Memories of the Missouri State Fair
This morning we are headed to Sedalia to the Missouri State Fair to take the grandchildren. Going to the fair was an annual event for our family. We seldom missed. Most years our extended family went also. Going in the pick-up was the most economical. Everyone loaded in the back of the truck. We threw in lawn chairs water jugs and a big picnic lunch. It was an all day affair. As we drove across the parking lot which was just a grassy field there was always some big trees sprinkled around. My aunt would call out to one of the guys parking cars, “I’ll give you a quarter if you let us park in the shade.” It always brought lots of laughter but little results.
Of course checking out the livestock, the produce and the canned goods was a priority. Growing up on a farm it was always fun looking at all the different animals. We had a Guernsey milk cow and most of the rest of our herd was Hereford. So it was fun to see all the different kinds of cows. Daddy loved going through the mule and horse barns.
For many years my uncle had a snow cone trailer which he set up at the fair each year. We knew that if we got to go to the fair he would give us a snowcone. What a treat. It was an exciting time! We didn’t often get a treat like that. We always checked out the Baptist Building too. By the time we left we had a bag full of pens, yardsticks, and other small free treasures.
I don’t remember the year, but one year our family was chosen as the Farm Family for Benton County. It was a real honor for mother and daddy. We were young enough that we just thought it was great because we had extra fun at the fair that year. They hosted a big lunch for all the farm families. It was set up under a big tent. We got some free rides at the midway and got a tour of the fair on the tram. Mother and daddy did not care too much for the midway. We usually got to ride the big ferris wheel. Would love to find a picture of our family as the farm family. I’ll have to check out the newspaper and extension office to see if I can find one.
John was in 4-H when he was about 12. He raised lots of chickens. He had some Black Crested Polish, Rhode Island Reds, Black Cochin, Silver Laced Wyandotts and Buff Orphingtons to name a few. He had about 40 breeds. He always took a hen and a rooster or a trio, two hens and a rooster of each kind to the State Fair. If there were no other of that breed there you would get grand champion for that breed. So he was always assured some ribbons. No one else had some of the breeds. He got a dollar for a blue ribbon, 50 cents for red, 25 cents for white and 5 dollars for best of show. One year he won 22 dollars worth. He felt really rich.
Well we enjoyed our day at the fair. There were so many great things for the kids to do. Our only incident was a 3 minute downpour on the midway. We came home with free hats, pencils, books, orange peelers, beach ball and lots lots more. A successful day I would say. Great job, Missouri State Fair.