Is This a Carnie Thing?

Copyright © 2015 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.

We took the kids to the Tri-County fair today. Apparently, it is the longest running fair in the US, at 198 years.  We’ve been to at least 8 of those, and honestly, I was hoping to give this year a miss. For better or for worse, my son spotted signs and activity on Saturday and we found a block of time to go today.

21202068956_11164781b2_oThis year, we got the kids bracelets for rides and they took advantage of them fully. I think this is the first year that all the rides were fully accessible to both kids. Alice said the roller coaster was her favorite and it shows. E and I didn’t really have to go on many rides with them, which I think is fine by both of us. While the kids were on one ride alone, I said to E, “let’s make this a really scary ride for them” and started kissing her. Adulthood has its privileges.

We were walking past some of the games and Alice, being Alice, started a conversation with one of the carnies running a basketball game and he let Alice play for free. No, ‘let’ is too gentle. He encouraged her to play until she made a shot and gave her a choice of some stuffed animals. Weird. This goes against everything I’ve come to know about fairs: nothing is free. I thanked him, still trying to figure out the hook.

We did our annual ride on the Ferris wheel, which I always like.


As does Alice. When that was done, we went to the area where they had the fun houses and passed a few more games. This time, another carnie spotted Alice and that she was carrying a prize and offered to let her play until she won and he would trade her toy for a larger prize. I’m still confused. I’m writing it off as one of those unexpected nice things that people just do. It reminds me of the time I was in the food court of a mall and a stranger out of nowhere walked up to me and Alice and said, “God bless you for all the hard work you do.”

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