Saturday, August 16, 2008

State Fair Entertainment

Arthur and I had a great time at the State Fair. Arthur is 9-years-old, and about 56 inches tall, so he was able to go on rides like bumper cars and the octopus ride all by himself. He prefers to ride with friends or family, but even without someone he knew, he was willing to ride alone on some of the rides. The sun was setting as we were choosing rides, and the air was cool, it dropped from about 24 degrees Celsius in the afternoon to perhaps 20 in the evening.

When we had used up all the tickets, we went to the Ethnic Village to hear a reggae band. This was Keith Eric and the Waterhouse Band, and they were great. We tried a delicious snow cone and watched the impressive fireworks show at 10:15. This was a much better firework show than we had in Springfield for Independence Day. When the fireworks were over, around 10:40, we had a funnel cake from the Dutch ethnic cuisine booth. Arthur loved that. The music just kept getting better. The band played a Harry Belafonte medley, and played a couple covers of good Bob Marley songs. They had several good songs I didn't recognize, and those might be original numbers, but at any rate, they jammed and improvised and had many people dancing. While they were performing, an artist worked on a big canvas behind them, painting a picture of a woman in a night sky background. We watched the artist start with a blank canvass, and for the first few songs, I had no idea what he was painting. Also, his canvas was on a wheel mount, so that he kept spinning the canvas around and painting on it as the canvas moved. The artist moved his brushes in time with the music as if he was another artist, so his creation of the painting really seemed like an extension of the music made by the band. Arthur was very interested in that, and I've shared a photo of the final image here.

After the concert and funnel cake it was nearly 11:00 p.m., so we bought one last snow cone (Godzilla flavor, which wasn't as nice as the grape we had earlier, but was still pretty good). We stopped and looked at some rabbits and donkeys and goats on the way back to the main gate, where we quickly boarded a bus without any waiting, and then rode the bus back to the state capitol to get our car and drive home.

It was a perfect evening. The music and fireworks were fantastic, and all the food we bought was delicious. The weather was perfect, the things we saw were interesting, and we took breaks and rested when we were tired or our legs started to get sore. I bought a great new hat, and Arthur had a wild time in the Midway riding fun rides. I'm looking forward to next year.

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