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Hamilton County Fair

You can't go to the fair and NOT get a funnel cake. LOL

This weekend was the Hamilton County Fair. It rained a big majority of the day on Saturday, but luckily the weather was cooperative on Sunday. We didn't make it there till later in the day (only open 10-6), but I think the 2 hours we spent was plenty. :-)

 A school bus picked us up at the mall and shuttled us to the fair grounds. McKayla got a kick out of riding the bus and grinned even bigger when we told her she'd be riding the bus to school one day soon (where has the time gone??!!).

First we headed out to grab us a bite to eat. So many choices, so many yummy smells! We enjoyed our food while listening to the band play. McKayla REALLY liked the band and even started dancing around a bit.

McKayla and Daddy listening to the band.

After eating, we headed for the 4-H barn to see the cows, mules and goats. Most of them weren't keen on being petted, so we didn't stay long. Then we headed next door for the 'hands-on' petting zoo where McKayla was able to pet goats, calves and a miniature horse.

Petting the mini donkey.

Checking out the baby chicks.

Trying to pet the miniature horse.

Next on the agenda was a ride around the fair grounds on the "shuttle", a tractor pulling 3 cars along the road. It was cramped quarters, but the smile on McKayla's face was well worth it.

This is the only picture I took of the vendor's, but I had to take a pic of the Horsin' Around booth as we were racing for the bus to go home. They are a local shop that teaches, designs and builds carousel animals.

This is a brief piece I copied from this online magazine about how Horsin' Around got started with an antique carousel:

"The carousel came to life at the Dentzel factory in Philadelphia in 1895. It was one of the early carousels, which first was used in Rochester, New York, but it was not electrical, nor did it have moving horses. In 1915, it was sent back to the factory for extensive work. On its second debut it had the mechanisms of two rows of moving animals. It also had hundreds of glittering electric lights. It performed faithfully in Massachusetts until the 1940's when it was sold and relocated to Grant Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the late 1960's, it grew more and more worn and the city was unable to locate enough money to maintain it. Despite the efforts of its many supporters, the city decided to take the old carousel out of service and sell off its magnificent menagerie of animals. An Atlanta man who realized its potential put the leftovers in storage. 

For decades, the old machine lay waiting to be discovered by someone special. It required a unique person to recognize its promise and have the courage and determination to rescue it. Early in the 1980's, that person happened along. Bud Ellis had sought out the owner. He found the almost unrecognizable wreck of a carousel and fell in love. That love kept him going through 10 years of meticulous restoration. He started an organization called "Friends of the Carousel" and was joined by other enthusiasts. With their help, he trained carvers, recruited a host of volunteers, obtained funding and came up with an ideal location for his restored carousel on the banks of the Tennessee River. Today, in Coolidge Park, there is glittering evidence that dreams can really come true. Bud's dream whirls and dances to old-fashioned tunes on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga."

I couldn't resist sharing a couple pictures from their website of their BEAUTIFUL carvings. You can see the many others they have by following this link.

This post quickly turned into a post about the Coolidge Park Carousel. Sorry about that, my ADD kicking in LOL. Regardless tho, that's the end of our fair going trip. We had a wonderful time. The weather wasn't too hot or too cold and the rain stayed away for us to enjoy a nice Sunday at the fair.


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