State Fair Roundup

We love state fairs. August is officially State Fair time at our house. We’ve only been to two different state fairs – the Georgia State Fair and the Illinois State Fair, but Illinois wins, by a mile. Each year, we try to make it to Springfield, Illinois, near my hometown, for the State Fair. This year, we took a day off work and went on a Monday with my mom and dad. It’s really the best and cheapest entertainment for three bucks.

We have traditions that we observe each year, and most of them involve us obsessing over the State Fair food. We start the day with Tom Thumb donuts and Culler’s French Fries – look how delicious!

Mmmmmm…..french fries.

The other state fair food deliciousness is the beauty of the corn dog. There’s plenty of corn dog vendors to choose from – Cozy Dogs, Miller’s Corn Dogs, Corn Dog Alley, Corn Dog Heaven, Corn Dog on a Stick, Corn Dog Pretzel – but my favorite is the Pronto Pup:

Pronto Pups go best with a slathering of catsup and a ice cold lemon shake-up. Don’t let them sell you a plain old lemonade, you need the sugar blast of the lemon shake-up. There is a difference.

We also spent some time at the race track, betting on the horses. Now, I’m betting person and I love to gamble, so I was excited to bet on the ponies for the first time. I even won when my horse came in first place. What I wasn’t so excited about was that I didn’t actually win very much – on a $6 bet, I only won $14. I thought I was really going to hit it big and be able to retire comfortably.

The highlight of the State Fair is the Butter Cow. It doesn’t really appeal to my green and recyclable nature, but it appeals to the small-town person in me in a big way. It’s a life-sized cow, LIFE-SIZED, sculpted out of butter, located (where else?) in the Dairy Barn. This year’s Butter Cow was the cream of the crop, the best use of butter, a work of butter art, a butter masterpiece:

Notice the fine details of the butter calf and skunks and the grand and regal refrigerated case. It’s more than just a cow. It’s a state fair tradition.