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B-town Fair, 2015

Today I made it my mission to get ahold of a taco salad at the fair. The Congregational Church makes them each year, and people come every year just to have one--line up to buy one--but I've never had one. Here is the sign announcing their presence:

the famous taco salad

(That church, by the way, is very beautiful. It's from the 1700s. Here is its steeple clock tower--you can't quite see the steeple.)

Belchertown's congregational church (dates to the 1700s)

They created it assembly-line style. I asked for everything. (By the way, the pictures are going to get smaller now, but if you want to see them bigger, just click through to Flickr)

assembling the taco salad

Behold the finished product!

taco salad: complete!

Then I went to find a curb to sit on to eat it, like these folks are doing:

curbside meal

For my drink, I went to the 4-H tent. When we first arrived in town, with four tiny children, the 4-H tent was a lifesaver: affordable food, animals to admire and pet, and low-key activities and crafts to do.

See? Affordable.

best deals are in the 4-H tent

It's literally just whipped-up milk, with some vanilla flavoring. Very simple and good. You can get it in chocolate too.

milk shake--always buy

One woman in the 4-H tent was enjoying the taco salad :-)

another fan of the taco salad

I need to lure my brother and his family, especially my three-year-old niece, up to the 4-H tent. Baby goats! And beautiful chickens!

baby goats beautiful chicken

I always have to visit the exhibit hall (also known as the Old Town Hall, now used mainly for Rec Department activities, like basketball games and yoga.) The town's signature water tower is in the background. (My bicycle is also back there.)

Old Town Hall aka the Exhibit Hall

Inside were some nice 4-H displays on various educational topics--like bees (thematic) and pigeons:

about honey bees

about pigeons

Also there were wildflower arrangements...


And this New-England-To-The-Max headstone, which won best in department.

headstone--best in department

I always take bunches of photos at the fair. If you'd like to see more from the exhibit hall, more random booths, and some shots from the draft horse pull, you can click here.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 19th, 2015 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:30 pm (UTC)
So very happy to share with you!
Sep. 19th, 2015 10:00 pm (UTC)
Y'all run a tombstone department?

Thank you for sharing! I love county fairs! And 4-H!
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:31 pm (UTC)
I think the department might be something much more general, like "adult crafts"--but it's fun thinking it might be tombstones (though this is the first tombstone I've ever seen in the exhibit hall).

4-H is THE BEST.
(no subject) - shewhomust - Sep. 21st, 2015 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:44 am (UTC)
That taco salad looks really tasty.
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:32 pm (UTC)
It was quite tasty! Could have been a little more spicy, but all the same, quite tasty.
(no subject) - amaebi - Sep. 20th, 2015 12:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 20th, 2015 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amaebi - Sep. 20th, 2015 01:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yamamanama - Sep. 20th, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 20th, 2015 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yamamanama - Sep. 20th, 2015 02:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - khiemtran - Sep. 21st, 2015 10:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 20th, 2015 02:13 am (UTC)

Is that the church we went to explore that time?
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
No; what we saw was a meeting house in the next town. But we should glance in this one next time you're here. Even better would be if we could get permission to go up into the bell tower. I'm not sure if there's a bell in there, but I'd love to check.
Sep. 20th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
That looks like so much fun! And that taco salad looks amazing!
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:39 pm (UTC)
It is a very, very fun fair. Something for everyone. And the salad was great!
Sep. 20th, 2015 06:05 am (UTC)
That is one mega salad!
A fair!!! So cool that you posted about this when I was hit by a bit of fair nostalgia last night, while riding on a scooter behind J on our way home from a concert at the opera of all times and places. We were zipping along the Corniche, which follows the Nile and we passed an intersection near the old slaughterhouse, which may or may not still be in use. The smell of animals and manure melded with the humidity coming off the water and the odor of still-hot tarmac and BAM! I was walking out of one of the livestock barns at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque, where mist-sprayers keep the air cool and the dust down.

At first glance, I read the "NJF" in the pigeon poster as WTF. :P

In all my years of fair-going and fair-participating, I've never seen a category for gravestone competition. :P

Edited at 2015-09-20 06:07 am (UTC)
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:43 pm (UTC)
Re: That is one mega salad!
I'm imagining being on the back of a scooter, having been to an opera, going along roads in Egypt, smelling those smells--and remembering another time and place, so far away.

Life is pretty amazing, huh! (Almost as amazing as pigeons.)

Also, I feel bad about leading everyone--even my husband--to (I think?) the wrong conclusion about the gravestone--I suspect "best in department" doesn't mean there's a gravestone department (cool though that would be) but something more mundane, like that it won best in adult crafts or stonework or something like that. On the other hand, there are all sorts of departments that never get any entries, so maybe there really is one for gravestones, and this year it had an entry!
Sep. 20th, 2015 08:00 am (UTC)

Your town fair is so much like ours, except bigger! I've never seen anyone else's fair before. The tacos look great, and the food is so cheap! That clock tower is really gorgeous too, it looks like it's been well-maintained, considering how old it is.

The town hall our little fair is held in is pale yellow and very plain. It looks like it was built in the late 19th century (although really it's much too big for that, considering the population at the time), but i looked it up and it was actually built in the late 1990s. Idk where they held the fair before that, the Legion isn't big enough. Maybe in a school gymnasium.

Edited at 2015-09-20 08:01 am (UTC)
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:47 pm (UTC)
How neat that when your town did build that town hall, they chose a traditional style that could look as if it came from the 19th century--it sounds pretty!

And small fairs can be as nice as large ones--I like them when they feel, somehow, genuine: like people in the community and neighboring communities are truly involved.

Not all the food is so cheap! Only in the 4-H tent. The taco salad was $8.00.
Sep. 20th, 2015 09:59 am (UTC)
Those are some lovely pictures... Thank you!

I love that there is a gravestone competition! And that people are still creating those wonderful New England headstones. It's an important art and one that seems to have been largely lost here, even in the old quarry villages.
Sep. 20th, 2015 12:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that the department was actually a gravestone department--it might have been something more generic, like adult crafts. I wonder, though!

This stone is ... not sure, maybe granite? But I know of a woman who does similar in slate, really terrific work. (Now I'm looking and can't find her page, but am finding others... the woman did them in this same traditional style...)
Sep. 20th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
That is one scary salad! Really a work of art.

Thanks for the virtual tour of your fair. I like reading about such things and looking at photos more than I like actually going. I love the idea of them. But we have the famed Minnesota State Fair right here and I might go once a decade.

Sep. 22nd, 2015 03:01 am (UTC)
Maybe your one in Minnesota is a very big one? Those can be daunting. All this happens on one town common, plus the exhibit hall, so it's pretty small. Meanwhile, in a nearby town, there's "the Big E"--the Eastern States Exhibition--which is a much more ambitious and overwhelming affair. I still haven't been to it, and I've been living here for 18 years!
(no subject) - pameladean - Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2015 10:10 am (UTC)
Looks like a great day out! I've never had a taco salad before, but I'll have to watch for one if the chance ever comes up...
Sep. 22nd, 2015 03:06 am (UTC)
Keep an eye over your shoulder--you never know when one's sneaking up on you.
Sep. 21st, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
I am excited for the local fair (Durham, one of the larger ones, which I did not attend last year because they had elepahnts) this year. I am also excited for fall.
Sep. 22nd, 2015 03:11 am (UTC)
I enjoy fall but with a sense of existential dread around the edges.

Enjoy the Durham fair!
(no subject) - cucumberseed - Sep. 22nd, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
Yay for fairs! This all makes me so happy. What a great 4H tent, too, and I love all the pictures of the town.

Also, what a gloriously New England gravestone. I love it.
Sep. 28th, 2015 06:12 pm (UTC)
It is *such* a fun fair. Wish I could magic people there to enjoy it.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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