Fried Alligator and Fuzzy Cows

My kids and I head to the Illinois State Fair annually with my parents.

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Man-Farmer always has to work the week of the fair because it’s always scheduled the week before the university he works at starts classes.  He’s busy that final week fine-tuning his employee schedules, making sure everything needed has been ordered.  Stuff like that.  So, he always misses the fair.

We went on Ag Day this year.  It was a Tuesday so it wasn’t very crowded.  The Illinois State Fair is located in Springfield, our state’s capital.  There were a lot of showings of livestock on the day we went…pigs, goats, cows, and draft horses.

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We always hit the Milk A Cow barn so the kids can get a squeeze in on a cow’s udder.  Zoe hasn’t milked the cow for two years, she’s over it.  But Gigi still gets in line to squirt a line of warm milk out of a dairy cow.  And she’s rewarded with a coupon to go around the corner to get a free carton of chocolate milk at the Prairie Farms dairy truck.


Seeing the farm animals is something we adore doing and it never gets old even though we have our own herd of critters here.

We especially like to see the cows and pigs.  I can NOT EVER get enough of seeing the huge pigs!  They are my favorite.

And the Cows!

So cute.

So fuzzy.

Man-Farmer says we can not get a cow.

Party pooper.

Last year we had to leave the fair early.

It has been seen that Zoe can not handle too many spinning fair rides without feeling the effects of nausea.  After last year’s early departure, she and I agreed that she would only ride a few rides this year.  The swings, the bumper cars, and the ferris wheel.  She tried to tell me that she would be fine if she rode a few more, but I played the MOM CARD and said Hell-To-The-No.  (my assertions were well played because this past weekend Zoe went to a local fair with her best friend and I had to pick her up because she wasn’t feeling well because she had…are you ready?…RIDEN TOO MANY SPINNING RIDES!)

The sisters were a little leery of driving the bumper cars.  Too boring, I guess.  But, once they buckled themselves in and started driving around crashing into each other and some other girls who were in line with them, they had the best time.

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The main dairy barn in the non-barn area of the fairgrounds houses the blue ribbon winners of state-made cheese and dairy products.  The main attraction here is the butter cow.  An artist carves a cow out of giant block of butter and each year the design is different.  It spins around in a refrigerated display case.


We love to eat at the fair.

Fried Alligator on a stick.

Deep Fried Brownies.

Strawberry Dole Whip.

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We got Gigi an elephant ear because for two years in a row she has seen a food shack with a sign saying they sell elephant ears and for two years in a row she has said “why would they sell an elephant’s ear to eat?!!!”  Grandpa bought her one to ease her mind that it was only a giant piece of fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar.

I am the only one in my peer group (I am including my old college acquaintances who still live in Illinois) that I am aware of that ever goes to the fair.  I don’t know why more people don’t visit…well, I do know that many people who live in Chicago never leave the city EVER, they don’t believe a world exists south of I-80.  The Illinois State Fair is held for over a week.  There are concerts and great food vendors.  You get to see things you don’t normally see living in a big city.  It’s a jewel hidden in the heart of our state.  The only down side is the heat…It’s still very hot in Illinois in August.  I think I would like it a wee bit more if it were held in October.

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