If I were closer...I would make Mark come with me to the Demolition Derby tonight at the Renville County Fair. The Renville County Fair provides for plenty of great reflection from years gone by.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane... working backward. Please note, this is NOT the State Fair. In my childhood, we did not travel to the state fair. I think I was 13 or more before I ever went to the State Fair. During my elementary years, the Renville County Fair was a BIG deal.
The last Renville County Fair I attended was probably 12 years ago. I was in college. While in college, I use to collect all those free raffle tickets at area businesses. One year I dropped in over a 100. My name was called for the 5 pm early bird drawing of $200. You must be present to win. I wasn't there at 5 pm, perhaps because I had been in the beer garden too long the night before...hmmm....
I always loved the Demolition Derby. It was a highlight every year. I think my cousin Mike had a car in it one year. And at least one year, I was in the pit area watching the action, but I am not sure with whom. The memories are sooo cloudy, but I think maybe I was with the Novetny's (a different Mark, who I spent fair time ogling after)???
In my younger years, we would start our family fair afternoon with my mom at my Grandpa's house a few blocks from the grounds. Grandpa would treat every grandchild to the $5 needed to purchase your wrist band for the rides. By the time we got to Grandpa's, I think we were about bouncing off the walls to get to the big event! No, we did NOT need to park there and walk. Most people park in the field/grassy area connected to the grounds. Brett and I would spend the afternoon riding rides with my cousins or friends. It was GREAT. The tilt-a-whirl, Ferris Wheel, scrambler, and etc over, and over, and over again.
In my younger years, my older cousins got to STAY at my Grandpa's during the three days of the Fair. Brett and I weren't old enough. I know my cousin's had a GREAT time. I bet my Grandpa loved every minute of it too.
After ride time, we always ate supper at the Our Saviors Lutheran Church food stand. We always had burgers. I am sure my mom must have worked at the stand in her youth. Of course we would go see all the animals and the 4-H building. I think my dad always joined us in the evening. He think he got a malt every year.
Cost of fair entry in my youth - $3 to $5??? Probably free for kids
Cost of the carnival ride wrist band in the mid '80's - $5.00
Cost of fair entry today - ??? ($5)
Cost of the carnival ride wrist band today - unknown... probably $12??? ($18!!! Holy Cow!)
(Thanks cousin Laura, who is on the Fair Board, who posted to help me update the numbers here!)
Memories - PRICELESS