A Fair Weekend

We love the simplicity of a small-town fall fair. Although Saturday felt more like the height of summer than the beginning of fall, we ventured out for the annual event in Thorndale, a bit north and east of London.

two large draft horses pulling a cart with three men riding on it

We think of it as supporting the local agricultural society. And we do love to get up close to the animals. Take this camel, for instance. I left him my dentist’s card.

close=up of a camel's head showing two large, uneven teeth peeking out from between its lips

We met a Patagonian cavy (a large rodent from Argentina), a kangaroo, sheep, cows, chickens, rabbits, geese and various other creatures. I let a soft lizard sit on my arm for a couple of minutes. He was very docile and light.

lizard on my outstretched hand reaches up to my elbow

We don’t do rides and sometimes play a few games, but not this time. My goal was to stay in the shade as the heat built up and threatened to cook us. We enjoyed cheeseburgers, no fries. We checked out the exhibit hall and watched the parade, which was a lot longer and louder than I expected. The Mocha Shriners rode their tiny cars, there were too many tractors to count and a float full of elementary students waved and shouted “Merry Christmas” as they went past. Later, we talked to the guy riding this thing – it’s like a Segway without handles but it’s much easier to navigate, he says.

rider on two-wheeled scooter thing, about to make a sharp turn in front of me

There are loads of them on the market but this one is cartoonishly fast. He says there’s no law against it but because they’re not regulated, he makes sure he does everything by the book when he’s out in traffic. Yes, he goes out in traffic.

In days gone by, we’d ride our motorcycles to fall fairs but considering the record-breaking heat, I was happier to get into the truck and blast the a/c. After a couple of hours, we’ve smelled all of the smells and heard all of the sounds. I do enjoy the wide-eyed children seeing an animal for the first time. It’s important that they learn where their food comes from and meet a farmer or two. My dark sense of humour sometimes takes over. A cow and I had a bit of a back-and-forth in the livestock pavilion. She mooed, I said hi. She mooed, I said you’re a wonderful cow. She mooed and I told her that unfortunately, she was also delicious.

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