Fair Traditions

Fair201319wEvery year during the beginning of fall our family has a tradition of heading the annual week long Peanut Festival. This local fair is everything you would expect in the south with rides, games, and lots of food. I have never attended a fair in the north but in the south fair food means southern fried and southern style. In addition to the fair’s own vendors the fair brings a smorgasbord of local vendors set up to sale food, many of which have become a tradition for the community. For example if you want a corn dog from the Corn Dog Man, you had better get it early or be prepared to stand in a line longer than any ride at Disney World. I don’t know what he puts in his batter for the corn dogs, but they are the first thing our family eats when we arrive at the fair.

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Arrive early and beat the line to get a corn dog from the Corndog Man. It may actually have the world’s best corndog

Fair201324wOur annual fair tradition goes something like this

  • Once in the gate beat the line and get a corn dog from the corn dog man
  • Walk and eat
  • Get a ear of corn on the cob dipped in butter and seasoned
  • Walk and eat
  • Grab an elephant ear
  • Sit, eat, then walk some more
  • Visit the photography contest display
  • Walk and watch some shows
  • Visit the merchant’s displays (mostly to get out of the cold)
  • Get a sandwich (this year was a ribeye steak sandwich which was amazing)
  • Sit, eat, walk
  • Grab some cinnamon rolls for desert (the elephant ear was a desert primer)
  • Sit and eat, then walk some more
  • Pick up a bag of cotton candy
  • Pick up a large container of boiled peanuts (a southern delicacy)
  • Go home happy, fat, and full
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Glazed pecan cinnamon bun for desert.

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My wife in the corner telling me its rude to take pictures of people eating. Of course I didn’t listen, after this many years why start now?

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For the camera geeks: Handheld at 1/10 of a second and still sharp in the center.

I often take time to photograph the fair itself while we are “burning calories” walking (that’s our story and we are sticking to it). I look for things that stand out to me as being very fair like. Sometimes I choose a theme such as movement of the rides or the people. This year I was all over the place photographing everything from food to signs. For those that have to know the techie stuff I carry a 50 mm 1.8 lens, set my ISO on 400 and switch between aperture priority and manual through out the night. I shoot in raw and adjust white balance in post. My favorite thing is to photograph is the workers standing in front of the moving rides. I like the way their being still looks compared the the blurred motion of the ride.

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I have found out the carnies get upset if you take their picture, some very much so. So I have learned to shoot with my camera hanging at my waist to grab a few shots

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Gotta to love people texting, they are completely unaware of what your doing.

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This guy was working the cinnamon roll booth. He had such a unique face I kept trying to get a picture without him catching me. I finally got lucky just before it was time to place my order.

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Every year I look for that one photo that will be my key picture for the year. This guy was working a ride called Enterprise. A saucer shaped contraption that you stand in while it spins you around and around. He saw me taking pictures and gave me a dirty look, I just kept taking them. Handheld at 1/15 of a second.

Our family goes one night each year (our bodies and waistlines couldn’t handle more than that). If possible we like to arrive early, about an hour before everyone else gets off work. This lets us avoid some of the lines and lets me get some pics as the sun is starting to go down. This has been our family tradition for years now. It has become an event we all look forward to, not just the eating (which we do a lot of), but we enjoy the night out talking and being with each other. Another year full of memories that we always cherish.

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We buy our boiled peanuts from these people every year. They always have the best and biggest peanuts and no I don’t mean the sign

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We never get candy apples but we do always pick up some for friends.

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There is something about fair food that makes it always look good.

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Merry-go-rounds fun yet somehow creepy.

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You can buy a cup of carrots to feed this guy. Apparently he has a healthy appetite for them. If you don’t have a carrot he wants nothing to do with you.

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They always have two ferris wheels. One small one….

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and one big one.

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It takes several frames to time this so you get the ride as it swings by behind the worker.

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NOPE! Not me.

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The midway early in the afternoon as the sun is setting. One thing I love about the fair it signals the beginning of our colder weather.

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I skipped my polish dog this year in favor of the ribeye steak sandwich. It wasn’t an easy choice.

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