrified of clowns, you know.
We did everything that you should do at a state fair – eat fried food (hello deep fried cheesecake, you were delicious), drink a little beer, ride rides (read: a single ride) and see the butter sculpture made out of over 1,000 pounds of pure butter.
That’s… a lot of butter.
At the end of our trip though, I made out of it with a bag of candied pecans for my Mom and local raspberry honey spread for myself. Mm, looking forward to having that on my toast in the morning! It was well worth the trip.
What about you all? Does your state fair have something or do something unique? Let’s talk!