Friday, August 15, 2014

Springfield State Fair.

This weekend we went to Springfield, Illinois to visit our family down there.  Currently, our kitchen looks like this:

So, needless to say, I was very happy to escape for a little bit.

This past weekend was opening weekend for THE State Fair, which if you haven't been, you seriously should.  I have gone to the fair just about every summer for most of my life and I am still not tired of it.  The livestock, the people watching, the fried everything.  I can't get enough.

Now when I say fried everything, I truly mean it.

I refrained from indulging in the "Fried Anything" booth, but I did get my fair share of corn dogs, elephant ears, and salt water taffy!

 The ancient-looking taffy pulling machine.  I seriously think it has been the same one for 50+ years...

 When you go to the Illinois State Fair, the visit is not complete without checking out the butter cow in the Dairy Building.

Yep, that's right.  Our fair boasts an entire cow (plus many other details) carved entirely from good ol' butter.  I've tried to explain the butter cow to many people, but you truly just have to see it to understand.  It's been a State Fair tradition since 1922, and is usually constructed from about 600 lbs of butter.  The sculptor works in a refrigerated case at about 42 degrees to make this puppy (or cow, I should say).

And the dairy building is also home to some award-winning dairy products, like CHEEEEEESE.

The fairgrounds hosts multiple historic brick buildings, each with their own featured exhibits.  We love checking out the Horticulture building, the Arts exhibits, and then the Crafts and Hobbies building.

This past weekend, an impressive display of gladiola were in the Horticulture building.  The colors were breathtaking.

The Crafts and Hobbies building is always entertaining as there is usually some sort of cooking contest going on, along with a display of people's collections of things, homemade baked goods, fruits and veggies, and handcrafted textiles.  It is seriously the strangest amalgamation of items, but everywhere you turn, there is something new to see!

There is seriously a juried competition for magnet collections.  I kid you not.

Oh yes, and wreaths of course!

Totally digging this awesome Day of the Dead cake.

The quilts are my favorite part of that building.  I want to take them all home and alternate using them.  What a beautiful art form!

And now here's the part I'm the MOST proud of (no, I am not the most proud of my fried food eating habits).

My husband entered the juried Professional Art Exhibition after not entering for about five years, and had one of his gorgeous ash glazed tea sets accepted and on display with some of the most talented artists in Illinois.  How lucky am I to be married to this talented guy?!

And while I recover from my fried food coma, we are continuing to work on fixing up our scary-looking kitchen.  All before school starts.  In FIVE days.  Good grief.