Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kansas State Fair: Day One...

I left the house about 5:00 this (Wednesday) morning to head out for my latest assignment. I‘ll be spending the next two and a half weeks working the State Fair in Hutchinson. As soon as I got to town, I hooked up with my partner in crime, a guy named, Huey Nelson. Actually, Huey is the brains of the operation. I’m not sure, but I think we might be in trouble. Today was really just a day of getting in touch with food vendors to make sure who made it again this year and who didn‘t. For the most part, the same people who were last year are all here again.

There was the guy from Florida, he’s a good guy. The old guy and his wife who live and breathe KU football was back. The guy from Jersey and his son were back and ready to get this thing started. The grouchy old lady from somewhere in Oklahoma hadn’t arrived yet. Good. We went from one stand to another and just about the time we were finished the old guy from Tulsa who sells turkey legs showed up. He’s probably the coolest old guy I know. It was especially good to see because last year he told us he was hanging it up. He was going to sell his stand and finally retire and enjoy life for a change. I think he decided this is what he really enjoys and when it came right down to it, he wasn’t ready to hang it up after all.

The carneys are hard at work getting their rides set up. It’s really hard to imagine that in just one more day this place will transform from the mess and chaos it is now to the showplace that it will become in order to be ready to welcome and entertain hundreds of thousands of people from all over the place.. Ah, The State Fair, there’s nothing like.

The place is a mess. Food service trucks are everywhere. Electricians and plumbers are busy making sure everybody’s stands are working like they’re supposed to. People are unloading their cars, vans, pickups, and trailers all over the place. Everyone of them hoping to sell enough of whatever it is they’re selling to make it all worthwhile. It’s easy to spot the Fair Officials, too. They’re the one’s running around with really stressed out looks on their faces and talking on their radios.

Crap, my partner just showed up. I’ll check in with you guys later. It’s time for me to get to work. 24 hours till the gates open. It’s crunch time!!!

Okay, that’s done. Looks like we’re dealing with about 30 food stands. We’ve got them all filled up and all are ready to go. The rest of the day is mine to do as I see fit.

I’m always impressed at how the midway (rides) go together. This morning it looked like complete chaos. This afternoon, it still looks like chaos, but they’ve got a lot done. I gotta tell you though, some of the people they have working on the stuff are a little scary looking. Oh well, that’s another story for another time.

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