Vermont Fair Culture

I went to the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction, Vermont last night, and frankly, I was a little disappointed.

A scene I shot at the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction, Vermont last night

The people who put on the fair did their usual great job. It’s almost the same every year, but that’s the way it should be. The annual late summer fair should be traditional.

My disappointment was in the crowd. Most people seemed so normal. Fairs used to attract people from the hills who didn’t get out much. So they were fun to see.

I know my attitude here is pretty elitist. And really, I don’t look down on people I’m not used to. OK, I don’t look down on most of them, just some of them.

I miss the people with missing teeth. The fat guys with no shirts. The plump, aging women who wear halter tops when they really, really shouldn’t wear halter tops. The skinny, sketchy guys with jailhouse tattoos.

Business was slow at the Giant Alligator show at the fair last night.

Most of the people who were at the fair last night were well-scrubbed teenagers, elderly, neatly dressed couples walking the Midway holding hands, families with well-behaved, tidy children.

The fair has gone a little more upscale, too. A new tavern opened up beneath the grandstand, and Jeff was able to buy a nice martini, and I had a couple bottles of great Vermont microbrew.

In the animal barn, people showcasing their animals were neatly dressed. It didn’t really smell bad in there.

There were a few characters at the fair,  of course, but they were fewer and further between than past years. Where did these people go?

A ride spins at the Champlain Valley Fair last night.

Last year, Jeff and I went to the fair and saw two such characters, who we named Crystal and Francine. Both disheveled women, one heavily tattooed, tottered drunkenly around the beer hall, clothes askew, begging unwilling men like me to dance.

Unfortunately, Crystal and Francine didn’t seem to be at the fair last night. I missed them.

Still, I like the gaudy lights of the fair, the shrieks from the rides, the loud, plodding, sounds of Marilyn Manson groaning out the song “Sweet Dreams” as the rides spin,   as you can see in the short YouTube video I shot that I’ve put in this post

So, I’ll keep going to the fair, if only to eat some angioplasty-inducing fried dough, or to giggle like a middle school boy when I go into the poultry barn and read the sign over a prize-winning bird that reads, “Best Cock.”

Plus, there’s always the Tunbridge World’s Fair to look forward to.

One Response to “Vermont Fair Culture”

  1. denis Says:

    with these economic times, perhaps, sadly, they can’t afford to go to the fair.

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