Monday, August 16, 2010

The Napa Town & Country Fair Part 1

When I was a kid, the Napa fair was the highlight of my summer.  My sister and I would get a week-long pass and wristbands for unlimited rides.  We'd wait outside the gates before they opened, and then spend hours running from the giant slide to the tilt-a-whirl, taking breaks for curly fries and sno cones.  Today I have a weak inner ear and an aversion to crowds, but I was dead set on making a night at the fair happen.

Before this weekend, I hadn't been in years.  While I was certain that it would still have that summer magic I grew up loving, John and Allison were slightly more dubious.  Think about the first time you went to Disneyland as an adult.  When I went in college, everything was a little smaller, a little more crowded, and a little more wooden than I remembered.  When we drove down one of Napa's main streets on Friday and saw a few lonely ferris wheel cars sticking out above a two-story building, I started to get a little nervous.

I had been hyping up the fair to John for weeks, and I badgered Allison and her boyfriend Nick into joining us.  Luckily, the night exceeded our lowered expectations, and we had a blast.  Let's start with the really good stuff, the fried food.

Corn dogs...  You had me at hello.  I never eat corn dogs because they render me powerless.  Had I not been in public and under the expectation that I would behave like a normal human, I may have inhaled 5 to 6 corn dogs.

Research has shown that corn dogs taste better when you're sitting on bleachers and a local cover band is rocking out to Susie Q.  Mustang Sally works too.

Blooming onion.  Not gonna lie...  We ate all the bloom, and left most of the onion.  Don't judge.

Deep fried mushrooms.  These delicious morsels were the sleeper hit of the night.  Battered, fried, and dipped in ranch, I have never eaten mushrooms this naughty.

I insisted we order super nachos.  Yes, beneath this massive pile of toppings, there are chips.  I did serious damage on this plate of nachos, which isn't surprising.  I never met a plate of Mexican food that I wouldn't take on.

Hello lover.  This is what we in these parts call a block o' curly fries.  There's no way to eat them without covering your hands in grease.  I once attempted an entire fry brick by myself when I was 12.  It didn't end well folks.  Not well at all.

Once we stuffed our faces, it was on to another fair highlight:  the livestock!  Napa has an active 4-H community, and the livestock exhibition is huge.  I've decided that instead of another pug, I would like to get a pygmy goat.  This one looks like he'd fit in quite nicely.

The lambs at the Napa fair are the most glamorous I've seen anywhere.  They wear leotards (sheepotards?), I'm assuming for warmth, but also for fashion.  Check out these divas.  Yes that's cheetah print.  Do you think they're cougars?

This is what's called an oreo cow.  They're supposedly rare, and specific to the region.  Emily told me that.  There's not much to put this photo to scale, but I must comment that these cows were massive enormous beasts.  My 10 minutes in the 4H tent pretty much solidified the fact that I will never be cut out for ranch life.  These guys scared the crap out of me.

This is the part where I get my Charlotte's Web on.

And this is the part where I giggle.  I will think about this pig ass next time I savor the bacon in my Cobb salad.  Aaah, good times.

OK, that's enough for one day.  Tomorrow I bring you some champion entries from the Home Arts exhibition, and some embarassing/awesome photos of Allison and I dancing.  What's your favorite fair food?  Let us know in the comments!


  1. Ooooo, funnel cakes were my favorite fair food, by far. What's not to love about deep fried dough covered in powdered sugar?!

  2. Those dancing photos better not be showing up! Its not that they are humiliating. I just don't want to embarrass others with our mad dance skillz, or something like that...

  3. Did you like your curly fries? My family and I split a block and we were not impressed! However, the funnel cakes and fried zucchini were a hit. :)

  4. You guys are my heros! There's no way I'd be brave enough to take on all that fried food! ;)

    Cheers! Britt (Savory) Ames

  5. Oh my, that looks like such a blast! Sometimes it's the little things, like local fairs and downtown concerts, that can be a great time :-) I'd have to say funnel cakes and snocones are 2 of my favorite fair foods! Also fresh lemonade...


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