Sarah Stultz: Animals, rides and food at the fair this year

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

My husband and I ventured out to the Freeborn County Fair on Saturday with our 11-year-old son and my sister-in-law and our nephew.

After looking at some of the animals in the barns, we ended up on the Midway with all of the rides, and the boys were ready to try some out.

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My nephew, who is 7, had already been on some rides earlier in the week and was eager to get back on some of his favorites.

My son, Landon, who is the size of an average 11-year-old but who is more developmentally his cousin’s age or younger, saw a few smaller-scale rides he wanted to go on, including an obstacle course-type attraction.

The two boys went on the obstacle course first, and I was pleased to see Landon conquer a few fears on that course that held him back last year and make it to the big slide to come back down.

He waved proudly to me from up above before sliding down.

Last year, he got stuck on the course halfway through, and my husband had to climb in to help get him back down. He had his fingers crossed that he wouldn’t have to do that again this year because that was an obstacle in more than one way for him, too. Landon did so well at the obstacle course, he probably went on it a combined four or five times.

My nephew did an awesome job accompanying Landon on some of the smaller-scale rides so Landon could have a companion, and then he still fit in a few of the bigger rides in-between.

For a few years now, the two boys have gotten along especially well, but I have started to see his younger cousin passing him in some regards in life.

We found that Landon is in kind of a weird in-between period right now.

There were a few rides where he was taller than the allowed height maximum for riders, and therefore he was unable to ride the ride.

Some of the other smaller-scale rides, however, had no height limits, which I was grateful for, but as he rode them, I couldn’t help but think that come next year or the year after, he’ll probably be too tall for those, too.

I guess we’ll tackle that when the time comes.

Landon wanted to ride some of the bigger rides with his cousin, but I don’t think he fully understood what he was getting into and we decided it probably wasn’t the best idea to let him go with him.

We’ve seen fast speeds and quick movements even on a go-cart affect Landon, so we weren’t ready to see what an even faster carnival ride might do.

Though there were some disappointments, the good of the afternoon outweighed the bad, and it turned out to be a fun time.

Top off the day with a slice of pepperoni pizza, and Landon’s day was set.

And a shout-out to Security Bank, which provided Landon with a plastic egg craft (he loves plastic eggs!) and a bag his own size that he has been carrying around ever since.

Until next year, Freeborn County Fair!

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.