Ye Olde Cheshire Fair

Cheshire Fair, 2007
Last weekend Damian and I took Lillia to the Cheshire Fair. Having lived in this area for most of our lives, we appreciate both the wonders and horrors of a day at the fair. We’ve seen the fair evolve over the years; not only has the fair changed but our perception of it, over the course of our lives, has changed. It is an experience unlike any other, which I write with a touch of nostalgia, and a touch of disgust.

Cheshire Fair, 2007I have to assume the “county fair”, as an idea, was designed primarily as an agricultural event. My mother grew up on a farm in northern NH, so she spent a lot of time at county fairs with her siblings, showing cows and horses. I have a lot of respect for that way of life.

Still, I feel like an awkward alien as I stroll down the rows of heifers, acutely aware that being only one generation removed from the scene does not make me a part of it. As a child I thrilled at the idea of a day in the barn, oohing and aahing over baby pigs, or puppies, or whatever happened to have been born recently. But, I was never quite comfortable on the farm. And, even though my mother spent the first eighteen years of her life living there, I find very little of the farm in her today. My daughter, on the other hand, who is even further removed from an agricultural upbringing, is never more content than when she is wallowing next to a cow, or a pig, or a sheep (don’t even get me started on horses). But, she’s a 12th Generation New Hampshire-ite. There’s no one more genetically predestined to enjoy farm life than Lillia.

Cheshire Fair, 2007If you can see through a certain degree of filth, you will find the sparkle underneath at the fair. This is especially true if you are a three year old who is finally tall enough to go on rides by yourself – hooray for being 42 inches tall! Where else can you view local livestock, get sick on The Scrambler, clog your arteries with fried dough, and get a third degree sunburn, all in the course of a few hours? In all seriousness, going to the fair is not only a summer tradition, it is an integral part of life in New Hampshire.

You can see all of the pictures from our day here.

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Kelli Ann Wilson

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