Thursday, August 05, 2010

It's Tradition

The Iowa State Fair starts next week. This is a HUGE event, and people literally come from all over the world to visit. Here's a little trivia...did you know that a travel author listed our state fair as one of the top ten things to see and do before you die.'s that big.

Our school system has now decided we will now be starting school BEFORE the fair is over. My nephew is scheduled to show his pigs on the first day of school. It's crazy!

Now some people might not think this is a big deal. But let's look at the big picture here. Let's be honest...Iowa is predominately an agricultural state. County & State fairs celebrate that fact. We don't have a Mt. Rushmore, or a Golden Gate Bridge, or even a Statue of Liberty. The State Fair and it's popularity is all we've got to celebrate.

I'll be honest enough to admit that I didn't fully appreciate the state fair before I had children who are raised in this lifestyle. Children who love this lifestyle. I have 2 girls who have actually shed tears over the fact that they only have one year left to show before their are too old. That's how much this is a part of them.

Farming is not just a job, it really is a lifestyle, and as I said, this is Iowa's predominant business & lifestyle. By all these schools deciding to start school before the fair is over, is to us, saying agriculture isn't important. That's a slap in the face to all the struggling farmers who are working so hard every day just to keep their farms going. Tell them it's not important.

We talked to Austin and told him that we would let it be his decision whether he started school or not right away, or if he waited until the fair was over. We also told him that we would support him 100% either way. Austin didn't even hesitate and he said "No way. I don't want to go. That's our fair, and I want to be there for all of."

Therefore, on August 19th, when children will be pulling on their brand new backpacks and heading back to our school for the first day, Austin won't be there. He will be with family, sharing and enjoying not only his lifestyle, but his heritage. And we couldn't be more proud of him for making that decision. Oh, and for the record, my nephew won't be in school either. We'll be cheering him on as he shows his pigs.

So we'll go to the fair and we'll enjoy ourselves.

We'll enjoy ourselves while walking through the baby pigs exhibit, even though we can see them at home.

 We'll  enjoy ourselves as we celebrate all the different species of livestock that are being exhibited...even cows, who may or may not have something against blondes. :)

 We'll enjoy the Butter Lady and her Butter Cow. Yes, it is a cow entirely made of butter. She does the cow every year, but she also does other things such as Elvis, Michael Jordan, and other celebrities.

And we will enjoy being there cheering and celebrating at the big boar contest. This is a picture of last years winner who was owned by Jay's twins cousins (one is pictured). They also won the previous year, and are hoping to win again this year.

And we'll also enjoy ourselves one evening at the best concert of all the concerts (in my opinon) that will take place at the fairgrounds grandstands: Sugarland (weeeeee!!! I'm so excited!!)

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Not only is it is right...It's tradition.

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