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sonoma county fair

The Renaissance Faire was up near Santa Rosa, so we stayed overnight with Chris and Jen, and the next day went to Sonoma County Fair. The fairgrounds were just a short walk from their house.

Before you can get to the main fairgrounds, you have to go through the building where all of the booths with vendors are selling everything from hot tubs to home siding, to jewelry and clothes, to the “Amazing Super-Absorbent Miracle Cloth!!!” We almost got through safely, but Nancy and Jen were mesmerized by the ginsu knife demonstration :-)

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This being a county fair, their were exhibits of prize-winning flowers and gardens.

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And of course all sorts of food booths, and a swing/jazz band playing near the picnic area.

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After lunch it was time to go check out the farm animal exhibitions.

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Ahh, doesn’t that bring back memories… I remember that view of a cow well :-)

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There were cows, horses, and sheep of course, but we happened across the goat judging contest. This was a serious business, and you could tell which breeders had long lines of champion goats.

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There was one goat who was demonstrating his/her? high-balancing skills, but I don’t think they were giving out ribbons for that!

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Nancy and Jen had to stop into the petting zoo. One of the deer was quite the moocher. After it got fed by both Nancy and Jen, it came over to me and starting trying to eat my shirt!

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There was also an odd little furry goat-ish critter. He’s was cute, but kinda strange. (They also had a small kangaroo, but that picture didn’t turn out. Oh well.)

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By then we were ready for a sit-down again, so we rested in the shade in the bleachers by the llama pens.

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Then we went to see the poultry exhibits.

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After seeing all the chickens I need to see for a while, we headed for the midway. Nancy and Jen fortunately did not ask Chris and I to try and win prizes for them in the midway games :-)

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There were lots of rides as well, but we were heading for the arts and crafts exhibit hall, so we passed them by.

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The arts and crafts exhibits filled two large halls. There was just about every kind of crafty thing imaginable.

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Not everything was your traditional arts and crafts. Here is an interesting parent-and-child tandem bike actually made from pieces of adult and kid’s bicycles.

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And here is a “painting” made entirely of different colored beans.

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But the oddest thing I saw was an artwork titled “What’s inside your head”, which is made of real clockworks, gears, and belts: Brain “CPU”, gyro, ear drum, spinal cord, adam’s apple, taste gear, smell gear, main gear, and drive belt. And it provides some advice “For Good Mental Health”

  1. Spray some WD40 up your nose
  2. Don’t think about politics
  3. Don’t argue; it will stretch your drive belt
  4. Keep your ‘CPU’ cool – wear a hat
  5. Don’t bang your head against the wall: causes gears to strip

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My very very favorite thing in the whole arts and crafts exhibit was the Indy-car racetrack and stadium constructed entirely of Lego blocks! It was enormous and fully detailed inside and out — it even had the ticket windows and outside parking! Goodness knows how long it took to put together or how many Lego blocks it required.

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But wait! It gets even better! The headline entertainment at the fair was Valentine’s Performing Pigs, featuring Nellie the World’s Smartest Pig, as seen on TV’s David Letterman Show! Nellie could do all sorts of tricks, including rolling a barrel, riding a car and a skateboard, playing soccer, opening a mailbox and delivering the message “EAT BEEF” :-)

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Apparently, Nellie’s fame started out when she won “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and then appeared on Letterman. Since then she’s been on Letterman several more times. Nellie and her owners are already training the next generation of performing pigs.

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But it even gets better than that :-) As we were leaving at the end of the day we passed the booth where gourmet fudge was being hand-made. We each got a box, and I got two YUM :-)

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