We arrived at the county fair in time to query the gentleman who had just given a seminar on placing bets for the horse races. He kindly filled us in on what we missed. Then we grabbed a quick bite at the food stand he recommended. This was the view from our picnic table. The food was rather blah.
After finding our box seats in the stadium Sam and I went to check out the horses for the next race. There are many ways to pick a horse. We bought a race program that lists pertinent information about each of the nine races for the day. You can choose the horse names you like, or owners, or jockeys or the number of the horse. If you know what you're doing (we don't) you can study a daily racing form and learn about each horse's history. You can even close your eyes and point to a place on the race page and bet on the nearest horse to your finger. Anything can happen. I picked a favorite who tripped at the starting gate...no money there.
We like to choose our winners based on handicaps and the personality of the horses. The above candidates looked good to me. Next stop is the racing window. It's important to name the race, the kind and amount of bet you want and the horse(s) on which you want to put your money. I find it both exciting and stressful to get this right. The old pros just get a prepaid card and make their bets directly on computer screens but we went up to the window before each race and placed our separate bets.
A cool guy plays the bugle and announces the onset of the race. Next year I'll get his picture and videotape the music. He wears a fancy red jacket and a black hat. And...they're off!Around the track they go and here comes the winner! Or is it last place?
We came out ahead by about twenty dollars at the end of the last race. Having enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, we plan to make it a yearly date.
Next stop was the landscaping/garden section. Almost every display had a water feature this year. The fancy gardens are done by local experts who vie for best of show. On the last day of the fair everything gets pulled up and taken away. I really liked this garden bench made with stones and slate slabs. Sam thought it would be uncomfortable to sit on. At least the pillows look comfy.
This Victorian style garden was spectacular.
Here are some shots with water.
The picture below has a giant chess set.
Is that pink lemonade? I'm getting thirsty.
For entertainment we decided to check out a group called "The Amazing Harmonatras". They were performing in a tent in the children's section of the fairgrounds. We weren't disappointed by the fifteen minute show filled with jokes, music and audience participation. After a wonderful post show conversation with Charlie Hurley, the guitarist, about the work they were doing and how it related to mine, I was gifted with two excellent CDs of their folk and children's music Yipee!
My classes enjoyed several songs the following day. You can see what a lively group they are.
The kid on the bench was doing whatever he could to steal the show. His next move was to fall off the bench. Each of the three young volunteers was given a hat to wear for the performance and a mini lesson on how to play the wash tub bass, open tuned banjo and jig doll (dancing Dan). The talented duo travels around California doing shows at most of the County fairs in California and some in Nevada.
Now we were thirsty and hungry and almost decided to go for barbecue.
But we opted for something healthier outside of the fairgrounds and made our way back to our favorite Japanese restaurant in town. It was a good decision after a fine day at our favorite county fair.