Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The State Fair

Monday morning of this week found us hurrying to take care of the morning animal chores, packing the cooler, loading up the truck and heading out to the Missouri State Fair. This is always a much anticipated and looked forward to event for us, and we made a day of it. We had a really great time there and saw so many neat things! The highlight was at the close of the day, and there will be more about that later.

One thing that was different about this fair experience from the others, is that instead of being hot as we anticipated, we got cold! The temperature barely climbed into the 70's and a light shower came down most of the day. So as we walked from building to building, we would get wet and then just about every building had air conditioning going or fans blowing. When you're damp, moving air can cool you off really quickly! It was better than being hot, though. :)

We walked through some of the buildings first . . . agriculture, 4-H, Home-ec, and the chicken barn, too . . .

It was loud in there with all of the roosters crowing! We enjoyed walking down all of aisles and seeing the many different breeds of chickens. They had all kinds . . . pretty ones, unusual ones, and then those that are just plain ugly (those readers who know what Turkens are will know what I mean! :)

When we went through the Home-ec building, I photographed a few of my favorite things in there . . .

A restored antique quilt that was made in the 1930's by a seventh grader. I love this style of quilt with the old flour sack prints!

A beautiful smocked baby dress with a matching bonnet. It was so delicate with the lace and the tiny embroidery - definitely a work of art!

Mama looking at some of the canned goods

In one of the buildings, we ran into some friends of ours and enjoyed visiting with them for a bit before heading to the Boer goat show. This was one of the main reasons that we went to the fair on this day - to watch the Boer judging, to learn more about goats, and to pick up business cards and information. I have gotten fairly good at 'judging' cattle when we watch the judging of those, but goats are a completely different story! As time went on, though, we got a little better at it. It was helpful listening to the judge's critiques of the animals, and we learned a lot more about what good goat body type is. And of course, it was fun walking through the aisles and seeing all of the different goats and petting them as well.

This little boy was so cute! It was fun watching him show all of his goats.
A mama goat and some of her babies

Sleeping soundly

The goats were in the swine barn so there were aisles of pigs, too . . . most of them were sound asleep . . .

Taking its afternoon nap

After watching the goat judging for awhile and walking through that barn, we walked over to the sheep pavilion to watch the judging there for awhile. On the way, we visited the FFA building and displays which included antique tractors. Those are always neat to see!

My favorite one . . . I really like the Farmall's! (As well as the Internationals)

Dad and Mom looking at the tractors

After walking around awhile more and a visiting a number of the other buildings, the rain was picking up and we were cold so we headed to the Exhibition Center to await an event that we were all anticipating . . . the cowboy mounted shooting! The livestock barns were on the way so we walked through some of those (which I was glad for) and saw some cattle . . .

I sure would love to have some of these someday!

We got to the cowboy mounted shooting about an hour before it began . . . which ended up working out well as then we could watch the riders warming up in the arena. Then the fun began! First the arena was cleared of riders and sprayed down with water . . . .

Afterwards a tractor dragged it, and then the opening ceremonies began! The riders entered the arena with flag bearers in the lead while the cowboy mounted shooting's theme song was being played . . .

As the horses lined up in the center of the ring, the theme song ended and the Star Spangled Banner was sung and then a prayer by the announcer (which was very good - not only did he pray for the safety of the riders, but for the salvation of the individuals, and he prayed in Jesus' name as well. It was the type of prayer not often heard in public.)

The cowboy mounted shooting started out with the first level of men's and women's, and then worked up to the faster levels.
I knew I was going to enjoy this event, but I had no idea how much . . . it far exceeded my expectations! It was so fun!

Here are some of the photos that I took during the event (and just so you all know, they shoot blanks in events like this) . . .

He got his first balloon and now on to the next

After each rider finished, a boy scout troop would go out and replace all of the balloons. They did a great job! Though, I am sure they were very tired by the end of the day!

Her last balloon

Halfway through, and when the riders would make this turn, they would holster their first gun and pull out their second for the home stretch. It amazed me how quickly they could do this!

Leah took videos during this event (which we have enjoyed watching since getting home), and here is one of our favorites . . .

Just watching it brings back so many great memories! And Leah and I are already looking forward to next year's. :)

All good things must come to an end, though, and as night was falling, it was time for us to head for home . . .

Some of the horses waiting outside of the arena . . . they are such beautiful animals!

The sunset on the drive home - the heavens truly do declare the glory of God!

And another view of it

What a wonderful day it had been . . . a special time together as a family enjoying some of our favorite things!


  1. What a great day!
    We have County fairs in UK, somewhat similar with animals, flowers etc....but, no Cowboy shooting!

  2. Oh I just love going to fairs! We usually go in February during the San Angelo Rodeo.

    I have always wanted to do mounted shooting! I can shoot somewhat decent from on the ground, but I don't know how I'd do up on a horse! Especially since I'm not an overy experienced rider. I have never been to an event of it either, I'll bet it was a lot of fun to watch.

  3. Looks like you all had a wonderful time ~ I love thoses little smocked dresses brings back memories !!

  4. What a wonderful day you had! It was such a joy to browse your sweet photos and see the events of your day!

    In Christ,

  5. This looks like lots of fun. We've talked about going to the fair, but just haven't yet. One of the local yearly rodeos was a family event. But now, we have our own cowboys! :-) I do like all the small town festivals that should soon start happening as it's getting closer to fall.
    I enjoyed my walk through the fair through your pictures. :-)

  6. Thank You for sharing your day at the fair with us Sarah. I really enjoyed the Cowboy shooting video and loved the wedding ring quilt and the cute goats.

  7. What a co-incidence my children are at our EKKA which is a big agricultural and everything else show right now. To equal you it is cool and damp too. I would love to go but dad is in hospital I don't think I will get there. Besides it is so expensive just to walk in the gate.

    We have similar things but no cowboy shooting. Wood chopping is huge and they often have races and other acts. Unfortunately Will has been called to work so they cannot stay for the fireworks. But oh the joy of a big brother who will take the girls out for a day and look forward to it too.

  8. It was, Elizabeth! Your county fairs sound like they would be so nice. We have county fairs as well, and then all of the things that won at the county fairs go on to the state fair. It makes for a great state fair!

  9. Me, too, Becky! Ohh the San Angelo Rodeo sounds like it would be so much fun! I would love to go to a rodeo someday.

    For some reason, cowboy mounted shooting seems right up your alley. I can definitely picture you doing something like that! Maybe someday you’ll have the opportunity to try. After we left the event, Leah and I were both talking about how much we would love to try it someday! Unfortunately, neither of us have a horse and our riding skills are not very good. :) Ah, well, we can dream! And yes, it was a lot of fun to watch!

  10. We did, Marie! Aren’t smocked dresses beautiful? That is a skill I would love to learn . . . it adds so much to a garment and makes it a treasure.

  11. We did have a wonderful day, Shannon! And I am glad that you enjoyed all of the photos. :)

  12. It was, Miss Anne! I am sure you would enjoy the fair . . . I really like the fact that it is still so focused on agriculture. How fun to go to the local yearly rodeos! I haven’t ever been to one, but I would really like to someday. Your small town festivals sound so nice, too. I hope you enjoy those once they start!

    And I am glad that you enjoyed ‘walking through the fair’ through the photos!

  13. You’re welcome, Lisa. :) And I am glad that you enjoyed the video and the photos of the goats and quilt!

  14. I am glad that your children were able to go to your EKKA, Suze! It sounds like it would be a lot of fun with lots of neat things to see. I hope that they enjoyed themselves there! And how nice that your son gave his sisters the treat of going. It’s always nice when big brothers do things like that!

    I am so sorry to hear that your Dad is in the hospital – I will be praying for him.

  15. That looks so fun, Sarah! We recently went to a 4-H thing that our friend was in. She was showing heifers. It was fun, but not as big as the state fair. I'm sure our children would love to go to that some year.

  16. It was fun, Joy! I am so glad we were able to go. That's great that you all were able to go to a 4-H heifer show! Those are fun to watch. And I know that you all would enjoy the state fair . . . there is so much to see! And so many animals to watch and enjoy. :)

  17. It looks like you all have a great state fair. We used to love going to our local 4-H fair. It's so fun to walk around and view everything.

  18. Oh wow it looks like such a wonderful day! :o) I would love to go to one sometime I think! :o)


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