I saw a banner on one of my bus routes this week advertising the Hays County Fair and BBQ Cook-off. Since Marissa was going to a luncheon with the ladies from church and leaving Aidan with me, I thought this would be a great thing for us to do together. You know? Some father-son bonding time. An adventure mano a mano. I can't speak for Aidan, but I know I was looking forward to it all week.
We stopped for gas and cash and then headed to the fair grounds. It was about noon so I was surprised there wasn't a more crowded parking area. I actually parked right at the front gate. The carnival rides were colorful, the BBQ smelled delicious, and the crowd was light: things looked promising.
I was sorely disappointed when I got inside the Civic Center. There were plenty of food booths; however, there were only three with people and product. There was a petting zoo with rabbits, chickens, a donkey, a cow, and some camels. Aidan and I enjoyed that a lot but it was $2 for 10 minutes. On to the website-promised BMX competition. It turned out to be a pair of guys mopping the floor between sessions. No one on bikes. No one doing tricks. We stayed long enough for me to grab a brisket taco and a Dr. Pepper and then headed for more entertaining pastures: home.
I don't know why my expectations were so high. Have I been corrupted by fictional fairs where the entire county shows up and everyone knows each other and great times are had by all? Where were the jugglers, the barber shop quartets, and teeming crowds? Where was the cotton candy, the candied apples, and the guy on stilts selling balloons for a quarter to smiling children? Was I mislead by books and movies or is Hays County an exception to the rule?
Sights and Sounds of Christmas is a December festival that the City of San Marcos puts on. It's loads more fun than the County Fair I took my son to today. And I've been to S&S about seven times!
Maybe I caught the Fair in an off year or off day. I'll give it one more shot next year, but they better hit a grand slam if they want me to return in 2010. Until then, it just isn't fair.