Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. Usually we’re all about the food.
…though not all the foods on hand were meant for immediate consumption. In particular, the Agriculture-Horticulture Building is one of the fairground’s premier showcases for produce competitions. Fruits, veggies, bee honey, and other locally grown fare face off for bragging rights of size, quality, and creativity. None of them is showier than the annual can sculpture contest, which we find ourselves photographing year-in-year-out and finding that while some shapes are readily apparent, some are harder to discern till we squash them down to screen size…like so.
Pausing here to note that, as always, all cans are donated to local hunger relief organizations after the contest has finished. No one gets to glue their canned sculptures together and keep them like that while the innards rot over the next sixty years.
Another State Fair tradition is the giant cheese sculpture, a work in progress if you arrive too early in August. By the end of the 2½-week carnival-tastic spectacle, the finished cheese art will stand tall after most other food exhibits have been taken home or thrown away.
We don’t normally brake for all the produce contests until and unless the entrants reach a certain ridiculous size. I’m sure the trained judges have their motivations and criteria for comparing four-inch tomatoes to each other, but we prefer marveling at the kind of exaggerated fruits that would make great handheld weapons.
To be continued! Or maybe concluded! Still deciding!