Because sometimes... Life is Fair
The State Fair, or in the case of these pictures that I took last week, The Florida Strawberry Festival, has always been and always will be magical to me.
I'll never forget what happened two years ago. We were driving down the coast of Southern California in the late autumn when my friends and I saw the last thing we had ever expected to see in Malibu: "Is that a Carnival?!?" we all squealed in harmony. Three hours later, dizzy, laughing and tummies about to explode... we fell back into our rental car and kept on our road trip. In just two years, the memories of that road trip have started to fade. The one thing that never fades and will always be vivid is the way we felt randomly coming across the California State Fair. It was like a surprise party just waiting on Pacific Coast Highway. They cost so much, you always know what to expect, you always eat things you shouldn't... Why do they always keep me coming back for more?
State fairs began in the nineteenth century for the purpose of promoting state agriculture through competitive exhibitions of livestock and display of farm products. As the U.S. evolved from a predominantly agrarian to an industrial society in the twentieth century, modern state fairs expanded to include carnival amusement rides and games, displays of industrial products, automobile racing, and entertainment such as musical concerts.
I thought that knowing the history of State fairs would help me to understand their universal appeal, but maybe I should be asking more what my history is with State fairs: My first taste of cotton candy, the rides I had to build up the courage to go on, winning an orange ribbon for a photograph and "winning" countless stuffed animals. Maybe everyone, like me, has their own history. Maybe, like with most of life, the answers lie somewhere in the questions themselves: Are they expensive? Yes, but like Christmas, it only comes once a year. Do I always know what to expect? Yes, or perhaps it's that I always know what I can rely on. Do I love love love a reason to eat all the things I shouldn't? Who doesn't?
No theme park, no restaurant, no single concert can recreate a place that comes to you, but only once a year. It's a reminder to be a kid. Better yet, it's a reminder that every now and then: Life is Fair.
- Roxie Mae Lackman