Another Trek to the Buttercow

It’s August which can only mean one thing.  That’s right, it is time to go check out the buttercow at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.  If you were born in Springfield (as I was) this is what you do every year… that and have fun with the carnies who try to get you to waste money on scam games.  By the way, if you are one of those people who think they can hit the jump shots for the big prize, take a gander at the rims from the side of the game area and dismiss any idea of putting a round ball in a ROUND hole.  Lately I have been seeing disclaimers on the backing boards indicating that the rims are not regulation, but then again, oblong has never been regulation.  Words of wisdom to hold and cherish – when in Vegas, the easier the game the less the odds are in you favor, when at the fair, the bigger the prize the more impossible it is to actually win it.  Oh, and before I forget, if you see someone walking around with the BIG prize in a plastic bag… they are being paid to walk around with it to entice you into opening your wallet.

So yesterday, I took time out of from the lot clearing and eagerly headed down to Springfield to see this:

State Fair Buttercow

I was pretty impressed with the effort this year and “thrillered” they did not even consider making it a Michael Jackboy tribute like the Iowa fair was considering.  It is obvious we continue to be cursed by those LSU fans who spent my entire Sugar Bowl vacation yelling “Tiger Bait” as I passed wearing my Illini apparel.  If you look close, his shirt says “My better is better than your better” apparently they are a football school and not an academic school.  As you can see, the display has expanded over the years and now contains extra butter figures.  I was actually able to find all of the listed items, except for a snake that was suppose to be in there.

State Fair Buttercow

The State Fair usually brings a great opportunity for observing interesting people, however, this was not the case this year.  In fact, it was a pretty weak outing for blog material.  I did capture some bullet items of things that caught my attention while walking around the grounds and on my way home.  Hit the jump to check them out

  • The deep fried chocolate dipped Twinkie continues to be the highlight on the calorie bursting desserts on a stick category.  Vose corn dogs continue to be the best in that category.
  • I think there are now more motorized carts than golf carts in the fairgrounds.  As we went into an exhibit building we noticed you could rent them from $50-65.  I have no idea what the difference between the prices where unless it was battery power or possibly speed.  Linda “wee-weed” my request to rent one.
  • I continue to be annoyed that “Taste of {insert event of your choice}” is now considered a profit opportunity instead of a marketing tool.  Much like the Taste of Peoria which costs you about $50 for a small meal, the wine tasting show is ridiculously priced.  Sure it is a dollar a sample, but based on the thimble of wine you get for a dollar they are probably charging about $40/bottle.  In case you are curious, the winner for us was the winery from Manito (just South of Peoria).
  • The divers this year brought what I would consider a 50+ year old.  He hopped up on the platform as we were passing.  Gray hair and all he stuck the dive and kudos for keeping the abs in shape at that age (but the Speedos thing has to go).  Linda mentioned that this fair attraction must be where Olympic divers go to die.
  • An individual passed us talking to his group of friends.  He was setting plans to “Go ask his parole officer if he could get into that”.  Let us hope that is not enrolling in a lock-picking school.
  • All of the State Fair concerts were total crap.  The only one that slightly interested us was Skynyrd, but that band is just an empty shell of its former lineup.  Everything else had an Idol contestant in it and contrary to the TV ratings, there is nothing that interests me with that group.
  • The Conservation Area at the Northwest end of the fairgrounds is pretty impressive.
  • The Photography Contest had some excellent entries in it (including ours but then again we are biased).  Unlike the local HOI Fair, the ribbons were given to quality shots and in contrast to at least one of the adult winners at the HOI Fair, all the winners had photos that were in focus.
  • Kudos to the lady in the conservation area who was busy getting people into the Amren tent.  She was pumping up the green (but blue colored) reusable bags they were giving away.  I always admire outgoing (but not pushy) people willing to engage strangers.
  • Lastly, as we headed out of town, we were caught by a stop light when a car pulled up to the intersection from the right and stopped.  It is possible they had a red and the arrows were lighting up from the turns, but it caught my attention.  As we assessed the scene, a kid jumps out of the backseat (from the traffic side door) and proceeds to open the hood up.  He had a small object in his hands which looked like an oil container.  It must have held water instead because he went for the radiator cap which… wait for it… wait for it .. was still hot causing him to pull his hand back quickly.  The kid was determined to get that cap off and proceeded to try wrapping the cap in his shirt.  I have no idea if he was successful or not since our light eventually turned green.  As we proceeded into the intersection, I took a glance at the driver who appeared to be his mother.  She had zero concern that her kid was in danger of getting scalded if not ran over since the hazard lights were not on and there is no way anyone behind the car would know there was someone standing in front of it – unless the made the assumption based on the raised hood.  Let’s hope that were a successful end to that observation.

That’s it folks.  The current thinking is we were too early for the good watching opportunities (we had the day off so went earlier than usual).  Oh well, there’s always next year.  Hey, did you catch my Obama quote in this blog?  The great orator must have been talking to his daughters on how to convince the American people why they should give up the best health care in the modern world.

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