Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Florida State Fair

There is plenty to do for all ages at the fair in Tampa.  Note I said all ages, as we had a toddler in tow and what he likes are music shows and livestock.  Also, we had only four hours before his nap time.  So that called for some major strategic planning as you can see in the photo below.
We were in luck.  At Cracker Country (a living museum celebrating Florida's rural past) a music show was going on.  Notice in the picture below the large live oaks and Spanish moss- not too often we see them at other state fairs which we have attended..  With palm trees and a small lake in another area of the fair, it was not the usual fair settings which we are accustomed to.
  The music was so good that Nathan did not care to see the rest of the fair.
Fortunately there was a donkey close by, pressing sugar cane.  Florida ranks number one in production of sugar cane in the United States.  Fortunately there are now better ways  of processing it!  A lot going on in Tampa's only living history museum; as tours of some older homes, blacksmithing and weaving demonstrations, as well as production of cane chairs.  While John and I spent some time in those areas, Melissa took Nathan to tour one of America's last wooden cabooses.
A wonderful feature of the fair this year is a White House Exhibit.  It is the result of 50 years of work by an Orlando resident, John Zweifel.  He collects presidential memorabilia as President Franklin Delano's custom 1939 Cadillac pictured above.  In the White House exhibit people have an opportunity to take selfies of themselves at the oval desk, a podium of the press briefing room, or in front of the capitol.  For people who have never visited Washington D.C. or any of the presidential museums, it is a fantastic exhibit. 
We did make it to the livestock barn where Nathan enjoyed feeding the goats and sheep.  There were also other interesting animals on display, as a yak, a water buffalo and 4 horned Jacob sheep.  Clydesdale horses were also in one of the barns.
Male and female of this breed of sheep may have 2 and as many as 6 horns.  Our final stop was at a butterfly house where I found another Biblical name given to a certain butterfly species.
Melissa and I were given special wands to capture the butterflies.  I not only had a monarch butterfly on mine, but also a Malachi.  One staff member informed me that the species is a native of Florida.
That was our day at the Florida state fair, and it was not long enough.  For Nathan it was all that he could take in for one day, he feel asleep on the way home.  As a rule, he never falls asleep in his car seat!

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