From the bottom to the top in one fair weekend

Emmitt B. Feldner • forThe Review

I’ll do anything for a free cream puff – even bury my face in one in front of a crowd of spectators.

That’s the only explanation I have for how I started off my weekend at the County Fair this weekend.

I ended it on a much higher note, spending several hours with our grandson Aiden on the last afternoon of the fair.

He joined me after attending the demolition derby with his Uncle Ethan while I was busy taking pictures.

I did get him lunch before he headed to the demolition derby and, with all of the wide variety of fare available on the grounds, he chose his favorite – pizza.

It could have been worse, I suppose – being the fair, it could have been deep-fried pizza – which I’m surprised nobody sells there yet.

Pizza remains his favorite food – just like his cousins Ty and Nolan – but Aiden did tell me, though, that he has decided he likes hot dogs again.

He didn’t like them for awhile – which for me, at least, would spoil a baseball game – but he changed his mind at some point recently.

Aiden also has decided he likes apples again – they were also on the dislike list for awhile – but eggs are still on the no-like list.

After he rejoined me following the demolition derby, Aiden told me he wanted to go on some rides – after he got something to drink.

He’d apparently been sitting out in the sun on the bleachers during the demolition derby and was pretty dry when he got out, so we made a beeline for the lemonade stand – just barely ahead of the other bees on the grounds.

He must have been thirsty, because he had it gone by the time we reached the midway and I bought the ride tickets.

His first choice was the bumper cars – perhaps because he’d just left the demolition derby?

He didn’t do anything near the kind of damage he’d just witnessed, but he still managed to do some good bouncing around before his time was up and we headed on.

He tried the mirror maze and the Clown City fun house next.

Fortunately for me, he made his way out of both of them – I didn’t want to have to explain to his parents that I lost Aiden in one of the fair fun houses.

We had saved his best for last – a spin on the Ferris wheel, which Aiden told me right from the start he wanted to go on with me.

He didn’t have to ask me twice – I’ve always been a fan – and we soon found ourselves buckled in.

It gave him a chance to see some of his favorites from the demolition derby from a different angle, as most of the losers were still sitting around the race track where they’d expired.

Aiden enjoyed the Ferris wheel – almost as much as his Poppie did – although he did make sure to read the sign on the car in front of us instructing everyone not to rock the cars, and make me aware of it as well.

With our midway money gone, he was ready to go see the other thing he came for – the Lego creations in the 4-H building.

Aiden was able to identify all the Star Wars vehicles, flying apparatus and characters that were on display – and probably got more than a few ideas he tried out when he got home.

We had to leave the fair before we got to see everything, since Aiden had to get home to get ready for school the next day, but we did manage one more thing he and Poppie could agree on – a cream puff.

Actually, Aiden really just wanted the cream, although he did eat half the puff as well, and it made a fitting close to the fair for Poppie as well.

It bookended the weekend for me, as I started the fair Thursday as one of the contestants in the celebrity cream puff eating contest.

They really had to stretch the definition of celebrity well past the bounds of all credulity or believability to include me in the contest, but nevertheless there I was, seated alongside local politicians, officials, the Fairest of the Fair and others.

The idea was to eat a cream puff without using our hands as quickly as possible.

Obviously, the only way to do that is to stick your face right in the middle of the cream and basically inhale it as fast as you can.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as fast as the other celebrities and didn’t win this time.

I won’t say who did win, whether it was a politician or a beauty queen, but let’s just say that it had something to do with who has the biggest mouth – just kidding, Mr. Assemblyman!

I did get a mustache full of cream – which I was still sucking out of it the rest of the afternoon – but at least I got a free cream puff out of it, which wasn’t bad at all.

And after that, the fair could only get better – which it did.

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