... Let the fun begin
The official opening of the fair was to be at 11:30 am. I arrived at 9:30. The morning was cloudy with a threat of rain. Everyone was hoping that the rain would hold off so they could get through the festivities.
The blue canopies had been put up and cars were being unloaded along Main St. There were venders setting up to cook sweet Italian sausage and hot dogs. Fried dough and roast beef were on the list of delicacies for the day and lemonade and raspberry lime rickey was being poured into their containers for sale when the fair opened. A six-foot young man was filling a six-foot plastic bottle of Coca-Cola with ice and cans of coke to quench the thirst of visitors that will be walking up and down the street later. Merchants greeted merchants with a tip of their coffee cups.
I walked undisturbed along the street taking pictures. The silent, and yet not completed carousel, reminded me of by-gone days. The red and yellow umbrella over the horses, the music as it was being tested, and the looks of the men setting up this wonderful amusement made me feel young again.
Some of the signs going up were for "The Canine Recreation Center", "Melrose yellow pages", "YMCA" and "Polymnia Choral Society". There will be more than 170 booths in all when this morning was done. The stage was set for entertainment that would continue all day. Dancers, singers, martial arts and Tai Chi will be among the activities. There will be booths with interesting and informative information. A train display, and "Ellie the Elephant" an inflatable children's ride. You will be able to pose for a hot air balloon photo or have your picture put on a tee shirt or mouse pad. There will be a dunk tank, clowns, face painting and much food and fun.
At 10:30 I walked to where the children's race would begin. There were about twenty children ages four to twelve. On the sidelines a mother pinning her young son with his running number and dads urging their sons and daughters on. The count-down began and the run for the gold was on its way down East Foster Street and back again. They ran with gusto and pride. Every one that finished was to receive a golden medal hanging on a red, white and blue ribbon. The excitement filled the air as onlookers cheered for their own champion. The winner was number 76, a blond, handsome young man with orange shorts and a definite stride of a champion. Following behind came number 109,177,194 and all the rest of these future olympiads. At 11:00 am the adult 5K race was to begin. Men and women in shorts and various athletic club shirts lined the street. Nikes, Addidas and New Balance hit the asphalt at the same instant and away they went pounding the pavement with the definite desire to win, but not with the look or purpose of their younger counterparts.
I walked back to Main St. to see the start of the "Ye Old Victorian Parade". Young ladies, boys and girls were dressed in costumes of the period. High button shoes and lace shawls. Velvet dresses and ruffled shirts. Boy's outfits accented with ties and suspenders and girl's finery finished off with dainty white gloves.
Smiles were all around as people started to line the street to witness the beginning of the 22nd Victorian Fair.