The fall fair in my town in this weekend. For the heck of it, I decided to enter a couple of my jams a Strawberry Rhubarb Orange jam from the Food in Jars cookbook, and my own recipe: Strawberry Ginger Pimms, in the fair. Entries in the homecrafts competition had to be brought in on Wed. night or Thursday morning. I got home late on Wed, so Mr. Ivriniel took my entries in for me on Thursday morning.
When he registered, the little old ladies at the desk smiled at him and said "I hope your wife knows she is up against Mennonites."
Mr. Ivriniel laughed and told them I am a Mennonite, which seemed to confuse them, as they asked if we were from "up north". I guess maybe some of the David Martin group Old Orders from up in Dufferin County come down to make entries in our fair? Otherwise no clue.
Anyways, Friday night the Fair opened, and Mr. I and I walked over. It was a sunny, but humid day, literally the warmest it has been all summer. We get to the gate and find it a little odd that there is a security guy doing random bag checks and groups of three police constables walking around all over, but we later learned that there had been a "riot" at the fair about 10 years ago. The only report of the riot I can find seems contradictory: there were said to be 500 youth participating, and the cops used rubber bullets, but the only property damage was a small section of white picket fencing. What exactly were the rioters doing?
Anyways, this was Mr. Ivrinel's first Fall Fair ever. It also the closest Mr. I had ever been to a cow. He is such a city boy. He didn't even know the city he grew up in had a fall fair until I googled it.
We walked around a bit, slowly making our way towards the Homecrafts building. In addition to the farm education tent, we looked at the classic cars, had Jamaican patties and some jerk sausage, and then stopped off at the Knights of Columbus beer tent. As we are getting out drinks, the guys running the tent are looking out the back at some ominous black clouds rushing in from the west. I open up Facebook on my phone to make a status update about the fair and see that a friend who lives to the west of us had just put in a status update about high winds and horizontal rain. Then the storm was on us. It was raining hard and people start rushing into the beer tent for cover.
Then the wind picked up and the outer poles of the tent started getting lifted off the ground. The three police constables who had been on beer tent duty, and some of the other adults started grabbing poles and trying to hold them down, but it was not easy. Nor are we very comfortable with the fact that we are in a big structure held up by a metal pole in the middle of a field, as lightning flashes in the sky to the south of us.
One on the constables who was talking into her shoulder radio then announces "We are abandoning this structure. Everyone to the Armoury, now." So everyone runs out into the rain, as one of the other constables calls after us, "No, walk in an orderly fashion!"
I hurry along, passing the message on to any people I see. By the time I am 2/3 of the way to the Armoury I am soaked to the skin, so I stop running and look around. In the mad dash, Mr Ivriniel and I have become separated. I assume he will meet me at the Armoury, so I keep walking, and along the way squash a forming rumour that we are being sent to the Armoury because a tornado is headed this way (I've seen tornado sky. It's green. Our sky was black.).
I get to the Armoury. No Mr. Ivriniel. I wait a bit. Still no sign. The police tell us they are shutting down the fair and we are all to call for rides home. I call him on his Blackberry. It seems when we left the beer tent he decided to run to the nearby Homecrafts building instead of following instructions. I ask a constable what he should do, and they say he has to come over to the Armoury and tell anyone else who is there to come as well.
In the midst of all this, he tells me that he checked out the jam exhibit and my Strawberry Rhubarb took 3rd prize and my Strawberry Ginger Pimms received an honourable mention! Woot.
Mr. Ivriniel leaves the Homecrafts Building and hurries past a row of Portapotties. A couple have blown over in the storm, and a loud banging is coming from the one which is lying door side down. Mr. Ivriniel looked at it, realized there was no way he would be able to lift it and rushed on to the Armoury. When he got there, he reported the situation to a constable standing by the door, who just facepalmed at the news and said they'd get someone on it.
After that, Mr. Ivriniel wanted to walk home, and I might have agreed since we live about four blocks from the fairgrounds, only that very morning, a University of Waterloo student was struck by lightning and died, so insisted on a cab.
We went back on Saturday, and things were a lot less eventful.