Posted October 17, 2009 3:39 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2009 3:42 p.m. EDT
One thing jumped out at me as I walked around the Fair on my first day -- or rather didn't jump out at me. The empty spaces. It seemed like there are a few more empty spaces this year.
There was a gap in the "kiddyland" area near the Commercial building that as I remember held a kid's bus ride last year (or was it a fire truck?) The main midway seemed to have fewer food booths toward its far side away from the main gate. The old midway was definitely missing a little something at its end toward the petting zoo (though I don't remember seeing that "old mine" themed scary ride before either.)
Most of the rides were open and ready to go Friday but a couple weren't. As you can see from the pictures, the Ferris Wheel on the "old midway" had a plenty of empty spaces of its own -- no seats!
I was surprised to see Friday morning that a few of the booths in the Kerr Scott building were still empty. (Since there's now a "Preview Day" on Thursday, I would have thought that all of the booths would be up and running by Friday morning.)
My favorite, and a source of great speculation, was the "Governor's Census Prom." I spent far more brain cells than I should have puzzling over that despite common sense telling me that it was probably just a booth to promote the upcoming census. Was the governor going to hold a fancy dance to celebrate the census? Or maybe the dance was for the census workers only, to reward them for doing a good job? Or perhaps the sign was a misprint and it was really supposed to read "Governor's Census Prime" -- and the booth was going to highlight all the prime numbers used in the course of preparing the census. Whatever the booth turns out to be, I'm sure it won't be nearly as interesting as my speculations.
Do these little gaps here and there mean there's no fun at the Fair? Good grief, no. The fairgrounds is 344 acres. A missing ride here and a missing food booth there are not going to subtract much for the literally hundreds of other games, rides, and food choices available. In fact, it makes the old midway a little easier to walk through as there isn't so much crammed down at the end.
Note to self: go back and check on the "Governor's Census Prom"...