Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tennessee State Fair!!!

I've only been to one State Fair in my life, and that was the California State Fair in Sacramento.  I was really looking forward to this one, so much so that I wore my fashion statement boot so I could walk the entire grounds.  We are actually camping outside the City of LaVergne, which happened to be having their annual parade down the main street taking us to Nashville.  It worked out perfectly because we saw the entire parade while making our way the other direction.  I still don't know what the parade was for and it was rather short, but the participants were having a grand time!!
There were quite a few Spanish riders, all on horses that looked to be in top condition, followed by the street sweeper, which marked the end of the parade.
Arriving at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, we worked our way around to the parking lot, where for $5.00 and sticking my foot out the window, we were allowed to park within 50 feet of the gate.  How cool is that??  As we went in, a gentleman in a golf cart offered us a ride to the top of the hill.  Everything is at the top of a hill in Nashville, and the fairgrounds were no exception.  We made a beeline to the arts and crafts building, where there were quilts galore, including this crazy pattern I hadn't seen before.
Did I mention this is a rather small affair??  I guess I was expecting something like Cal Expo.  They did have canning competitions and some baked goods in the Coca Cola refrigerators, but it seemed much more like a local fair.  Maybe it's just a sign of the times.  
What interested me most were the weaving demonstrations.  This nice lady talked to me at length about the types of looms, what they weighed and the absolutely gorgeous design she was making.  Seems everyone you talk to gives you another little tidbit to use in decision making about purchases.
Here's one I want to try ... rug braiding.  This is definitely something that can be taken along in the RV with you.  I didn't get a picture, but Tom found the Woodturners of Tennessee, who were making the most beautiful delicate hanging ornaments I've ever seen.  Tom says in the classes he used to teach, they made hundreds of them.
Lunchtime in the food court ... Barbara and Tom had a smoked turkey leg that was absolutely HUGE!!  There was so much meat on it, Barbara even brought the bone home to make soup.  I had some delicious homemade chicken tenders ... nice and juicy!!
As we were eating, the Science Guy kept coming out to drum up business for his show, so we went inside to see the magic science can make.  With things like dry ice and dish soap, he made tons of bubbles, blew smoke rings with a garbage can that knocked cups off the kids heads and "shocked" their hair into standing on end from static electricity.  All in all, a great fun show even for the adults!!
From there we went through the Ag building, checking out what everyone had grown.  Although there were not many entries, tobacco, soybeans and hay were front and center.  
The heaviest pumpkin contest had several entries, with this biggie being the winner.  The State record is 1287 pounds.  This one weighed in at 1269!!!!  So close!!!
Not to be outdone by the pumpkins, watermelons were next, at a whopping 255 pounds!!  
There were a few cattle in the barns, mostly dairy cattle.  I'm not sure if they just didn't have many entries or if most had been taken home already.  I never did see any chickens, but the bunny building was full of cutie pies, including French Angoras almost too big for the cages.  This little beauty on the right didn't think much of the blue ribbon he won, so he ate it.  
On our loop around the grounds we happened upon the donkey wagon competition.  This was the best part of the fair.  How cute are these guys ... pulling little wagons around.  the ladies were all dressed up, the men in their suits and hats.  It was a close competition until they had to back up.  This baby just tucked his head and backed up straight as an arrow.  The rest blew it entirely!  Needless to say, this is the first place winner!!  I want one of these!!!!!
The other main attraction we wanted to see was the Flying Houndz frisbee dog show.  They certainly didn't disappoint, and we were happy to see them take very good care of their dogs and not work them too much.  The dogs went crazy over the frisbees and not only looked, but sounded very happy!!
These are all strays they have adopted from local animal shelters, which makes it even better!!
This baby has been to Madison Square Garden.  They have played on professional baseball fields and basketball courts all over the U.S.  You can tell he's "ready"!!!
It's fun to see them jump so high, but when you stop the action, it's amazing HOW high they really jump and the contortions they go through.
This guy was just amazing!!
Not quite .........
Teeth on the edge .......... and he got it!!!
Next to the dog show was a nice lady passing out corn cakes, made on the spot.  Sort of like small pancakes, they were pretty yummy.  Behind her was the big machine they use for stone grinding the corn which they package and sell.  It was so good, we bought a three pound bag to share.  I don't think I've ever seen THAT in California!!  Next up ... Wild Bills homemade soda.  You buy the stainless mug and get free soda for the entire day.  Barbara was pretty smart ... she bought one, filled it with root beer, then went next door to the homemade ice cream guy and had a couple scoops of vanilla dropped in.  Instant root beer float!!!  
By now it's getting late ... it's been pretty chilly all day without the sun ... and the people are starting to come in, in droves.  After all, it's Saturday night at the State Fair!!  Time for us to hit the road!!  On the way home we picked up a Tennessee geocache and met a nice young kid waiting for his buddies to play soccer.  Barbara and I kept the young man busy while Tom walked away with the cache and signed the log.   One more state geocaching souvenir for me!!!
My thermometer says 58 degrees this morning, so I'm going to turn on a little heat and snuggle with the puppies!!  See you tomorrow!!

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