Face it… everybody loves watching a pack of plastic, four cylinder, two-door cars swarm around in an arena six-inches deep with thick mud, bouncing off each other, with the sound of plastic thumps, leaving nothing but chunks of cars littering the field afterwards.
Especially if there’s cotton candy for the kids.
The 170th Vankleek Hill Agricultural Fair was this weekend. It’s one of the oldest in Canada, and still one of the biggest parties this town throws every year.
There’s a great midway for the kids… and also allows adults something to reminisce about how much cooler it was back when we were kids. It’s the largest social event of the year, by far, in Vankleek Hill. We have events all through the year, but they’re mostly about having something to do for a day with the family. Or to drink with friends. Or to see art shows.
But the Fair is different… because the midway is so packed, parents have nothing else to do except talk to each other while their kids are on the ride. Because the people showcasing their animals are surrounded by other people combing their cows, and getting them ready for the judges, they talk… same with the light and heavy horse people.
It’s a place for otherwise reserved, sometimes introverted, people to interact for a day or three. For some of the old farmers, it almost seems like this is their one excuse during the year to leave the farm unattended. Sitting down, watching the horse pull, is basically their one vacation this year (think about that the next time you have a sandwich).
Then there’s the derby. Which is the exception to the otherwise quiet weekend. Four or six thousand people jammed shoulder to shoulder around a ring of mud, watching those little plastic cars pulverize other little plastic cars.