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The temperature may have been melting hot but we sure had fun at the County Fair yesterday.

We got there early enough that we had to wait twenty minutes before they would let us in. At least we were able to wait in the shade. Two minutes before opening time and those cops still wouldn’t allow anyone through the metal detector! At 11:00 on the dot they allowed the lines to move. The Fair closes down at 11:00 pm. We did not make it that long. We lasted until about 4:00-ish.

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The train building was Gwen’s favorite part. That girl loves trains. She was awestruck in there while wishing she could trade lives with the guys running the trains. The displays were definitely impressive.

There was a tent all about renewable energy. They had a lot of fun activities inside. The kids took turns with a hand crank trying to create enough energy to turn on a lightbulb. The LED light lit up right away. The regular incandescent bulb took a lot of time and effort.

There was a wall of fans blowing. I would imagine those fans were appreciated for the ability to keep the tropical air moving as well as the role they played in teaching children about wind energy. The kids created their own windmills to try out in front of the fans. We learned that three blades are optimal with each blade turned at a small angle. Heath built his own windmill on his own. He used the knowledge he gleaned from the kids’ presentation to make the best windmill in our family.

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The last activity was super fun. Parker and Gwen were the drivers while Gavin and I created energy for the cars by pedaling bikes. The race would have been much more exciting if Gwen and Parker could steer. They kept letting the cars ram into the walls. The presenter guy had to keep rescuing the cars. I didn’t pedal much. I stopped every time Gwen hit a wall. The kids had fun though. Parker earned a ribbon for winning the race. Then the boys raced again and Gavin got a ribbon. Gwen asked for one so the guy gave her a different colored ribbon since he didn’t have any second place ribbons!

My favorite part of any Fair are the art projects inside the buildings. Not only are the buildings air conditioned but I could stay in there all day staring at the drawings and paintings. I feel like there isn’t as much art in our county fair here compared to what I grew up seeing in Salt Lake City.

As we wandered around we noticed a couple tables set up around the room for make and take activities. Gwen had fun making a rainbow colored worm out of construction paper. The ladies at the table said there was a Lego table the boys may be interested in.

They also said there was a scavenger hunt. Parker was all over the scavenger hunt. There was a list of entries to look for. Next to the entry there was a star with a letter in it. You plug in the letter in the puzzle at the bottom of the page to spell out a special message. Scavenger hunts were in two buildings. Gwen did one in another building. When the puzzle was solved you could turn it in for a ribbon that said you were a Fair enthusiast.

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Heath and Parker noticed a pinewood derby display. They were both annoyed with the Tardis entries that won first place. They kept saying that Parker’s car blew those other Tardis cars out of the water. I agree. Maybe we need to start entering our pinewood derby cars in the Fair.

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We liked this minion card the best. It says Thanks a Minion!

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The best Fair activity – the number one reason why we go to the Fair – is the pig races. We have enjoyed these Alaskan pig races since Gwen was still a baby in a stroller.

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This time was particularly special because Heath was given a special job. They asked for volunteers and honestly I didn’t even see him raise his hand. I just knew that suddenly he was picked out of the crowd to help. He handed me his camera and got up to help. His job was to open the gates at the start of each race.

We learned that they put chocolate chip cookie crumbles in the lanes to motivate the pigs to even get in there. It was funny because there were always two pigs bunched up in one lane every single time. The guy had to pick up one of the pigs and put it in the empty lane. I don’t know if they normally do that. It was the first time we ever saw it. Silly pigs.

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There is always a race where the pigs have to hurdle over a fence. I’m impressed with these action shots I got of the slowest pig knocking the fence over. He did it to the fence on the other of the track too.

By the way, Heath got his own ribbon for helping out. I have pictures of him receiving it and shaking the MC’s hand. None of them look that great though. Gwen and Parker are standing in the way and there is a big pole in front of Heath and the other guy. I kind of felt a little star struck to be able to talk to these two guys who run the races. We have been watching them from the stands for years. This is the first time we talked to them and were so involved. It was truly a happy ending to a really fun day.

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After the races we knew we had to buy a plush pig to join our other family plush pets. There were two adjoining tents on the other side of the track that people were encouraged to check out. The first tent had Strawberry the pig inside and you could get your picture taken with her. We paid for the print and the guy took pictures with our camera as well.

The second tent had t-shirts and plush pigs. We got into a bit of an argument with Parker over what to buy. In the end we bought the large pig for the family. He wanted his own pig. And we bought him a t-shirt as a fun memory.

Our pig is named Joe. Sloppy Joe. Gwen was spoiled early in our day with a life size toothpick style umbrella. The kind you get in fruity drinks. She wanted a parasol really bad. It was blazing hot and she had chosen not to wear her hat. Heath spoils her like crazy and he impulsively bought her the “parasol” for $5. I figured it was only fair we get Parker something too. Nothing really jumped out for Gavin. He’s much more easygoing than his siblings anyway. He doesn’t need the stuff to have a good time. I just need the Diet Coke and I’m happy.

After the pig races we decided we had all the fun we ever wanted from the Fair. Plus Grandma and Grandpa were on their way. We drug our dusty, sweaty selves into the van where we saw the temperature was 105. When we got home we turned on the news and they kept warning people to conserve energy so there wouldn’t be power outages while people tried to cool their homes. It was such a hot day!

Poor Grandma and Grandpa. They came from record highs in the Seattle area to unbearably hot conditions in the Bay Area. Sorry two of our kids were born in July!

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