Hot, humid, summer evenings in West Virginia are often spent at fairs and festivals. It seems that country families really enjoy standing around visiting with old friends and passing around a new round of gossip at the county fairs. Our small county actually has two large fair events every summer. The first is the Lewis County fair where you take the little ones for their first experience on carnival rides, like the bumper cars and the carousel horses. The other, that I will be writing about more in a following post, is the animal and project centered fair called the 4-H Jamboree. It is on these hot evenings that families get their kids together to share in traditional country fun and young lovers find time to hold hands and kiss while sharing a night of carnival games and prizes.
This was the first year that Christopher my son and my Granddaughter Paige were really old enough to enjoy the rides and have fun trying to win a prized gold-fish. Then something happened when the old folks also got in those aged cars, we transformed into youngsters too. For just one moment we were young again and smiles flowed freely and laughter was heard. The world faded away and the noise and lights took the place of work and bills. All we could think about was getting our wife or husbands to buy rounds a funnel cakes and fresh squeezed Lemonade. So at 45 and 50 years of age, Tom and I spent the evening enjoying making memories with our kids and grand kids. Feeding them red and blue snow cones that turned their lips and tongues vivid colors and watching them laugh and scream for MORE !
This year our family chose to see the annual Demolishen Derby. It was a great time watching family friends stuff sweaty heads into helmets to crash old cars unfit for the road. They have several classes for everyone who wants to compete. There is a youth class for kids 12 to 18, a 4 cylinder and a 6 to 8 cylinder class for the older and heavy framed cars.
The noise alone is a draw for me. From a distance you hear engines whining and throttles growling as the racers try to disable all the other cars in the race by smashing them until they will not run or get stuck.
We all cheered as the last cars fought it out and the smoke rolled from the losing cars. The winners receive huge trophies and a gas card as prizes. Then the bulldozer moves in a pulls the wreckage out of the ring and the next round begins.
As the derby ends we return to the rides and games. The kids know that with the darkening sky we are about to head home and they cry for one last ride on their favorite rides. Christopher heads to the giant slide and hollers on his way down.
Paige on the other hand heads for the water ball ride. This is the new ride for our family and it is something I wish I could take home with me. A large inflated tube floating on a pool of water. Much like a bouncy castle but better!
The night slips in on us and the kids have arm loads of toys, bags full of gold-fish and blue stained lips. The parents are hot and sticky from the humid air at the fair. We hold sleepy hands as we all walk back to the cars and trucks. Everyone is happy, we spent an evening together laughing and eating and being kids again. This is the magic of a fair, that no matter what the events are, no matter the amount of friends you see, no matter the amount of money spent, for a few hours you have fun. The same fun that your parents had at a fairs years ago. It is as if time stands still if only for a few hours and you have fun!