(This is student work submitted as part of the Youth Voices collaborative project.)
By Kennedy Moore
Woodstock Union Middle School
When I think of early fall, I think of my family’s yearly tradition of visiting the Tunbridge World’s Fair for some family fun. The Tunbridge Fair first started in 1867 and has been held almost every year since. It is on the Top Ten list of Vermont’s fall events, and it is certainly #1 on my list! I have been going to the fair yearly ever since I can remember and intend to keep going all my life. Going to the fair is a tradition I enjoy very much.
When I think of the Tunbridge Fair, I remember running home from school on a chilly fall afternoon ready to jump in the car and drive to the fair. After what seemed like hours of driving, we pulled our car into the huge green fields that served as parking lots and rushed out of the car excited and ready to have fun.
As we entered the fair through the southern gate, we could hear people talking, horses neighing in the barn, and music blaring from the rides. As we walked by the horse barns, we saw dozens of horses peeking their heads out the barn windows, waiting to greet us. Then we headed up the steep hill to the Antique Hill exhibits. After checking out the old artifacts and equipment and tasting the juicy, freshly-pressed apple cider, we headed to the Corn Roast stand to buy an ear of delicious, juicy, roasted corn-on-the-cob.
After we finished eating, we decided that it was time for rides. We love going on the Flying Bobs, Rock and Roll, and Scrambler every year. As we walked down the crowded midway we saw the rides tossing people around as if they were young children playing with a yo-yo, and we couldn’t wait to get in line for a turn! When finally we made it to the front of the line, we ran onto the ride, excited and happy. We heard loud music as the ride began and the lights started to flash. We could feel the cool fall breeze on our faces, as we zoomed round and round on the ride, and we felt the adrenaline rush through us as the ride sped faster and faster. After we got off the ride, my sister and I were so happy that we got right back in line for another turn.
Later on, after we went on the rides, we headed to the maple sugar house for some cotton candy. As we entered the sugarhouse we could smell the sweet aroma of maple everything, from candies to ice cream. We headed to the cotton candy line and waited for a bag. When we reached the front of the line, the vendor handed us a big bag of cotton candy, fresh out of the machine. We took the cotton candy outside and sat down to eat, reaching into the bag for handfuls of the sweet candy. The sticky candy melted on our tongues and tasted as sweet as spoonfuls of sugar. As we finished the cotton candy, we decided that it was time to walk around and see everything else that the fair had to offer.
As we walked along the midway, we could smell fair food and could hear the game booth attendants saying, “Step right up.” As we got closer to the barns we could faintly smell manure and could hear all sorts of noises, from cows bellowing to pigs snorting. We walked throughout the barns looking at all the different kinds of animals. We checked out the animals in the cattle and oxen barns before we headed to the petting zoo where we could see young children petting the animals and laughing. We took a turn petting the animals, feeling the animal’s soft, clean fur that smelled of hay, and admiring how cute they were. As we exited the barns, we headed back out into the busy fairgrounds to see the other sights of the fair.
We continued to walk around, browsing through vendor tents and smelling the delicious fair food wafting throughout the fair. A huge sea of fairgoers were making their way around the fair, taking in the excitement, some holding the stuffed animals that they had won at the game booths. Eventually, we made our way to a pop-the-balloons booth and paid for the game. I heard the colorful balloons pop loudly as I struck three with the darts and won a prize. “The dog,” I said when the person running the game asked which prize I wanted. The game attendant took out the big, fluffy, new smelling stuffed animal and handed it to me. As I took the stuffed animal out of his hands, a smile lit up my face, and I felt proud about winning. We left the game booth and head toward the southern gate as night was falling, and it was cooling down to a frosty temperature.
We made our way out of the fair, tired, happy, and with our stomachs full of delicious fair food. When we reached the front entrance to leave the fair, we turned around to take it all in one more time. The flashing lights, animals, amazement of children, artifacts, fast rides, and food booths that cover the fairgrounds were all in our sight. We hopped on a shuttle back to the car, too tired to walk back. As the shuttle pulled into our parking area, we jumped off and rushed toward the car. In the car, as we turned up the heat to beat the cold, and started the drive home, my sister and I thanked our parents for the fun night and drifted off to sleep, tired and ready for next year’s Tunbridge World’s Fair.
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