I always wanted to go to the Mendocino County Fair, but somehow never got around to it. Every year, I’d see the signs as I drove through beautiful downtown Boonville, and think, “Maybe this time”. Finally, this year was the year!
With my freshly fixed car, I followed my sister and brother-in-law (at a distance; they’re used to driving the corkscrew of Highway 128, whereas I still find it horrifying after all these years) to Boonville. Parking was at a premium, but I finally found some. Bonus: under a tree, since it was a good 80 degrees.
We rushed to get seats at the Sheep Dog Trials, already in progress (we missed two of the eight dogs due to the Great Parking Space Search). It’s edge of your seat entertainment, all right, with shouts of “Down in front” if anyone dares to stand up too long and block the view. The chute was definitely the hardest part. I think only two of the dogs got their sheep through the chute, undoubtedly because nothing good ever happened to sheep when they’re in one of those things.
One of the farmers showing his dog had lost 75% of his livestock in the summer wildfires. His spirit in not giving up on his farm and still participating in the show was enthusiastically applauded.
After the trials, we went to get something to eat. You could have funnel cakes (shudder), and slushies (I had blue raspberry, of course), and barbecue, and all the usual fair suspects, along with gourmet sausages and other delicacies, since this is, after all, northern California. I loved seeing tie-dyed hippies eating corn dogs (though they may have been organic tofu corndogs for all I know). And I loved seeing how there was no staff and no takers at the Republican register to vote booth:
There were award-winning cakes, pies, apples, and pumpkins. A parade with the high school band and home-made floats, with uproarious applause and kisses thrown at the firemen who fought the wildfires in June and July (a local fireman lost his life). 4-H kids showed their livestock. It was a wonderful, old fashioned day. With body piercing.