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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Monday, August 14, 2006

Big & Rich at the Erie County Fair

ES1 was able to finangle for herself a rare vacation day. We first slept in (8:30 is an accomplishment for us). Then, we went down to the fair. We had tickets for Big & Rich, and decided to spend the day enjoying the fair.

For those who are not Aware, "America's Fair" (aka the Hamburg Fair, aka the Erie County Fair, aka the Western Spiral Arm Fair, aka the Universe Fair...) is the second largest annual fair in the country. Over the last few years it has just plain gotten huge. We spent the day there seeing the sights.

Unfortunately, we were halfway there when we realized that we had forgotten the camera. We decided to just suck it up and use the cameras on our Treo 650s. The pictures aren't great, but they're manageable (for the most part).

Pictures here.

Comic book form here.

The fair is still ongoing, so I highly recommend going. For now, just a few highlights.

Fries - Just outside the Bazaar was a fry stand, called Jim's Fries. They make fresh fries, as well as sweet potato fries. When I say fresh, I mean that you can watch Jim in the back of the stand, placing a potato in the slicer, and then dropping the fresh cut fries into a frier. In the immortal words of Alton Brown, that's the only way they should be made. As far as condiments - sweet potato fries require honey only. Don't use ketchup. It's tacky.

Pop (no, not soda) - there was a booth which sold fresh homemade selections such as root beer, birch beer, sasparilla, etc. Also, each booth carries collector's cups that are not only insulated, but also can be refilled at any stand for $2. By far your best deal.

Food - too much to mention. Make sure you walk around and check out prices before you buy. One stand, for example, sold deep fried Oreos at the rate of 4 for $5. Another sold 5 for $3. Take a walk. You'll be better off.

Sure, there were lots of games and rides - but you can do those anywhere. At the fair you have local animal exhibits of many types. You'll get a lot more out of those.

Well, we did play one game. ES1 & I took part in the squirt gun race (in which contestants have squirt guns, aim them at a target, and the constant stream of water propels their racer). As is usual, she won and I took a close second. But the point is that we got a very nice (and very large) gift for our goddaughter.

There's too much else at the fair to be able to go into properly; suffice it to say that if you have the opportunity to go, take it.

Finally, time came for the concert.

We discovered Big & Rich about a year ago. We were familiar with their big hit, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," and decided to check out the rest of their catalog. Needless to say we were hooked.

As far as the show itself, it was something to behold. From the introduction by 2 Foot Fred, to the Finale with Cowboy Troy and a massive fireworks display, it was unqualified fun throughout.

During their heartfelt "Eighth of November" they brought out a veteran to wave a flag. After the song they introduced the man, and told of the several times he was wounded in combat. It was a moment for us all to appreciate the sacrifices that were, and still are, made for our freedom. It is a sad commentary on today's society that there are so many who do not appreciate that; that so many are so mind-numbingly stupid as to think that if we got rid of our armed services that suddenly the world would be peaceful and happy.

Big & Rich's music is inclusive in the greatest sense of the word. They have a consortium, known as the Muzik Mafia which is dedicated to music without boundaries and hard classifications. There is a hard bias towards country music, but much of what was played crosses the boundaries into rock, and occasionally hip-hop. But the basic premise was that at their concert we are all Americans and music lovers. We're just here to have a good time.

The good time didn't stop there. They announced several times that they would be heading down to the Bucking Buffalo Saloon, downtown on Franklin near Chippewa. The concert promoted (ad nauseam) the line from their song "Coming to Your City", which says "Chippewa's where we go, when we're up in Buffalo, don't you know those yankees drink enough to drown!" If ES1 didn't have to get up at 5:00 the next morning, we probably would have tried to make an appearance. One of her coworkers did go there. Not only did they show up, but they bought a round of drinks for the entire bar. Granted, their accountants probably write it off under the budget for marketing. Still, it would've been fun.

In any case, a great time was had by all. The Fair, as well as Big & Rich, are things not to be missed.

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