Today we visited the Loudoun County Fair to see a friend who was exhibiting a calf in the Dairy Show. Tonight we plan to head back when the carnival opens for our yearly ritual of twirls and bumper cars and too-expensive games and smiles and squeals and getting squished on the scrambler… yep – nothing better than a carnival – especially when the weather is as nice as it has been this week!
In anticipation I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the images I captured last year. My favorites are the ones with my kids fully engulfed in laughter, hanging on for dear life to one ride or another with joy just bursting from their faces. But I also enjoy trying to capture some of the details and color and atmosphere of the carnival as well. Here are just a few.
It is a yearly ritual for us to spend way more than we should to rescue a couple feeder fish (which literally cost maybe $.25 cents in the pet store but are WAY more fun when you actually win them… lol). We have been known to bring home as many as six… grow the one or two that survive (because they are typically in terrible shape when you get them…) to be more than 8 inches in length and then gleefully give them to a friend or neighbor for their outdoor pond when the next fair rolls around. Last year’s fish is getting huge and is anxiously awaiting a few buddies in his tank…
My husband is the whack-a-mole champ. In the entire time we’ve been together (over 20 years) I think I’ve only seen him not win one time… maybe… The girls count on a stuffed animal from this game each year.
This was one of our favorite memories from last year… a mommy “fail” that turned into a great story and one that the girls recounted this morning to a friend as their “favorite ride from last year.” See… I only looked at this ride from the front. From that view it looks like the caged cars rock back and forth but don’t actually flip over. So I assured my girls this was the case and pushed quite hard for us to ride this ride together. Of course… after we were on and strapped in and moving I realized that the “flip” happens on the back side of the ride. Yep… I yelled “Girls… It DOES flip! Hold on!!” and over we went. Over we went about 20 times! Over we went as stuff flew out of my unzipped purse and my purse repeatedly hit me on the head. Over we went as I leaped into my best mommy actress mode being over-the-top silly so as to distract my terrified twosome from tears. I did good too… got them both giggling despite their white knuckles. We got off, completely dizzy and exhausted from holding on so tight… I apologized to the child I pushed to go on the ride (fearing she’d never trust me again) and celebrated with the other child who wanted to “do it again Mommy!”
They’ve both asked to go again this year… quite proud of their achievement I think. lol
I took this picture with the intention of having a little math lesson to explain just how much one of those big animals would cost even if there is a “prize every time.” Thinking that’s not a bad idea this afternoon before we head over tonight!
I don’t know if this performer is at the fair this year or not but we saw him there a couple years in a row. Really fun… and totally crazy.
And last year I ventured back after dropping the kids off – just me and my camera – thinking it would be fun to get a few shots at night. Of course, without a buddy or children along I quickly felt like a bit of a creeper just walking around taking pictures by myself. So I only actually took a couple photos before feeling too self-conscious and heading home. Next time I know I need to take a friend.
Wednesday and Saturday the carnival is open during the day (from 1:00 to 4:00 I believe) and you can purchase a wristband where kids can ride as many rides as they want for a flat fee. If your kids love rides it’s definitely the deal of the week despite the crowds. Those tickets add up fast otherwise! Unfortunately, we always seem to have other commitments on kids days. Here’s the fair website for more information.