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LIZ DREIER | Wonder Boy goes to the fair

After this year’s beach vacation with a toddler who hated the beach, when Wonder Boy’s mom texted me that she and her husband wanted to take our grandson to his first Canfield Fair, I had my doubts. 
Liz Dreier Column 08312020
Liz Dreier

When Wonder Boy’s mom texted me that she and her husband wanted to take our grandson to his first Canfield Fair, I had my doubts. 

After this year’s beach vacation with a toddler who hated the beach, I wondered how he would react to the sights and sounds of the fair. When they met us at the Fine Arts building carrying little Carney, he was smiling from ear to ear.

“Mimi! Gwappa!” he shouted when he saw me and my husband.

“He loved the tractor ride from the parking lot,” my son-in-law told me.

Already, this was progress.  

Our first stop was DiRusso’s, where we lunched on delicious sausage sandwiches. Ragazzo Italiano loved every spicy bite. I think he ate almost half of his mom’s sandwich. As soon as he finished eating, he jumped up from his perch on the picnic bench and shouted his trademark invitation to the world, “C’mon!  Let’s go!”

I wasn’t finished with my DiRusso’s yet, but I had received the call and could not refuse.

As we took in the sights, our grandson was mesmerized by the carnival rides until he spied his new love, John Deere tractors. What boy doesn’t love a good tractor?

Because a sign informed us that sitting on the tractors was forbidden (party poopers!) we directed Farmer Boy toward the pony barn. Grandpa picked him up and carried him for the duration of this tour.

We had to stop at each stall, where he said, “Look, mama, horsey! Hello, horsey!” 

After that, we went to see the chickens. He greeted them just as warmly as he had the ponies. “Hi, chickens! Hi!” 

The chickens did not respond. Neither did the rabbits, although I swear, I saw one giving us the stink eye.

On the way over to the cow barn, our mini archeologist found a few rocks that he liked. Just when it looked as if he was about to lob one at a passing kid, his mom convinced him that the rocks belonged to the fair and he needed to put them back.

I didn’t think the cows were as much fun as the ponies, but our first-timer thought they were wonderful.

“Look! Cow!” We were so caught up in his excitement, we may have stepped in a bovine souvenir or two.

We spent a lot of time in the sheep barn, because our little woolgatherer needed to pet each animal he saw. I’m convinced he has a future in agriculture.

At the pumpkin barn, we took the obligatory photo at the big pumpkin cutout. Well, at least some of us did. Our son-in-law wanted no part of it. 

“I just lived the experience,” he explained, “I don’t need a picture.” 

It seemed he liked the fair about as much as his son liked the ocean.

All in all, Wonder Boy’s first excursion to the Canfield Fair was successful. 

I wonder if they have pony barns at the beach.

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