Some Pig-Related Disappointment

So I grew up going to the Alabama National Fair–I have no idea why it’s called “National”–every year in Montgomery. I’ve been back a couple of times as an adult, but never to stay for hours, ride the rides, and in general recreate the whole experience. We took the kids and assorted family down this weekend, and the two things I was most excited about were  a)racing pigs, and b) elephant ears.

As my brother mentioned yesterday, you can find funnel cakes plenty of places. You can ONLY find elephant ears at a state or county (or national) fair. Not at Six Flags or Disney World or any other amusement park. So that makes them my first food stop at any fair (followed by caramel apples and corn dogs.) But something has drastically changed in the elephant ear world–the ones we got Saturday night were shaped like actual elephant ears, and they were completely flat pastries. The ones I remember were round and extremely thin and flaky, with air bubbles in the dough. These more modern ears are still shellacked with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, but they were no where near as good as the ones I remember.

Also, the pig races were inferior. There was no high dive! Pigs running in circles is all fine and good, but it’s small potatoes compared to pigs jumping off a forty-foot diving board. These guys just swam in a little pool. Very anticlimactic.

Of course, the details that I HADN’T built up in my mind held up very well over time. The Himalaya and the giant swings were just as much fun as I remembered. The lights of the fairway were mesmerizing. I do love the fair, and it’s especially fun with kids who are also loving the fair.

Oh, and also Charlie Daniels performed. He actually used the phrase “politically correct pantywaists.”  Not sure I’ve ever heard that used in conversation before.


  1. Hannah on November 17, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Assorted family! That’s me!

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