Fair 2015 – Day 10 – The Ride is Over

Pun intended!

It’s 10:49pm on Monday, July 13th and I’m still exhausted. Ten straight 15-18 hour days. This is that 48 hour period where we’re all glad fair is over. I give it until Friday before ideas and plans start brewing.

Huge thanks to everyone for another successful and enjoyable fair week. Almost looking forward to next year!

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Fair 2015 – Day 9 – Large Animal Auction

Saturday, or Day 9, was a hoot. The large animal auction is one of my favorite events of the fair. A large cage is set up in front of the auctioneer’s stand. Handlers bring their animals in and out of the cage as the auctioneers and bid watchers work their magic. It’s intense and so much fun.

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Fair 2015 – Days 7 & 8 – Like one day, really

Double post today! Days 7 & 8 sort of smooshed together into one long thing. Day 7 was a light photo day. We had Children’s Theatre of Michigan out again, and they put on another stellar performance for the little ones! We then held one of the most intense watermelon eating contests on record.

Day 8 was Science Day! Science day was a hit. We had General Motors Global Battery Systems and the Michigan Science Center out to provide experiments and exhibits for kids and their families. It was a hectically beautiful day without much shutter time.

Today’s photos are a mix of day 7 and day 8, and a few other randoms thrown in that didn’t fit with the previous entries.

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Fair 2015 – Day 6 – Sheep, Goats and a Rodeo

Wednesday is the last day of showing for livestock. The kids finished up with sheep and goats.

Not counting hogs, which may be the most difficult, you can really see how hard they work to show an animal during the sheep and goat shows. These animals do not like to stand still. The handlers have techniques for getting the animal to stand in a certain position. These techniques are very physical, and require stamina. You can really see the kids sweat as the judge works through the lineup.

I haven’t seen a lot of shows, but the sheep judge seemed extra particular. It was amazing to watch. He asked the handlers to move around the ring quite a few times. It seemed like 20-30 minutes before he made a decision on a single round.

Of course, they start each show with the Cloverbuds.

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Fair 2015 – Day 5 – Rain, Marshmallows and More Hogs

We can’t go the whole week without rain. That wouldn’t be fair.

Get it??

Anyway… rain doesn’t stop the fun, now does it? The big ol’ pavilion created enough cover to hold all sorts of fun activities. We started the day with toddler races: Diaper Derby, Toddler Trot and Toddler Trike.

After the races, Children’s Theatre of Michigan was so, so gracious in sticking around do do a quick performance with the little ones. The weather made it very tricky but they pulled it off and the kids absolutely loved it. I believe they’ll be back again on Thursday, July 9.

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Fair 2015 – Day 4 – Levi

Today’s post is all about my son, Levi. This is his last year showing in Clover Bud, which is sort of like pee-wee showing. The youngest kids (5-7) find a mentor and walk through the steps of showing. They help bathe the animal and prep it for show. They then get to show the animal. Sometimes the mentor helps, depending on the animal’s size.

Like most kids, Levi’s interests come and go. But raising farm animals is something he seems very passionate about. It’s been a real treasure to watch him grow into this little man showing big animals. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

One sec, I have some dust in my eye or something.

Today he worked with Tara Wilson to show a calf. Tara was so wonderful with him. We can’t thank her enough!

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Fair 2015 – Day Two – Hogs ‘n Pickles

I’m not really sure what a “Jackpot Show” is. I tried googling it. I swear.

That’s what took place on the fairgrounds today! Kids moved their hogs into the livestock barn, put on their plaid shirts and showed their hogs in age-specific divisions. Later in the week the kids will show again, either in Showmanship or Market. From what I understand, Showmanship focusses solely on how the handler shows the animal. Market shows focus on the quality of the animal. Based on the category of show, the handlers are placed based on either their performance or the quality of their animal. I’m still learning, so don’t quote me on that.

Watching these younguns work with these animals is incredible. They show such control and finesse.

We also got the daily contests rolling. Pickle eating, bubble blowing, egg toss, hula hooping, longest hair, most freckles… there are more! It goes on forever! And it’s fun! Nobody has puked yet, which is a plus.

More photos at the link below!

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Fair 2015 – Day One – Rides ‘n Stuff

You gotta ease into a fair. Day one is all about the amusements and the eats. We also blew stuff up in honor of our nation’s independence.

The petting zoo animals are so, so friendly this year. They’re always pretty chill, but they were into it. There were also quite a few babies born in the Miracle of Birth barn. Two heifer calfs and a litter of pigs. Wasting no time. Get the business done quickly, they say.

And the food. The food, people.

Click through for more photos.

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Fair 2015 – Pre-Fair

Every year seems to go the same way. By the final Sunday of the Oakland County Fair (“fair”, as we affectionately call it), we are so over it. We literally can’t even. Usually within 48 hours, we can’t wait until the next fair. If my math is right, that’s 355 days of anticipation and 10 days of all-out madness.

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