Friday, July 25, 2008

Saturday at the Fair

Is anyone sick of fair photos yet? I'm done Saturday! I just have Sunday's photos left to do, and then I will have full galleries open on my site that people can peruse and even purchase prints if you like.

So Saturday was kids day, dairy shows, and the tractor pull. I had a blast on Saturday, and learned my lesson about sunscreen. I'm still peeling.

A bit of an overview of kids' day. I had to make this way too small to have much detail in it so that it would fit here. If you click it, you can see a slightly larger version:

The kids' pedal pull was a lot of fun. Here's a few little cuties having their turns:

And every year the Fair Ambassador has a go at it, too:

Johnny Borton rocked kids day, and brought all kinds of fun stuff for the kids to be active with when the music started. From hula hoops

to bubble machines, the kids weren't short of things to keep them moving

This little girl posed for me while she was waiting for a balloon animal:

And this beauty was having a blast on one of the riding toys:

Here is the first confession of this post: I didn't even know that all of this stuff was going on on kids' day at the fair until this year. I hope that if anyone else out there was keeping themselves in the dark as much as I was that next year you will take your kids out because all the kids there looked like they were having the time of their lives.

Confession #2 is that I've also never gone to see any of the shows at the fair. I never thought that I would enjoy watching a dairy competition because I just really don't know much about cows. But it was very cool. The older 4H-ers obviously put a lot of work into this, and it is always nice to see people doing something that they're so much invested in.

This was my favourite cow at the dairy show. I'm not really good at spotting "dairy quality" or anything -- I don't think this cow won -- I just liked the colour of it mostly. She's a pretty cow.

I also want to note here that I do have a tiny bit of familiarity with horse shows and I never guessed that a dairy show would involve the same amount of work, but it does. It's actually very similar I think, and it was cool to see behind the scenes and in the ring what these kids put into it. They should all be super proud of having the dedication to stick with it!

And then there was the cute show. Younger kids, some of them pretty tiny, led their calves into the ring and it was sooo cute. It is mostly just to give the kids a taste of showing and for the rest of us to stand around and go "awwww...." which we all did.

This boy did a great job hanging onto his calf.

This girl was tiny, and maybe a wee bit preoccupied. :)

This may well be the single cutest photo I have ever taken:

It was so hard to choose just a few, so I did it pretty randomly. I don't think I likely got a shot of every kid in the ring since I didn't always have a good vantage point, but I do have lots of different kids, so if there are parents out there looking for one of your little ones, let me know or watch for the gallery to go up.

Well, after the dairy show, I had a quick break and then headed back to the fairgrounds for the tractor pull. I had been to the ATV and garden tractor pull the night before and was pleasantly surprised with the fun factor involved. The tractor pull was even more fun. Confession #3 (which I sort of gave in my last post): I've never watched a tractor pull before and really didn't even know how it worked. There is something pretty cool about it. Sure, I'll admit that it's not really helping us achieve that zero carbon footprint, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for alternative fuels in tractors soon.

First of all, this is Bob. I didn't really talk to Bob too much, but he let me hang around and shoot and never kicked me out of his way, so he seems pretty cool to me. I'm sure there are other people out there who don't know how tractor pulls work, so Bob's job was to give the green flag when the track and all that was ready, and of course, the red flag when the tractor had stopped moving forward or had a full pull. Bob was pretty quick on his feet, which is good, because otherwise he may have been run over.

I don't really think you're supposed to pop wheelies in farm tractors, but lots of people did.

I'm including this photo because you can see how much bigger the sled that they are pulling is than the tractor they are pulling it with. Also, that guy up there sitting under the umbrella getting pulled all day either has a pretty sweet job, or the worst job in the place... I'm not sure which!

I definitely didn't think I'd get to practice my panning skills (following moving vehicles) at the tractor pull, but I did. I don't think these tractors have clocked much field time, but they were pretty cool. I'm sure somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that both of them burn alcohol, which it became clear makes them overheat really easily. It was ridiculous how fast they could pull the sled down the track.

This is a Minneapolis Moline. I never heard of them before, but--now this is a sentence I never thought I would say--I think it's my favourite kind of tractor. As with the cow, mostly just for the colour.

Nicole Van de Gevel, runner up in the Ambassador Competition, hitches a ride with her sister, Charlie, who was the Fair Ambassador a couple of years ago. Both of them competed in the tractor pull.

This tractor was the oldest one entered in the pull. Special prize for anyone who can tell me the year and make of it.

The night wore on and the bigger guys started to come out for the heavier classes.

It started to really really pour. I'm not one to run for cover at the first sign of rain, even with all my camera equipment with me, but it just got too heavy that I didn't feel comfortable having my gear out there.

Shortly after this shot was taken, Richard Martin, who was the head of the tractor pull team, decided to cancel the last three classes because the track was just too dangerous. I was a bit disappointed about it because I was looking forward to seeing the big tractors, but safety is more important. Even if I'm not invited back to shoot next year's tractor pull, I have to say that I think I will go check it out!

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