18 August 2008

Fried Everything

This past weekend, I had an extraordinary experience of traditional Americana.

A friend of mine invited me to go to the Erie County Fair, which happened to be the second largest fair here in the United States. And I realized that it is one big event which lacks a purpose.

Well, it features things that one usually doesn't see everyday: exhibits on produce, such as tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, and all other sorts of things that one can see in the supermarket, except that the ones on the exhibit looked like they were on steroids. What is the point of exhibiting produce?

There are other things that don't have a purpose as well. They featured swine racing. This was a show where they had pigs racing to eat an Oreo cookie. And it went as advertised, the pigs racing around the tracks as fast as they can. There also was the swimming pig.

There was the demolition derby. This happens on the grandstand, where the cars race until they get destroyed by each other. Obviously the cars that race are the ones that are headed to the junkyard anyways.

There is the banana derby, where monkeys ride dogs and they race as track as well. And there is the Chinese acrobat show. That was quite amazing actually, but otherwise bizarre too. There was also the Indian Village show.

And the food, my goodness, the food was rather bizarre. Everything was fried. Not healthy at all. There is the typical crowd food, like hot dogs, sausages, pizza, milkshakes, and others. However, there were fried onion rings, fried cookies, fried chocolate bars, fried vegetables. Fried everything.

There were rides, rides that juggled you up and down, rides that spin you round and round, rides that swing you back and forth, among others.

There were exhibits on hot tubs, exhibits on funky vehicles, exhibits on model homes, exhibits on hypnotism, tarot reading, and palmistry, exhibits on the Bible, exhibits on homemade maple syrup, and many others.

So I suppose if one has a day that can be set aside for something with no purpose at all, then the fair is a good destination. I just do not see the point in going to one. I was just curious since it is a traditional American experience. I watched a horse show, and there were other shows as well, like a show on how to give chicken and pigs a bath, how to make homemade brooms, homemade paper, homemade anything.

Oh, the crowd is funny too. I saw some of the strangest looking people around. People who looked like eggs, people who looked like sticks, people who looked like they are about to explode, people who looked like they are about to pop.

Bizarre. And the smell of frying oil is everywhere.

(Waterfalls, from my Letchworth Park Series)


  1. And I thought that it's only here in the UK that they deep-fry a lot of things. LOL.

  2. Celia,

    Oh no, apparently you find fried weird stuff here in the US as well, during fairs!

  3. Haha... fruits on steroids!

    So weird... a county fair where everything is fried. Is that why so many americans are overweight? And pigs eating oreo cookies? They think of everything! :)

  4. Toe,

    Yes, produce on steroids. Like, the biggest tomato on the county, or the biggest pumpkin, the biggest whatever you can think of.

    And I do not know whether this is a direct correlate with the overweight problem, but yes, the food can definitely induce a heart attack.