Funnel Cakes, french fries, fried cheese to please! Sound good? Well it was! It’s been a while since we’ve been to a down home county fair. So last night we headed over to the Delaware County Fair in Manchester, Iowa. Now, normally we wouldn’t have gone to the fair in Delaware County since we do live in Jones County and the Great Jones County Fair and FoodFest is coming up next week. But, we couldn’t resist an evening with Big Daddy Weave, one of our favorite Christian Bands. Although I do have to admit that the thought of fair food was also very enticing. It’s not a big fair, in fact it’s pretty small, but very reminiscent of our days spent at the Iroquois County Fair. We loved that fair and would spend all day long there spending time with our friends, watching the kids from our town show their animals, checking out the 4-H exhibits and of course chowing down on the most famous Illinois Pork Producers pork burgers (yes I know I live in the land of Iowa Pork, but there really is nothing like an IL. pork burger). So, as we entered the fairgrounds memories of fun days at the fair came flooding back. First place- the food booths! Who could resist tenderloins as big as a tire, french fries and fried cheese to please. None of the 4 of us could. Even though the funnel cakes and mini-donuts smelled heavenly we did resist those. Next stop-ice cream! I was really full and I really don’t think Jon and Keith were, but you just can’t pass by that soft serve ice-cream ironically placed almost next to the dairy barn. I did feel just a little funny walking through the barn eating by ice-cream cone, but I guess it was better than eating a burger while walking through there. Cher and Keith also couldn’t pass up the strawberry smoothies. Gigantic cups filled with beautiful deep red strawberry smoothie stuff topped with a huge strawberry. I have to admit that I may not like strawberries or smoothies, but it sure did look good.
Stomachs full it was time to check out the animal barns. The cow and calf judging was going on and we were able to get up close and personal with a couple of momma cows and their sweet little calves waiting in the holding pens. There was one set of twin calves with faces that would melt your heart and possibly swear you to never eating beef again. Pigs don’t thrill me, in fact I find them somewhat gross and disgusting, especially the one that aimed at Cheryl D. when it had to potty, but they sure do give us some awesome Iowa Pork chops and they are kind of funny to watch. Guess some must’ve not liked their food since they were eating the bag instead, some were too lazy to even get up to eat and were laying down at their bowl. Others looked like they were just tossed out of the Pig Mania Game. I’m a little afraid of chickens, so I’m glad they were all caged up, but there were some very interesting ones there with fuzzy heads and lots of feathers. They almost looked like a white feather duster with a beak! Sure wish I had thought to take a picture of them.

It didn’t take us long to walk around the fair so we headed over to the arena where Big Daddy Weave was to perform. Admission to the concert was included in our fair admission and not knowing how crowded it was going to be we wanted to make sure that we got some good seats. Not to worry- we found some great seats about 3 rows from the front off to the side. A little loud since we were right in front of the speakers, but we were able to see their faces up close and personal. It was a sweet night of worship, music, celebration and fun. With the stars coming out as the skies darkened, a slight breeze blowing and the temperature just cool enough to put a sweatshirt on it was such a reminder of what an absolutely amazing and awesome God that we have. Troubles and burdens melted away. Shoulders felt lighter and soon Cheryl and I were hardly able to even stand still. I know if we had the room we would’ve been dancin’ in the aisles! All told there were about 1000 folks there to hear the music and to see what a sweet and grace filled God we have.
Heading back over towards the main part of the fair I was amazed at how crowded it had gotten. Folks standing in line for those funnel cakes and all the belly bombers you can stand, the beer tent was hopping, and there was just a general sense of fun, fellowship and community. Now, how cool is that!
As we walked away I remarked that it would be wonderful if every week could be filled as this past week has been. A “Night of Worship” on Sat. night with Darrell Evans, our first Contemporary Worship service on Sunday night at church, Wed. night worship with Big Daddy Weave, and Theology on Tap tonight! It’s been an awesome week!