Growing up in a relatively small town, the county fair was always a seasonal delight that I fully embraced as a child and teenager. As I got older, many people around me started to complain about the oily food, the redneckery, and the ramshackle monstrosities that we call amusement rides. Though I fully hear and understand their grievances with such an event, those happen to be the exact same reasons I love to visiting the fairgrounds on those densely muggy Tennessee summer nights.
This year I waltzed into my favorite southern affair, the Tennessee State Fair, in Lebanon, Tennessee with my partner Chris, and our friends Katie, Corey, and their daughter Mae Claire. As much as the sights and sounds excite my own senses, it brings even more joy to see a toddler experience the fair for the first time. Though we waited out a summer thunderstorm in a petting zoo with hundred other people, overstuffing ourselves on fried green tomato sandwiches, turkey legs, and cotton candy was worth it.