Armed with a free entry pass, because I was going to participate in a Tai Chi demonstration, I headed off to the Oregon State Fair this morning on my Burgman scooter. What I found was pleasing variety and a fresh vibe that coexisted nicely with traditional fair offerings.
Here's the photographic evidence.
First off, I got a great parking spot right across the street from the entrance. Well, bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters should receive bonuses like this, being more sustainable alternatives to auto energy hogs.
As soon as I enter the fair, I get an oh, yeah feeling. Whether six or sixty (like me) big colorful rides are a turn on.
Whac-a-mole! Beautiful. Reminded me of Iraq terrorist strategy not too long ago. Fairs give us so many wonderful metaphors.
I thought about trying to win a giant stuffed tiger for Laurel. But the chances seemed slim. And I was going to look pretty damn ridiculous driving home with it tied to the rear seat of my scooter, if I did manage to win one.
These are all Christian t-shirts. The whole display was about double what's shown. Jesus was big at many booths. I looked for Lao Tzu t-shirts. Didn't find any.
Over at the Sports and Recreation area, we did bring some Taoism to the fair via a Tai Chi demonstration. The woman in the cowboy hat was a kick. I had a good time talking with her. She's a devout Christian who loves Chinese culture. Had lots of positive energy. Enjoys trying new things.
I found a great way to feed my curly fries addiction without clogging up my veins with excessive heart-stopping cholesterol. Since the smallest order of fries was way more than I wanted to eat, I shared with Warren, our Tai Chi instructor, and two fellow students.
Had to throw in at least one animal photo. This miniature horse was nervous, being its first time at a fair. The owner had to tell it to behave.
This struck me as sheep cruelty. Put a helmet on a kid and have him ride an unwilling animal who got dragged around an arena while being slapped on the rear. It's legs collapsed just after I took the photo. They had to get a replacement sheep. The fair needs to lose this disturbing event.
Part of an order of curly fries wasn't going to sustain me through the whole fair experience. Fortunately, the Vegetarian Gods led me to this booth, the only one of its kind (not surprisingly, given the food most fair-goers were happily chowing down).
Probably wasn't a positioning accident that this booth was right across from the vegetarian fare. I'd already signed a petition to legalize medical marijuana clinics in Oregon, so they didn't want me to sign again.
When the medical marijuana guy saw me taking photos, he said "Here, snap this one." Pretty cool. He tucks the end of his long white beard under his (reversed) baseball cap and puts his dark glasses over it. Perfectly appropriate for a marijuana-related booth.
I really, really wanted to take this home. I have no idea what we'd do with it on our ten acres, and it cost $63,000. But it sure looked like fun.
Waiting for the Youth Rodeo to start.
I like this photo -- yin and yang. The girl carrying the American flag to kick off the rodeo entered from the sunny end of the arena.
This cowgirl and cowboy were sitting on the rails when the National Anthem started to play as the American flag rider rode around the arena. They had to figure out how to stand up on the rails. A nice patriotic moment.
Not your old-style State Fair: a nifty open ride BMX course.
This guy got some serious air. I impressed myself by getting this telephoto shot on a first try.
I heard "Sea World" sorts of talk coming from an arena. Poked my camera over the heads of onlookers and got a nice shot, thanks to my Sony's powerful zoom and tilting viewfinder.
This ride shot people straight up a scary long ways, before dropping them down on bouncy cords. I couldn't capture the screaming. Just some legs.
"This ride shot people straight up a scary long ways, before dropping them down on bouncy cords. I couldn't capture the screaming. Just some legs."
I remember that from a couple years back...during the twilight after sunset while Steve Miller was playing "Fly like an Eagle..."
Posted by: Nw | August 31, 2009 at 10:29 PM
I love the state fair and interesting to see what you found good there as they are things I walk through so fast I barely am aware of them; so you gave me another perspective. I go for the animals, the flowers, the booths that sell things just in case although I rarely buy anything, and that's about it. I always think I wish I had chickens after being there. I agree with you on the sheep riding. They are not built for that. Totally disgusting.
Posted by: Rain | September 01, 2009 at 07:41 AM
Hey! Nice recap on your Fair experience. And thanks for supporting us and taking our photo!
Viva! Vegetarian Grill
Posted by: Dave | September 01, 2009 at 02:08 PM
The state fair has a lot more variety these days, so it was fun to see it from your point of view. Great Pictures!
It is the only time I get to see the big animals up close. Most of the time the animals are calm and well cared for, used to all the hubbub I guess.
Daryl (Tai Chi student)
Posted by: Daryl Thomas | September 02, 2009 at 09:52 AM
Hey- I'm the sports and rec coordinator at the Fair. Would you mind if I stole your Tai Chi and mountain bike photos to have in our database?
Nice rundown of Fair, I love that you have a bit of everything!
Posted by: Lydia | September 15, 2009 at 12:28 PM
Lydia, no problem. Steal away.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | September 15, 2009 at 12:39 PM