The Sonoma-Marin Fair brings joy to countless thousands. It is hard to know if it is the games, the rides, the animals, the food, or the exhibitors, but I am guessing it is a combination of them all, plus the chance to spend quality time with family and friends in our incredible Petaluma weather.
Personally, there are very specific items that attract me to the fair. Sure, I like to watch the cow judging, where humorous phrases such as “mammary factory” can be heard, and I definitely enjoy the Ferris wheel and the unique Petaluma views gained while at the top. But for me, there are specific things that draw me back to the fair, often multiple times during the week.
…in no particular order:
1) …Meat on a stEEEEEEEk. I love foods on-a-stick and the fair is Grand Central Station when it comes to the meeting of food stuffs and the handy-dandy “stick.” I know they aren’t good for me and often aren’t even all that tasty, but when it works, it works so well, and so anything-on-a-stick makes me smile. Pronto Pup is, and has always been, the best place to get a hotdog-on-a-stEEEEEEEk, (known to some as a “corndog.”) They have the best dogs and the best batter. And don’t miss out on the many Zert options, like the deep-fried Snickers or Twinkie… on-a-stEEEEEEEk.
2) Free Clover ice cream. We are a dairy town and free ice cream, from one of our local producers, just seems natural. Call me a dork, but it also puts a huge smile on my face to see Clo the Cow wandering around the fairgrounds. An event without Clo just isn’t quite Petaluma-enough in my book.
3) Smash-up derby – (Also called a destruction derby, demolition derby, or a crash-up derby.) With a plethora of natural and man-made offenses frustrating our daily drives, I think we have all dreamed about smashing cars into each other. This is your chance to see how the “pros” do it. Choose your favorite car (pink cars seem to do relatively well) and bet your friends that your car will last longer than their pick.
4) Pig bellies. Yup, you heard me right…pig bellies. You have probably heard me say it before, but I sure do love me some pig bellies. Actually, I like most things about pigs. They are friendly, thoughtful and sensitive animals that love, among other things, being scratched behind their ears. Just be cautious of the pointy end of the pig because if they decide to bite you, it may put you off bacon for a while. Personally, I love smacking pig bellies. They are so solid and it makes such a great sound. Not hitting, but smacking. I am not hurting the pigs, just giving them a bit of rub down. I don’t suggest you try this yourself; I am a professional, with years of training.
Have a great time at the fair and try to visit some of the areas you might normally skip. I am constantly surprised at how rich and diverse our little hometown fair is. From welding displays to art to ugly dogs to free ice cream, Petaluma has it all if you take the time to do some exploring. Also, remember to have a small breakfast so you can fill up on awesome (and awful) fair food.