Reporting from Harrington.
What more can be said? The first day of the 2015 Delaware State Fair was a stunner.
The lines outside the main gate already were long, so much so that people already were being checked through even before the scheduled noon opening time.
Although the carnival rides weren’t scheduled to open until 5 p.m., hundreds of excited fairgoers were strolling along the Midway by midafternoon, taking advantage of famous fair food, including fried Oreos, barbecued turkey legs and soft-serve ice cream.
And Mother Nature seemed to want to cooperate, providing sun, seasonably mild temperatures and a light breeze that helped everyone enjoy the experience just a little bit more.
“Today is the first day and that’s a big day.” said Diana North of Middletown. North brought her children, Jack and Megan to opening day, explaining, “We always come to the fair.”
Fairgoers were treated to the sights and sounds of calliope music playing just inside the gates, courtesy of the Carousel Organ, as families and young children headed for the petting zoo. Inside, everyone got up close and personal with goats of all ages, hungry alpacas and a pair of giraffes who seemed to delight in snatching away proffered carrots with their long black tongues.
“I love the goats!” exclaimed Kate Mahler of Parsonsburg, Md., even as one of the animals snatched a cup of food from her hands. “They’re just adorable and fluffy.”
David Peer of Leipsic learned about the horseshoe crab while in DNREC’s Fun With Science building.
“I like them because, well, I’m not really sure,” he said. “I just like them.”
Later in the day, cowboys tackled steers, got tossed from the backs of bucking broncos and roped calves in the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Pro Rodeo, earning points, cash and bragging rights for their skills.
Even more thrills were on tap for Friday, with the Manlove Auto Parts Demolition Derby, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the M&T Bank Grandstand.