I can't believe it, the Tweed Agricultural Fair is this week-end! The fair around here is a rite of summer. I remember as a little girl the excitement of the fair. We'd get all cleaned up, and could barely contain our excitement. Growing up we lived along the highway (Mom and Dad still do), and we would watch the rides drive by. When Dad got home from work we would beg him to go and watch them set up the rides. We would drive past ever so slowly, and watch the traveling carnival people work their magic. The anticipation was barely contained after that point. We would always go on the Saturday, that was when the demolition derby was.
As we drove up that Saturday, the pumping music filled every part of us. We would have to circle around to find a spot, often having to park several streets over. Mandy and I would run ahead, having Mom and Dad call us back. We would go through the arena marveling at the amazing treasures that the vendors had for sale. I was always a sucker for the feathery hair clips for sale. It was many years later that I learned that they were not hair pretties, but rather roach clips. We would buy fudge, that was a have to. Often we would buy funny t-shirts. That hard earned money in my pocket desperately wanted to be spent on all of the amazing novelties that I only saw once a year at the fair.
We would meet up with our friends and go on the rides. I remember one terrible decision to eat fries and candy floss before going on the Tilt A Whirl. I was a pre-teen, I would like to say that I was just discovering that boys were cute, but to be honest I was always boy crazy. My friends and I wedged into the Tilt A Whirl, as is always the case with girls, much giggling transpired. In the cart next to ours was the boy of my dreams, my cousin's best friend. I had been in love with him since kindergarden. I looked over at him, my head down and smiled that idiot smile. Then the ride started. Oh did the ride start. It spun and spun and spun. The fries and candy floss were desperately trying to see the light of day. The ride stopped. I stumbled off, the world still spinning. I fought the good fight, but the fries and candy floss won, oh they won alright, all over the front of my shirt, right in front of the boy of my dreams. Oh fair memories.
The big deal of the fair was and to this day still is, the demolition derby. All of my extended family would meet and sit together. My little wheel chair bound Nana would sit at the rail so that she could get a better view. There my beautiful, lady like (every other day, but demolition derby) Nana would shout at the cars. The smell of smoke and gas filled the air, in an intoxicating way. We would all sit with treats and steal from each other. You would be about to take a bite of candy floss, only to discover a family member's hand reaching to steal the top off it. When the derby was over we would top off the night with a ride on the bumper cars, trying to maim each other. To me it is beautiful memories. Those are memories that always bring a smile to my face, and long desperately for a do over. I would not change anything about any part of it, I would just like to travel back in time and relive it.
Now I am the grown up who takes her kids to the fair. We spend the week before the fair constructing their fair crafts. They love it. We panic as the Thursday night deadline looms ever closer. The first thing that we do when we enter the gates is make our way to the white building to see how everyone faired. We oooo and awwwww over each of the kid's ribbons, the greedy little beggers stand there doing the math, calculating their winnings.
Even as a grown up, the pulsing music is intoxicating. It really would not be summer without going to the fair. The smells the sounds. The kids are now the ones meeting up with their friends and disappearing to go on the rides. I still get super excited about the candy floss, but really do miss the throngs of my family stealing from me. I think that the kids are old enough to take the noise of the derby, I think we might bring that tradition back.
The Tweed Fair runs July 5, 6, 7, and 8. It has been running for the last 131 years. Over the years it has changed, but change is not always bad, sometimes it's better. Admission is only $5 for adults, and kids under 12 are free! Where else can you get that kind of entertainment for that little? If you want to see more information visit their website.