Last weekend we made our first visit to a state fair! We intended to go on Saturday and Sunday, but the way we meander on road trips, it took us nine hours to get to Sedalia from St Louis (180 miles). We stayed in the historic Hotel Bothwelll in downtown Sedalia, so after we went to the Wheel Inn for guberburgers, we just spent the evening at the hotel bar. It is a really beautiful hotel, if a bit pricey. It's also rumored to be haunted, although the bartender had no experiences to share and no one else in the hotel seemed particularly interested in us. My review of the place, at $150/night, is "meh". Update: After an email exchange with the manager this afternoon, I can confidently say that I recommend Hotel Bothwell for your next visit to Sedalia. I love responsive, proactive hotel managers like nothing else.
The state fairgrounds are pretty awesome. Most of the buildings were built in the early 1900s. The barns are all red brick, as are many of the exhibition buildings.
You may remember my post about CANstruction in St Louis (and I STILL cannot find any info online about who won). Same idea, here. Most of this truck is made of beans.
I have no segue for the petting zoo, but need to show you these pictures of a tortoise eating an apple, which is the most adorable thing in creation, a white buffalo, and jacob sheep.
On to the the competitions! We are very curious about the motiviation behind submitting items for the state fair. We could Google it, but I want to hear from you, especially if you've ever participated. We noticed with the handicrafts that not everything is new, so I guess you can just submit your best whenever you want to? Is it just bragging rights or do you win money? There were so many more categories than I expected! Not just jams, hams, quilts, and pumkins, but flowers, plants, honey, and antiques.
This is cake. Yes, a Paul Mitchell Haircare theme cake.
Quilts and breads in the Home Economics Building
The sign says it all.
The prize for this one is a gift card for Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, my favorite Missouri company.
Hams. The bacon picture didn't turn out.
This special quilt photo is for Robin Utz. You might want to consider a state fair submission, I'm just saying.
AND FINALLY, the best part of all! When we were leaving, the sea lion show was just letting out. We laughed at how the sea lions were checking the crowd every time they did a lap in their tank, and then realized they were checking to see if anyone was waiting for a photo op! We have a collection of these souvenir photos, so of course we could not say no to sea lions!
The state fair is over for 2012, but mark your calendar for August 8-18, 2013!
One thing I meant to add: Where is all the weird state fair food like fried coke balls? The weirdest thing I saw was fried green tomatoes, and that's not weird at all for Missouri. I think I saw cheesecake on a stick but it wasn't even fried. So disappointing! I can get a corn dog at any carnival.