For the past few years, my dad has been working a booth for at least a few days of the Clay County Fair. Even before I worked up here, the fair became a part of my life for at least a day or two each September.
The same could be said for my older sister, Alli; older brother, Jed; and his family, as it grew over the years.
It always made sense for the fair to be a place to congregate for a family celebration. Celebrating what, exactly? Life, togetherness, the beginning of fall, etc. What else do we need?
Thanks to a family membership to an area resort, the Clay County Fair is an even more convenient reunion spot.
This year is no exception.
My folks, Mark and Rose, will be in Spencer by the time this article prints. On Friday, my brother Jed; his wife, Mandy; and their girls Avah, 3, Madysen and Payten, who will be 2 in December, will join the fun Friday. My sister, Alli, plans to come up this weekend, as well. (Just as I have been busy at the fair this week, Alli has been busy coordinating events for Assisted Living Week at a Fort Dodge care center.)
As a bonus, they'll get to meet my girlfriend and vice versa.
We don't have too specific of plans because. As dad says, that would be against the rules of vacation, but we will grill out at least once, even if that includes portabella mushrooms and tofu burgers.
Overall, one highlight will assuredly be the food. As a Kiwanis Daybreaker, I will of course endorse the K- Cafe, but we'll try other assorted food items as we go.
This fair presents a certain challenge for mom and dad. Within the past year, they've decided to go vegan. For those who are like spell check and don't recognize that word, it means no meat, no dairy and no eggs.
That sure limits the options at the fair.
No ham, sausage, chicken, pork, beef, turkey or even fish as a main dish.
No sour cream or cheese on anything.
No milk to wash anything down.
As informative as the Ag Learning Center is, it won't do much good for my parents to learn "where their food comes from" because most the food they eat isn't featured there.
I think it really takes a brave vegan to step foot into a fair.
I'm really proud of my parents because they've found something that works for them -- they're as healthy as they've ever been -- and they're sticking to it, even in the face of temptations.
As for me, where can I find that fried butter?