Erie's Town Fair started with a flight of half a dozen hot air balloons, early in the morning. All the vendors came out, to set up, and watch the balloons fly overhead. The fair, itself, consisted of local doctors, dentists, insurance agencies, restaurants, a guy who made flyswatters from golf clubs' handles, lots of little crafties, a few booths that looks like nothing more than junk, pre-made dehydrated food stores, local beauty products, Mary Kay, bright clothing booths, henna tattoos, massage therapists galore, First Bank, tiny toy stores, a row of Fair food, an area of field set aside for kids, and ended in half a street's worth of high-gloss hot rods owned by local families. There was also a decisive Mexican presence, with food, crafts, and clothing slanted in that direction. The only art I could see consisted of a guy making weathervanes from completely accurate models of small planes or the guy that carved various shaped cutting boards from Corian.
Jet loved the kids area. There was a petting zoo, giant, inflatable slides and jumping areas, and a playground. Just outside of the area was also was small train, built from a lawn tractor, and a bunch of boxes on wheels. It had an incredible turning radius, and to do a U-turn in the space to parking slots, so it zipped around the Fair, kids in tow and parents open-mouthed at the insane driving of the conductor. Jet had to go on the train, but once he was on with John he got very serious. He kept telling John that he really liked what was going on, but he never really smiled. I guess he was just concentrating on his ride.
I was very glad of the clouds, when they finally came out. There is also a small stage on the same field, where Alex got to show off his karate skills. The whole dojo came out and did demonstrations, with much breaking of boards. Alex's whole family was there to cheer him on, and get mildly sunburnt. Sunshine here, seems glass-clear, compared to Seattle's water hazed air, sharp and insistent about the danger of sunburn. We were all slathered up in sunscreen, and it amused me that the Mary Kay representative was passing out sunscreen as her freebie.
The food consisted entirely of barbecue, deep-fried candy bars, smoked turkey wings, funnel cake, cotton candy, and the usual collection of hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and fries. The fries are pretty impressive, though. They were thick-cut, fresh off the potato, and fried before your eyes. They were far too hot, when they actually handed them to you, and Jet kept picking one up, handing it to me, and asking me to blow on it until it was cool enough for him to eat. Yes, Jet made an entire meal out of french fries.
I really enjoyed it, but it's very different than the huge city street fairs in Seattle. And it sounded very different than the one Gretchen got to in Santa Cruz, which seemed like a fun thing to capture.