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The County Fair

by Ciara Knisely | Jul 17, 2017

Last night I ended up at the county fair in Warsaw with one of my childhood best friends. We didn’t ride any rides, just ate and looked at some of the 4-H show animals, and then left, but it reminded me of how different things are now.

As a child, going to the fair used to be one of the highlights of my summer, my brother and I riding all of the rides we could, winning as many games as possible, and throwing up in giant trash cans after eating too much overly-fried food. Sometimes we’d even win a goldfish from one of the games, and that made it even better.

Now my thoughts are so drastically different going to the fair and remembering my thoughts of the fair as a kid. It’s kind of sad, but of course, I see the world a lot differently now. A lot more realistically. It was much harder for me to actually enjoy the fair at all.

As a twenty-year-old, I did enjoy the fair this year, and maybe even in the same way I enjoyed it as a child. I held a baby duck in the petting barn, and it was so cute that I wanted to zip it into my purse and run (I actually could have done that because no one was paying attention to my friend and me when we tried to give the duckling back, so I really could’ve taken it and ran.. but I decided maybe I shouldn’t). We also met some really cute goats that licked/bit us, and I also got the attention of everyone in the barn when I screamed because one goat aggressively head-butted another goat in the pen right next to me. I told the goat to be nice, but I moved on quickly because the fence was wobbly and I didn’t want to be head-butted myself. We went through the next barn full of show rabbits, and I saw the biggest bunny of my life, probably the biggest rabbit in the world, I think, because that thing was bigger than my dog (but still very cute). I saw some veryyyyy adorable bunnies, and later that night I spent some time looking on Craigslist for bunnies up for adoption because I have a problem and I’m obsessed with animals.

But on a more serious note, everything about the fair brings back memories of my childhood. I saw the exact same rides that I rode as a kid, and the exact same games I played with my brother. I walked by dozens of people I went to school with. I was even there with one of my friends that I’ve known since the fifth grade. It was way too much consumerist, crowd anxiety-producing nostalgia for me to handle for very long. It felt like I was walking through my own personal haze of cotton candy and cynicism that I knew would make me sick later. But maybe most of all, it made me long for the days when I had no full-time job to show up to, and I actually enjoyed riding those sketchy carnival rides with friends that I don’t even talk to anymore, with the one exception.

However, the thought that is sticking with me the most is that I NEED more fried Oreos. 

CiaraKnisely
Ciara Knisely ’18 is an English-Creative Writing major and Journalism minor, and hopes to continue her writing career in the future. She spends her time working at the Writing Center on campus and is a Co-Editor of the Oak Leaves newspaper.  

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