How dry we were at State Fair - relatively speaking

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

The weather seems to be getting just slightly better each year Terry and I visit the state fair.

At the rate we’re going, it should be a sunny, beautiful day just about the time we qualify for Octogenarian Day at the fair.

It was a return engagement for Terry – the Mushroom Queen – in the Horticulture Building at the state fair and I got to go along – mainly to haul her demonstration equipment from the car to the building and back.

It was a little easier for us this year, as we knew beforehand where we were going.

Last year, the organizers of the various horticulture presentations hadn’t bothered to tell her where she was making her little speech, just what time it was scheduled.

As a result, we wandered around to three or four places – with me schlepping her logs, drills and other paraphernalia – before we finally found where we supposed to go.

Her speech this year was scheduled at the same time – 2 p.m. - but it was a good thing we knew where we were going this time, as backups due to construction on the freeway in Milwaukee delayed our arrival until past noon.

Fortunately, we still had time for lunch – including one of Wisconsin’s fine craft fermented malt beverages to fortify Terry for her presentation.

The hour-long talk went well and Terry even came down off the stage to engage several listeners in a little one-on-one Q&A.

That left the rest of the afternoon and evening for us to explore the grounds and enjoy the fair.

Last year, we spent the afternoon ducking in and out buildings as it rained pretty steadily for most of the afternoon, finally breaking down and taking a subscription to the Sunday newspaper just because they were giving away free umbrellas to new subscribers.

I’m not sure, but they probably did their best business of the whole fair that day.

Naturally, the weather report for the day of our state fair trip this year was for scattered showers.

With our luck, we should just be glad there wasn’t a freak August blizzard forecast.

We took our free umbrella along with us, just in case, but when we exited the Horticulture building there still wasn’t a drop falling from the sky.

There were, however, some dark clouds looming in the distance, so we headed inside the exhibit hall first.

There, we got to see just about kind of “as seen on TV” gadget and contraption you could ever want to see – including enough devices to process, chop, steam, grill, cook and otherwise prepare food to fill out the kitchens in a whole chain of restaurants.

And there was an equally amazing variety of cleaning products and implements, in case you got a little too sloppy with all that cooking equipment.

Every one of them seemed to be offering some kind of fair special or one-day-only offer – probably the same fair special they offer in every other state and the same one-day-only offer they make every day of the fair.

After all that, we needed a little sustenance, so we headed for our obligatory state fair cream puff.

We did resist trying any of the various foods on a stick, although there were more of them than I thought were possible or imaginable, including spaghetti and meatball on a stick.

I have a feeling that particular vendor was in cahoots with all the cleaning products people in the exhibit hall.

We left the cream puff parlor just as a few drops of rain began to fall – was there any doubt that was going to happen – so we pulled out the umbrella and headed for another building.

I could try to convince you that it was just a coincidence that it happened to be the Wisconsin wine tasting building, but somehow I don’t think you’d believe that.

It was no problem finding it, as we discovered it last year and both agreed to make it a must stop this year.

They offer 20 different wines from across the state to sample and we, of course, sampled all of them.

That included the Skinny Dip wine and – only in Wisconsin – the Frozen Tundra wine.

We wrapped it up with a suggestion from one of the wine servers – combining a chocolateinfused wine with a strawberry wine for an adult version of a chocolate-covered strawberry.

To quote John Lennon, “What a suitable ending!”

And even better, when we staggered back outside, the rain had stopped.


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