Friday, June 25, 2010

Do you Remember....carnivals?

When I was a kid, I loved going to carnivals, festivals, and fairs.  And back in the Ohio Valley, there was no shortage of any of the three.  Each county had a fair, most small towns had some kind of carnival, and then there was the festival circuit.  Apple Festival, Pumpkin Festival, Italian Festival, sigh, I am making myself homesick just thinking about it.

When I moved to Kittanning, I was sad to learn that there is no official Armstrong County Fair, although the Dayton Fair probably comes close.  I will be attending that, and hopefully the Big Butler Fair, this summer.  But in the mean time, I did get my carnival fix last night, but attending the Worthington Carnival.

We arrived in Worthington, or Wotown as E calls it, shortly after the start of the parade, which was an unexpected surprise.  It was your pretty typical small town parade, with politicians, drill teams, bands, lots of fire trucks, beauty and rodeo queens.  I loved every minute of it.  Watching the kids scramble for tootsie rolls and butterscotch disks as if they were the BEST candies ever, even though most people would never buy them other than to throw at parades.  Watching the little vignette by the Lions Club, where club members were in a cage being pulled by a lion riding a 4 wheeler.  The performances by the different drill teams.  The library staff and friends dressed up like storybook characters.  It was awesome!

Finally, the grumblings of my stomach were louder than the firetruck sirens, so we went into the carnival proper.  Oh the smells of carny food!  There was your standard vendor set.  Lemonade.  Hot sausage sandwiches.  Fried twinkies/oreos/candybars.  We opted to buy from the Worthington Fireman's booths, with Hubby getting a jalapeno burger, me getting pulled pork, as we split some fries.  It was really tasty, and less expensive than fast food.  Plus we were supporting the fireman.  We sat on some benches and watched the Firemen Band perform.  They were pretty awesome!

Then we walked around to check out the games because, well, it just is not the fully experience without playing at least one game.  I settled on a dart game, because you were guaranteed to win.  You throw darts at posters and win a copy of the poster you hit.  I am happy to report that I won all three posters that I aimed for; Twilight, for my mother in law, Lady Gaga, and an I love you poster. 

What is a carnival without sideshows right?  Carnivals have a long history of have shocking side shows.  Back in the day, many of the side shows included people with some type of birth defect or abnormality.  While often criticized as being exploitative, this was often the only jobs some of these individuals could get.  Nowadays, most side shows are ridiculous hoaxes.  So, when I saw the trailed for the 'headless woman" I knew this was so going to be worth my $2!  I walked up the steps and peered in the window, to see a woman (with an really nice pedicure) sitting in a wheelchair, hooked up to medical machinery, with basically a black curtain covering her head to make her appear headless.  It was pure awesomeness!

We then craved some sweets, but we heard they were out of funnel cake, and the line for the fried monstrosities was way too long, so we settled on a frozen chocolate covered banana for Hubby and Hawaiian Ice for me.  At this point, we had covered all the main parts of the carnival, since there was no way Hubby was going to get on a ride and I was not about to ride alone, so we walked to a friend's house to visit for a bit, before taking off.  As we left, I saw the moon rising over one of the carny rides, and let out a big sigh.  I love life in a small town.