While she may not be able to tell us, we know that the State Fair has always been a special place for Grace. She received her AmTryke from the Springfield American Business Club at the State Fair. She got her picture taken with Queen Summer Robbins at the State Fair. And she had her first mini donut at the State Fair. All memorable moments for sure.
|Charley got to pet a rabbit in the FFA tent!|
|Kisses for a baby calf!|
This year was no different as we had one of our best trips to the fair yet. We weren't sure we were going to make it in 2018 due to some time conflicts, but we managed to find some time to go on Friday, Aug. 17. Mother Nature threatened to rain on our parade, literally, but we avoided the heavy stuff for the most part.
|Petting a baby chick!|
|Hanging out with the baby chicks!|
|Grace hanging out with Jonah Elvidge's sheep.|
The fair almost always revolves around food for us (ie. the aforementioned mini donuts), so our first stop was at the commodities pavilion for a burger, an italian beef and a hot dog. Charley was supposed to get the hot dog, but decided to hold out for something else instead.
|Charley would have stayed all day in the ag tent playing with the corn.|
After lunch, we made our way to the FFA petting zoo, which was a highlight of our trip. Neither Mary nor I did FFA when we were in school, but we have a great fondness for the program. Grace, a little tired from PT, slept through most of the excursion, but we may have a future farmer on our hands with Charley. After a brief and hesitant encounter with a bunny, Charley warmed up to the baby calf, trying to kiss it on the nose. The calf was equally affectionate, attempting to gnaw a hole in Mary's pants.
|Charley loved dancing (and trying to get in the puddles) to Liz Bentley.|
Just like Grace was when she was her age, Charley was equally attracted to the rest of the animals, not always willing to pet, but definitely content to check out the goat, baby chicken and lamb, which belonged to Jonah Elvidge. The Elvidge family have been huge supporters of Grace and our journey so it was cool to see their name on the side of the pen for everyone to see. We were also awful proud to see Hillsboro's Peyton Tester's picture in the exhibit honoring all of this year's star farmers.
|Professor Longhair included Grace in his magic show at Kids Korner.|
|Cheesing with Professor Longhair after his show.|
After the FFA exhibit, we went to an Illinois Agriculture tent, where Charley could have stayed for hours playing in the corn and with the tractors. We made a brief stop at the Illinois State Police tent, then headed to the dairy barn for a cream puff and some ice cream. By this time Grace had woken up and Charley thought the ice cream sounded better than the hot dog, so we found a spot under the Lincoln Stage pavilion to feed the girls.
|Mommy's favorite exhibit is the butter cow!|
It turned out to be a perfect fit as Mary fed Grace while we listened to Liz Bentley sing on stage. We really enjoyed the music (Charley even danced a little) and we hope that Miss Bentley continues on her path.
By the time Grace was done eating, the rain had stopped and we made our way to the Kids Corner, where Grace's friend Professor Longhair was doing a magic show. The good professor has performed at both of the Grace 5K races and has been an awesome friend to our little girl. We really enjoyed the magic show and we were touched that Professor Longhair always made sure to come to the back row where we sat to make sure that Grace saw the trick too. People that talk to Grace and treat her like every other kiddo are our favorites.
|Our favorite little Mini Donut . . .|
Once the show finished, we had one last stop at the cow barn, where Charley tried her hand at milking a cow. Again, I think we have a future farmer on our hands. Who knows, maybe Aunt Monica can get her into showing cattle. We made one last stop for some mini donuts and we made our way out of the fairgrounds with two sleepy girls.
|Charley got to milk a cow for the first time!|
We made one more stop in Springfield at Grandma Kim's work to say hi before we went home though. Mini donuts are always her favorite so we wanted to make sure that she had a little pick me up while she finished up her Friday. Ever helpful, Charley made sure the bag wasn't too heavy and had five donuts while we waited for Grandma to come out. Both girls gave my mom big smiles when they saw her and it was an awesome end to the trip.
|All tuckered out at the fair.|
It's not always going to work for us to go to the fair, but we are really glad that it did this year. We had a lot of fun, took a lot of pictures and of course, ate quite a few mini donuts. Hopefully we can do the same next year.