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An evening at the fair an event to savor

August 19, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

Probably the only thing I don't like about the Jefferson County Fair is the ride to it that means you have to go through that kind of creepy tunnel or underpass on the way to the fairgrounds.

Being slightly claustrophobic, I don't like driving through that thing so I kind of hold my breath and try to concentrate on the reward to come.

The reward - as I rediscovered Wednesday night - is patronizing an annual tradition that sadly means summer as we know it is winding down, and schools are about to be back in session.

But first, there's the county fair, thank heavens.

Better Half and I headed there with son Adam for an evening of the familiar - food and more food - and the not so familiar - watching a hog competition.

I confess I know nothing about the cow, hog and whole animal competition side of the fair because I've never watched, and I've never been involved in any of that.

I've walked through all the barns and oohed and aahhed and appreciated all the critters, believe me, especially the horse barns, but I've never watched any of the competitions until this year when we stopped to check out what was going on in the hog ring.

We tried to figure out what was happening, the process that determines who comes away winners, but if you're a hog competition novice, you're destined to remain pretty pig ignorant. Ring announcers apparently don't offer a Hog Competition for Dummies general explanation that I lacked.

So we watched with interest, but all I could honestly think about was Wilbur the pig in "Charlotte's Web" and the movie "Gordy."

I suddenly felt kind of sad, then hungry with all that future bacon and ham in motion.

So off we went to fulfill our fair mission - to eat, eat and eat some more.

First on the menu was a bucket of fries, the new size this year. Not small, medium or large - we got the bucket size. We had joked in the newsroom earlier that day that a bucket of fries comes with a defibrillator. Man are they good with a quart of vinegar and a block of salt.

Then there was the plate of fried zucchini with ranch dressing.

Very yummy, yes indeed.

A couple of lemon shakes to wash it down were in order.

A plate of vegetable fried rice came next, which we split and worked off as we strolled through the horse barns, stopping at each stall to assure each horse that it was a beautiful creature indeed.

Recuperating yet from dental work I couldn't have my customary fair midway grand finale - a caramel apple with nuts - so I settled for a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream. Poor, poor me.

Better Half kept after me about ending the evening with a ride on the ferris wheel, but my fear of heights kicked in, and I declined.

The tractor ride back to the parking lot was enough of a thrill.

And on its heels was that ride home offering another one through that creepy tunnel.

But it was worth it.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at

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