Last Saturday Lily, 9 and I went to Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days. The fair is fun in and of itself, of course, but this year we were also discharging two special missions as requested by friends:


  1. Visit the Walla Walla Country Rural Library’s bookmobile and take a selfie with Chris, the bookmobile librarian
  2. Get some kind of food on a stick that we normally wouldn’t eat


The first request came from a librarian friend who lives in San Francisco and is in a Zoom group of bookmobile librarians, which is how she knows Librarian Chris. The second came from a neighbor during a driveway conversation moments before we headed to the fairgrounds.


The bookmobile was really cool and lots of kids were there.


And 9, wasn’t Chris just exactly as described, energetic and enthusiastic and the perfect person for the job?


Plus he had a rubber chicken.


Which we happened to capture in the selfie:


Fun at the Fair: With bookmobile librarian Chris and his friend the rubber chicken!



After that we visited the livestock barns- –


Tip: do not wear sandals to the fair.


Fortunately we still have cowboy boots, Lily. Then we went to the Pavilion exhibition hall, stopping first at the commercial exhibits.


Which is where we saw my favorite thing.


And something I did not expect to see at the fair:


Seen at the Fair: an antique hearse!



It was so pretty it wasn’t even scary.


Unusual as a hearse at a fair may seem, we saw something even more unusual in the arts and crafts exhibit- -an origami chess set:


Seen at the Fair: an all-origami chess set!



The pineapple playing pieces reflect the 2023 fair theme: Fun in Fairadise.


How pathetically corny!

I thought it was funny.


I’m somewhere in between. There were plenty of beautiful and interesting craft items to see, and open class baking was nearby. Looking at a display case full of cookies and cakes reminded me about the “something on a stick” challenge. We bravely exited the exhibition hall and faced the midway, hoping against hope that we’d find something besides a corn dog.


I like corn dogs!

You would. I think they’re disgusting.


Fortunately, someone was selling ice cream on a stick. We chose huckleberry ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped peanuts:


Devoured at the Fair: huckleberry ice cream bar dipped in chocolate, with peanuts!


Admit it, Lily, even you thought it was good.

Oh all right, if you insist.



I thought it was fabulous, which is part of the beauty of eating something you wouldn’t normally eat. And the ice cream didn’t fall off the stick until the last few bites.


Sometimes I balk at the opportunity to go to a fair. Having worked as a fair entertainer for over a decade and often living on campus for the entire run I’ve seen “how the sausage is made” too many times. But having a mission or two provided by others put the fun back into it for me. I saw lots of friends and acquaintances on the grounds and was surprised at the number of art and home arts entries made by people I know.


This reminded me of something very important about county fairs: they are about community.

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