Belief: At Middlesex County Fairgrounds, tater tots in a pet bowl are ‘fair’ activity

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Coming from New York Town, exclusively Brooklyn, I wasn’t specifically common with a condition or county good. My only publicity to it is what I noticed in flicks or on television exhibits. So when I moved to Middlesex County as a baby and noticed the county truthful for the 1st time, it was a little bit of a society shock.

This metropolis slicker was ultimately able to see what I could only see on an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” or “Mayberry, R.F.D.” I totally beloved obtaining to see all of the award-winning farm animals, fruits and vegetables, jellies and jams, quilts and other handmade garments.

I beloved going year immediately after calendar year, but as time passed and my children got older and I moved out of the spot, the trips to the county truthful came to a halt.

So when I was requested to go on Aug. 7, it was my initial journey to the Middlesex County 4-H Fairgrounds in East Brunswick in virtually 30 decades. And I have to say, I really don’t know what occurred – but I don’t get it.

Even though that “COVID” issue is rearing its unappealing head once again, you couldn’t explain to that on the Saturday night I visited the reasonable.

The traffic was backed up on Cranbury Street in East Brunswick for a couple miles and the makeshift parking loads had been crammed.

Throngs of people today had been at the entrance buying tickets, and even more time strains of people ended up waiting around to get dollars out of the portable ATM equipment on web site. After having to pay the $10 admission (which is a ton much more than I don’t forget it to be), we ended up in.

My preliminary reaction was that it is so distinctive than what it applied to be, and what you would anticipate at a “fair.”

It seemed to me that it was more like a carnival than a “county truthful.” There ended up really a couple rides and games of possibility – the incredibly very same rides and video games you would see at any neighborhood carnival or avenue honest.

Food items vendors lined two aisles, but there was not substantially to be found as significantly as nearby fare. Yet again, they ended up the normal foodstuff vendors you would take place upon if you went to any regional town road reasonable, there was no regional fare.

Exactly where have been all the community farmers, all of the neighborhood growers, canners, bakers, etc., who would occur to share their prized goods and concoctions for usage?

Is it COVID-linked (always a completely ready assumption now) or have all of the resident artisans died off, or been pushed out and overrun by new design and advancement in the spot?

But, alas, I came upon a vendor promoting tater tots in a pet dog bowl – of course, in a dog bowl. What the heck is that about? A pet dog bowl? So no selfmade jams, no domestically grown corn on the cob, no locally made pulled pork sandwich, but I can consume some fried potatoes from a puppy bowl?

I was dissatisfied to see there was no person viewing the award-winning fruits and vegetables, almost no one checking out the amazing and gorgeous award-profitable quilts and other handmade pieces, nobody looking at the resourceful artwork and pictures.

Farm animals? I imagined I would be observing award-profitable cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and so forth. And there were a number of individuals admiring the number of sheep and the goats, in cages. And you could obtain feed for them so you could slide it into a PVC pipe. Yet again, COVID-associated? I don’t know, I didn’t ask. I am not significant on possessing animals confined in cages in any case. But that is another story.

But no pigs, no cows – there was a solitary steer with its back again turned to the crowd – no other farm animals you usually see profitable awards at fairs. There were being horses, mini horses, who had been on web-site for pony rides for youngsters.

But there were being no horses pulling sleds no pig races – no pigs at all. I signify, what’s a county truthful with no the presence of pigs? Am I missing anything?

The grounds ended up packed with persons, but most ended up on lines for the rides. It was as if the truthful was entirely dismissed and the only factor folks cared about had been the carnival rides.

No pigs, no neighborhood farmers with their wares. I could only uncover a single stand with refreshing nearby create – 1. Hauser Hill Farms in Previous Bridge was the lone regional farm advertising its generate. But I could get potato to try to eat in a doggy bowl.

Probably it is me. I just really don’t get it.

Alan Karmin is a correspondent for Newspaper Media Group.