Monday, September 08, 2008

A Look at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson

What's a State Fair without a giant pumpkin? This one is 652.7 pounds, and grown by Douglas Heathman, who also won in 2005 and 2006. There were only three entries this year. I'm not sure if that means it was a bad year for giant pumpkins or if people have given up because the same people win year after year.

Other, normal sized pumpkins and gourds were decorated in various ways. I wonder if Michael Phelps has ever seen himself rendered in gourd?

There were fictional characters like the tin man.

And penguins and pink flamingos and other things.

These are all in the Pride of Kansas building, which houses many agricultural goodies

There's something I just love about seeing blue and purple ribbons on grain and corn and soybeans. I'm not the only one who enjoys it either.

I'm guessing this gentleman may have interest beyond the ribbons that hold my fascination.

Pride of Kansas also has multiple tourism booths, and one of those is for the Kansas Underground Salt Museum (KUSM) in Hutchinson.

Linda, the director, was there talking to lots of people about this great attraction.

The KUSM is one of the coolest things you'll ever find. You can go 650 feet underground to a salt mine and get to see everything about such an operation and even a peek at the famous Underground Vaults and Storage that is where many movies and TV shows are stored for safe keeping.

They even let you take home a little chunk of salt as a souvenir at the end of your tour.

KUSM was recently named one of the 8 wonders of Kansas. A well-deserved honor.

I haven't covered nearly all of the fair yet, but I wanted to go to the Domestic Arts Building tonight. I heard through the grapevine that my friend, Andrea, won in a knitting category. I wanted to see for myself. Sure enough, there it was.

Andrea is a knitter extraordinaire and says this beaded lace cowl is the "Ice Queen" pattern from I'm a person who can only knit scarves, and doesn't do those particularly well, so this is all pretty much above me but I can certainly appreciate this kind of work, even if I can't do it myself.

I  love looking at the jars of jams and jellies and veggies. It's very homey and one of the things I love about the Kansas State Fair. I'm very spoiled because it happens a few blocks away so I can go and enjoy it for a few hours here and there and not have to do one of those 9-9 full days of wandering the fair grounds.

A regular stop for me is going to see Ron Diamond, the hypnotist, do his show, too. He does three a day generally and I've never been to one that wasn't great. Today he suggested to the guys on stage that were hypnotized that they were in a body building competition.

The fair has something for everyone.

There are jams and giant pumpkins. Honestly, does anyone really need anything else to have a good time?
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