The Fair: Then vs. Now

It’s fitting that on the eve of the official release of THE MEMORY THIEF, I’ll be heading to the fair where the book is set. (Technically it’s set in the “Livingston Fair,” but this was just a cheat I made so that if I got any details of  the “Farmington Fair” wrong, I’d have an excuse for why they’re wrong.)

We first went to the fair eight years ago (we skipped the first year it was here, probably because it was only about a month after we’d moved, and we were still pretty dizzy from the new surroundings.) A lot has changed in the meantime. For one thing, MC is almost as old now as Tomas was then. Denisa and I also have a bit more disposable income than we did eight years ago.

Before, I wrote a post trying to work through how I should balance the rides Tomas wanted to go on with the amount of money it would cost to go on them. I think we ended up letting him pick one ride. It was $4. Today, we’re going to buy all three kids ride bracelets for $15 each. (Though we do make the older kids pay for their bracelets on their own. Because we’re mean parents like that. (And we allow them to have some jobs ahead of time that they can do to earn some extra cash.))

We’ve gone through different stages at the fair. Years ago, it was mainly a time we could meet up with our friends and have our little kids run around and see the animals and the exhibits. Now it’s becoming more and more important to our kids that they be able to meet up with their friends and go on rides together. I’m okay with that up to a point. I don’t honestly think the fair is the best place in the world for kids to run around unsupervised. There’s a lot of people there, and plenty of opportunity for things to head south. So I think that even when Tomas is in high school, I’m not just going to pat him on the back and let him stay the whole time at the fair at the drop of a hat. My plan is for it to continue to be a family affair.

Animals aren’t as big of a draw now as they were then, though MC is still a big fan. We still enter a bunch of different items into the various contests (another way the kids end up paying for their tickets.) Last year I think DC won the most: something like $28 in prizes. Not bad for a seven year old at the time.

Any which way you slice it, the fair’s an event the whole family looks forward to, year after year. If you’re going to be there tonight, say hi when you see us!

If you’re heading over to the fair this evening and want to picture where the action of THE MEMORY THIEF takes place, the tent from the first chapter would be off to the far right as you enter. Over by the stadium, right next to the fence. (Of course, it doesn’t actually exist. Or at least, it didn’t last year . . . )

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