Living the fantasy of my final day at the fair

2013-07-27T00:00:00Z Living the fantasy of my final day at the fairPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | Today is the final day of the 163rd Porter County Fair, and it's the last day before some of you have to enter a corn dog withdrawal clinic.

The fair is all about reliving the fantasy of an agrarian past by having a giant flea market with cows. Nowhere is the fantasy more true than for the young kids who, upon learning they get in without having to pay, squealed happily "We're free. We're free."

This was followed a short time later by their parents having to take out another mortgage to finance feeding them and buying tickets for all the rides the kids wanted to go on. Having money left over at the end of the day at the fair is one of the parents' biggest fantasies.

The heat during the first few days of the fair had the ambulance crews hopping to help people with heat stroke. One of those was Fair General Manager Kevin Hannon, who spent some time in the emergency room and missed two days of the fair, which he disappointedly announced went on just fine without him.

A potentially more serious injury occurred when one of the animatronic critters in the Bear-A-Dice troupe suffered a broken arm or blew a sprocket or whatever. The guitar-playing member of the show suffered the injury in his strumming arm causing the hand to hang just below his waist where it continued strumming in a somewhat obscene manner until repaired.

I thought the canine obstacle course competition was cute with the kids leading their pets up, over, around and through a series of objects. The trickiest seemed to be the U-shaped tunnel that some dogs just would not enter by themselves.

On Friday I stumbled onto another obstacle course competition. At first, I thought it was for young kids because there were no animals present. It turned out they were just getting instructions before bringing in the real competitors: Llamas.

I don't know if they also have obstacle courses for pigs, cows, sheep or other animals, but, after watching the first young girl lead her llama through the course, I realized my first impression probably was more accurate. It was an obstacle course for kids, who just happened to have llamas with them.

Before leaving for the last time, carrying my two elephant ears (in addition to the ones attached to my head), I stopped to thank Statue Viva for our interview. She held my hand and silently gestured her happiness with, I assume, our encounter.

As I walked out I thought what a great irony it would be if she went to the poultry barn later and pooped on the pigeons.

The opinions are those of the writer. He can be reached wondering if billing himself as Reporter Viva - the living reporter - would be false advertising at phil.wieland@nwi.com or (219) 548-4352.

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