A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not fair at all

It looked like we would miss the Bloomsburg Fair for the first time in several dog ages. It’s a bookend of the year for us and I was kind of bummed out by the prospect of not eating my way into oblivion around the 234 acres and 20 buildings. But then a narrow window opened up in my schedule. Sunday morning I could spare a few hours if we arrived at gates open time, which we were sure was seven AM.
The long suffering wife had childhood memories of arriving that early and being greeted by a bustling, busy and more importantly, cooking fair. So we skipped breakfast and made tracks west.
We arrived just before 7am. Bonus number one for early birds – Free Parking. We headed for the ticket booth and got bonus number two – free admission before 7am! This is something I am sure the fair would rather not advertise but there you go. It seemed too good to be true. And like most things in life that seem that way, there was a catch. The Bloomsburg Fair at 7am on Sunday resembles nothing so much as a refugee camp. Lots of tents, many booths shuttered with colorful canvas and no signs of life. We walked all of the 234 acres and only found a handful of food vendors open. None of them the horrible for you greasy cholesterol infused ones I wanted. Wait what’s this? A stand opens and advertises Jambalaya, my idea of fair food. The lady behind the counter just looked at me and said “Try back at eleven.” We heard that a lot. After an hour of this it began to rain. Not hard rain, just the kind that makes you miserable walking around 234 acres. Walking around hungry. Did I mention we had no breakfast? We ended up eating bean soup at a sit down joint. Bean soup? It was good but it wasn’t greasy in the least. Finally around nine the place began to act like it was open. The buildings with the thousand pound squashes and guys selling wonder mops gave us brief but welcome shelter. A few food vendors that had actual unhealthy junk got our business. But too soon it was time to go. The list of things we didn’t get to force down our throats includes too many items to mention here. I never got my jambalaya, not to mention we had to rush through the agricultural exhibits so fast that I didn’t get to truly appreciate the rows of jewel-like glass jars with preserved everything in them. I love the Bloomsburg Fair, but like fine greasy wine, it takes time to savor it. Or then again…

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