The last night on the Midway slowed down to a trickle, with cloudy skies, the threat of storms, and a vendors looking for last chance customers. Brian, of St. Paul, played the rollerball game again and again, hoping to add to his cache of winnings for his waiting child – or his inner child. He was in the middle of his last try when the ferris wheel lights went dark; the understood sign to all employees that the Midway is closed. The music stopped, there was a silent beat – and then I heard engines starting up somewhere behind me in the dark. I had been warned to stay alert and out of the way, as the huge trailer trucks began squeezing into the spaces between concessions and rides. On went the hard hats and the safety shirts, as the staff who had already worked a long day shifted into high gear and worked through the early morning hours, their demolition ironically lit by the pulsating, still-breathing lights of their own rides. Boxes full of customer tickets were rushed to the back of the Midway for redemption:the ferris wheel medallion was removed. The workers moved fast; at least one ride needed to be ready for the opening of a Fair in Oklahoma in two days.
Bittersweet, I sighed, as I watched two tired workers steal a moment and dig into the sugar of the quintessential Fair cookie jar.
Totally walking his talk, or the side of his truck’s talk, as he and his partner carried an endless number of 5-hour Energy displays bottles. He told me they’re not heavy. Only about 100 pounds.
How many men does it take to place an umbrella and two garbage cans?
I’m not mocking; I’ve never built a Fair.
Just an observer here……but it was amusing to see these guys work it out among themselves.
The tent wasn’t up yet, and the guys were hanging.
Serena looked like the one in charge. At one point it looked like she was going to lift the tent herself.
Soon I realized it took a crew of 12 to lift the tent. Serena was beaming when it was up. “This game is my baby. My sister’s aunt groomed me for it.” Check out the Buoy Pitch, but mostly, check out Serena. She’s the anchor of it all.
Hope, of Indiana, had it under control as she calmly instructed her crew to change out the Wisconsin State Fair sign for the Minnesota State Fair sign. “The less you have to remember, the better you are.” I asked how long it takes to set up their basketball game. She laughed: “If you have two weeks, it takes two weeks….”
It’s two days before the Fair, and she never broke a sweat.
Work you have seen, new work you haven’t seen; come enjoy the views and let me thank YOU!
When it rains, we cover our kids; cover our cookies; cover our prizes; cover ourselves; take cover – and check the map for the next stop.
Then we go out again and make a big splash.
Ready to throw a few down?
Drink too much and you’ll end up on the ‘drying out’ rack.
It’s always (MN) nice when the Minnesota State Fair uses a photo of mine. This, from their Facebook page. And, once again, big thanks to the Minnesota Women’s Press for featuring my photo “I’m All Butter Fingers,” along with an article about my State Fair Photography. And this is just the start of going Beyond The Stick at The 2014 Minnesota State Fair!
And I’m sure you saw even more of the same. Or different. The point is, there’s more.
To say the least.