Friday, September 25, 2009

Day #21/175 Days

Every September in Unity there is the Common Ground Fair. This is a very old-fashioned style agricultural fair with a strong environmental vibe to it. I love it personally. My biggest reason - I don't have to worry about the rides and fairway enticing the boys since there isn't one!

On opening day they let in school groups as well as homeschoolers for free - which is why we go that day. I did spend $5 to park because we didn't get there early enough but it's worth missing the horrendous traffic jam of cars getting in to the fair. As it was, it still took us about an hour to drive from the center of Unity, park the truck, and walk into the fairground. Nuts I tell you - but worth it.

I never feel like we see enough but by the time we arrived on the fairgrounds it was 11am & we stayed until 3pm. We met up with my sister & her family & spent the day together. The extra adult help was nice since I had five kiddos with me. The two younger boys spent a lot of time off with Auntie & Uncle -thanks guys!

When we first got there we headed to the folk art tent. Did I mention how cold it was! It was about 50 degrees out with a gusting wind. It was extremely cold & two of my boys managed to get out of the house in shorts. My first order or business was trying to find them some affordable hats (I spent too much money for little fleece hats but they were cheaper than the all wool ones for $30+ each) to help keep them warm. It wasn't until we were leaving that I remembered the extra clothes packed in the truck which included pants! Sheesh!

Lego-Man was again my roving photographer & did take most of these photos. I'm not sure what this first was is of but he took it while in the folk art tent.

Okay - I mentioned how cold it was right? This guy was outside the folk art tent demonstrating how to tan hides (he's working on a deer skin). You can see the long sleeves, the hat, and even the chaps to help protect him from his sharp knife. I'm not sure you can see that he's barefoot. He wasn't the only one either. It made me shiver every time.

I had Miss H & Mr H with me as well. They spent most of the day in the stroller but Miss H was able to get out & move around quite a bit. Mr. H stayed in there for the most part but I did carry him some...

Did I mention how cold it was? I started the day with him in a Snugli facing out & my fleece jacket zipped up around him. I did think to grab one of Happy's hats for Mr. H - thankfully. He was also in a very warm fleece one-piece outfit - with footies. I think he was probably the warmest of everyone there. Oh & the looks I was getting with him like this was pretty priceless.

The fair has a wonderful children's area. One thing they had there this year was a display called "winter kids." The kids did a relay race wearing snowshoes. It was a blast to watch.

Happy racing against his cousin.

Conductor had a "moment" at the relay race. I had just arrived & he was pouting & had been crying. Apparently he tried to do the race with snowshoes on that were too big. We had a chat & he decided to try again with ones that fit. Check out his form.

And I, of course, grow "locally grown" kids. ;-)

Another really fun part this year was the hay jump. In years past they have just had a bunch of loose hay on the ground for the kids to jump & play in. This year they still had the loose hay, but they had a bunch of hay bales stacked behind it for the kids to climb up on top of & jump off. They loved it.


He was great & brought Miss H up 2-3 times for her to have a turn. It was a bit too much for her, but they had a volunteer there helping little ones off. Miss H kept wanting to go again so I'm pretty sure she liked it.

Happy - this kid LOVED this!

There was also a "Mudmobile" at the children's area. They handed out a glob of clay/mud to each child & then they could make it in to something. All of the older kids (all except Mr. H) tried it & made something. Okay, I did a lot of helping with Miss H. I let her carry a small piece of it until she started chewing on it. blah!

There were also boards full of nails for the kids to pound in. I felt sorry for the volunteers here who had to keep banging them back out for the kids to bang right back in again.

One more locally grown kid. ;-)

At one point I took Mr & Miss H & Lego-Man over to the amphitheater. There was a group there playing Irish music. I bought a large popcorn on the way (yummy - organic popcorn with safflower oil & sea salt) & Miss H, Lego-Man & I all shared it while we listened to the music.

I took this photo of Mr. H while he sat in my lap.

Don't let this photo of Miss H fool you - she spent over half her time here - after she was done eating - she danced to the music. It was fun to watch.

After we were done at the amphitheater we went to find my sister & the rest of the boys. They were on the other side of the hill doing this.....

I convinced Lego-Man to take Miss H. I think she liked it. ;-)

I'm pretty sure they could have all stayed here for the rest of the day sliding, but we moved on. Mr. H had not napped as well as I had hoped. Our next stop was the sheep dog demo. I love this part of the fair & we typically start our day here. These dogs are really amazing at what they can do at just a whistle. They had goats this year for the first time & the dogs did as well with them as they did with sheep (which they had too).

Our day ended by quickly checking out some bunnies and the poultry barn. There was so much we missed but we'll be back next year!


Alexandra said...

Okay, now I have to move to Maine! That looks like so much fun, and interesting. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. I think my children would love the veggie photo op....reminiscent of Veggietales, and it's just too darn cute.

Wild Homeschool Family said...

This looks SO fun! I must admit we give the fairs a miss most years because of the pesky, expensive, not sure if they're safe, fair rides. I would love to go to a fair without rides!

Cynthia said...

That looks AWESOME! Such a wonderful variety of activities.