Big Sister Little Sister Fair Day, 20th Anniversary Edition




“At least I don’t work in a lemon!”, I said to Jen as we walked by someone pouring lemonade in a giant lemon.  I  could have been a little more humble; I had three part time jobs and none of them seemed like they would pan out.  It was 1995 and I was distracting myself from the reality that I was 33 and had just moved back home to Syracuse and in with my mother (nothing personal, Mom.)

Last year Jen and I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Big Sister Little Sister Day at the Great NYS Fair. We have a path we have worked into a groove, although we do try to put one new and different thing in every year. This year for the first time we didn’t go together, which may be OK since the landscape has changed significantly and our memories are just that, memories.

Curly fries with malt vinegar This is usually our first food item, within the first 2o minutes.  No matter how much malt vinegar we shake onto the overfull plate of fries, it never seems enough. Later in the day I always go to the Dinosaur BBQ booth for a sausage sandwich, then finish up the trip with a cinnamon candy apple.

Butter sculpture and a glass of milk The dairy building is always a must, and even if we miss the act playing on center stage, we always check out the sculpture and get our chocolate milk, so imagine my disappointment when I saw the article about a price increase to 50 cents. Thanks to some grant money that magically resurfaced, the price remained the same. Incidentally, the butter sculpture was my very first hashtag on social media, explained by my much younger sis.

An adult beverage  I usually head over to Horan’s for a beer.  I bring them business even though we are not related and I have never been able to get one for free.  Last  year I wandered over to the New York Brew Pub and Distillery and got a craft beer.  Jen noticed that they were filling cups from the bottom.  When we questioned the bartender he explained about the magnet technology, which saves time and gives a consistent head, but does create a waste problem with the nonrecyclable cups. Jen usually heads over to the wine court. We got wine slushies one year and got brain freeze. Not for us.

Center of Progress building, Jen’s usual MO is to talk the salesperson into getting both her hands smoothed out with fancy lotions (they often only do one hand, trying to entice you to buy their product) and get her rings cleaned for free. We then visit the massage booth and purchase a 5 or 10 minute chair massage from the local massage school.

Horticulture building Here we judge the table and place settings up for ribbons (I had no idea this was even a thing!) Then we check out flowers that I never even knew existed. And there is a gorgeous courtyard that we usually sit in for a while. Then off to the sand sculpture. This year there was some serious vandalism to the Justin Bieber section of the sculpture which I am sure increased their traffic.

Animal buildings and the Horse Coliseum, Jen loves animals of all kinds, so we need to check them all out. Then we head over to the coliseum where we like to rest our feet and watch whatever show is there, whether they are draft or show horses, showing, pulling tractors, or jumping.

Chevy Court.  We did not listen to much of the same music growing up, but Jen indulges her big sis, over the years humming her way through KC and the Sunshine Band, Three Dog Night, and Rick Springfield.  We were a little surprised that Rick would want to come back, after Bootygate (Jen’s words) in 2004.  For those who may not know the big news here in the Salt City, a fan brought suit against Springfield when she allegedly was injured when Rick fell off the stage onto her.   He mentioned the sign a fan had in front that said “Rick, you can fall on me!” and he  talked about how supportive Syracuse was during that whole debacle and mentioned that he thought about wearing a pillow strapped to his butt.

14324627_10210039017759589_3907190992071739844_o-1Last year Jen and I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Big Sister Little Sister Day at the Great NYS Fair.  We only missed one year in all that time; she was pregnant and needed to be off her feet.  That was the year I took Flat Jennifer (think children’s book Flat Stanley) to the Fair then made Jen a scrapbook of Flat Jennifer’s adventures. As much fun as Jen is, Flat Jennifer and I had a great time too.  I guess that’s a whole different post. Missed you this year, Buddy!  We’ll do it next year,



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