Tomorrow starts some very familiar traditions that have gone on for years, and also the last time to enjoy them for me. This is my last year in my home town, so all of the traditions that have been built around the Eastern Idaho State Fair will change. I’m a little sad, but also excited about what comes next.
The fair doesn’t officially start until Saturday, but Friday has always been our first visit. The “office” has traditionally gone down to the fairgrounds on Friday to enjoy the first two food booths that are open, Bimbo’s is one. They serve a traditional hamburger smothered in onions. It is so good. Everyone gathers in the grandstands and watches the kids on horses – we’ve never really figured out what they are doing – but we watch anyway through the lunch hour. Then it’s off in search of dessert. More often than not we are disappointed on this Friday because nothing is open yet, but it’s nice to be the first to tromp the fairgrounds.
On Saturday is the fair parade. This has been a special treat for the last 18 years because it goes right past our home. For years, my dad also lived on the same street, so we alternated between watching from his house or mine. Now mine is the only one left, so we watch from here. It’s a great parade, not much changes from year to year, but we enjoy the heck out of it. By Friday at 5:00, people will start setting up chairs up and down the road, most years, I would come home from work and find my yard had been completely zoned off by people who didn’t even live here. We’ve learned, set your zone up early, or there will be no seating left!
A few years ago my friends and I decided we would “fake judge” the parade. We got together at my house, poured some Bailey’s in our coffee and walked down to the staging area. We armed ourselves with clipboards and name tags and we started to walk the parade. It didn’t take long for people to decide we were judges and have everyone get together to perform for us. It was awesome, you could get people to do anything for you. We laughed our asses off at how clever we were, until we turned the corner and found that one of our other friends was in charge of the parade. She put us to work for real 😦 Thanks Amy. Really though, the best part about judging the parade, real or fake, is getting out there to see the enthusiasm of the kids. I love how refreshing their attitudes are.
My daughter and her best friend always spent the hours before the parade walking up and down the street talking to everyone, invariably they knew everyone in the parade too, so we never quite knew where to find them. This year we know where they are, off at college, missing the parade altogether. I never thought those two would grow up, now they’ve done that and moved away. Crazy…….