Last weekend I drove out to the Saanich Fair. I almost got lost because I turned down the wrong road. Fortunately the signage led me to the huge parking lot otherwise known as a wheat field. The Fair celebrates agriculture, 4-H, horticulture and local farmers. Everything from honey to quilts to giant rabbits are exhibited for prizes. There's live music, pie eating contests, a ferris wheel, bingo and various demonstrations like draft horse driving. There's also a farmers market where I bought some local corn for an amazing price. I have various family members who are part of the committee and volunteer during this weekend so it was nice to see them.
This is a shot of the main thoroughfare. The International Food stalls are on the right. I always make sure to stop off and pick up a Langosch at the Hungarian stall. I would have taken a picture of it for you guys but I couldn't wait to eat it. It's this pasty fried in oil (very much like bannock) but then topped with sugar and cinnamon. They're very addictive and bad for you but I love 'em.
I loved this prize-winning hydrangea flower because I'm obsessed with blue flowers. From what I understand they're difficult to grow. Something about the soil that needs to be just right. There are plenty of flowers out there that 'claim' to be blue but they're really a version of purple or indigo.
I'm salivating just thinking about how much zucchini bread I could make with that thing. There were also other variously large vegetables like a giant onion that I would never want to cut into, giant squash, giant pea pods (this just make me think of pod people and "Chrysalis").
This is one of my favourite parts of the fair. The only drawback is the speaker system is atrocious so you can never hear who wins the events. The riders are asked to walk, trot and canter their horses and it's almost painful to watch when a horse misbehaves. When I was younger (and more naive) I wanted a horse so badly because I'd read "Black Beauty" and watched "The Black Stallion". When we went camping I'd set up a steeplechase track and pretend I was galloping around for a gold medal. This somewhat eases that unrealized dream.
I had to take a picture of this horse and rider. The horse is a breed from Mongolia and I never thought I'd see one in a riding ring. They've never been fully domesticated as a species. They're actually endangered and listed as extinct in the wild.
This rabbit was so cute I had to take a picture of him. I also have pictures of what I believe to be Bunnicula and a rabbit with the largest feet I've ever seen but they came out blurry. So instead I present to you this shaggy-haired miscreant of a rabbit. What is he thinking?
Draft Horse - Single Log Skid
This is one of the demonstrations I mentioned. Drivers work with a draft horse to pull a 16 foot long log in a zig zag pattern through a line of pylons. It looks really easy but is in fact super hard. An out of bounds line on each side of the course keeps the driver within a very tight space to manoeuvre and must complete the course under three minutes. There's a penalty for going out of bounds, for knocking a tennis ball off one of the pylons and for going over time. This guy was the first one out of the gate and did an amazing job with just under two minutes. But then then comes the tough part. The judges will ask him to get his horse to pull one foot, two feet and three feet, in any order and measure the results. If you're not really close you get another penalty.
One poor guy had only done the log skid twice. His first try was up in Ladysmith where he received 0 points. This time was much better. He only managed to knock off four tennis balls, get his horse tangled twice and crushed a pylon. He would have received 24 points but he disqualified himself when he went one way around a pylon and his horse went the other way.
I've got a soft spot for baby animals and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this guy. He wasn't much for cameras though because soon after I took this photo he ran over to him mom and his behind her. Isn't he cute?
The Ghostbusters' Ambulance!
This was by far the most awesome thing I saw at the fair. It was sitting in the middle of this group of ambulances. I swear there must have been 10 ambulances there. It was like a baby boom or a convention. But as soon as I saw this gorgeous beast in the middle I could only think of the Ghostbusters who apparently are making a third movie with the original cast.
Wheat Field Parking Lot
This is at the end of the day. Imagine this whole field full of cars. Now imagine that I had to park near the very back because I didn't arrive at the crack of dawn and was forced to walk through the heat and dust to the front gates. Now imagine me emerging at the end of the day and forgetting where I parked. Fortunately I knew the general area I was in and there weren't too many cars in the area.