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Sights and Sounds of the SEMO District Fair

SEMO District Fair 2009, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The above is a slide show of photos from many years. I did include many photos never before shared as normally I would pick out the best to share. The photos are not edited either. You will note that some years I stand for a long time taking photos into the sunset waiting for that perfect lighting. You can watch the sunset change as the evening progresses. Getting that one great photo sure does take a lot of time commitment. Maybe you can pick out the one I deemed as the best out of all of those shared. You can see some of these photos in the slideshow below if you scroll down enough.

Written September 9, 2012

We live by the fair.  It seems I say that all the time.  It's not enjoyable living by the fair.  We can hear everything that goes on at the grandstand from our house, including the huge truck pull from tonight, the demolition derby, and the concerts.  It's hard to sit outside on the patio during fair week.

The traffic is also a bear too.  I remember a long time ago when I worked in Scott City trying to get home after the fair and it taking me at least an hour, when it was normally a 15 minute or less drive.  The problem was waiting on the congested line of cars.  Through the years, I've made my fair share of illegal turns down streets blocked off as one way, just to get home. 

They have "no parking signs" in front of our house, which is nice, but then again, we have tried to have garage sales and family parties during fair week and cannot because there is no where for our guests to park.

For many years, they charged parking for the fair and our front yard would become a parking ground for family, friends, and co-workers to avoid paying for parking.  We would come home and the yard would be full of cars and we would never really know who it was that had parked there.  I suppose it was a good thing when they upped the price of entrance and dropped the parking fee.  It was $4 for each of us last night.

Now we have discovered yet a new problem.  Yes, while at the fair last night, we realized we could not use our phones.  Apparently, too many people where trying to access the tower that is nearest the fair.  This sure does explain the problems we were having at home.  I hate to think that because of the fair, especially with no landline, that we could not call out during an emergency or even when we really just wanted to talk to someone.  With hubby working evenings, we cannot seem to get our text messages to each other out.

What else does everyone always say about the fair?  It ALWAYS rains the week of the fair.  I've lived here almost 27 years now in this house and I can say that this is true as I've always paid attention to it.  A few years it was only a slight rain one night, but it did rain.  I always like to think of the fair as bringing on Fall.  As the seasons change, we always get whether and the fair just happens to be the same time as the seasons begin to change. 

So last night we took our annual trek to the fair.  It is not as exciting as it used to be for us when we took the boys when they were little.  I remember how difficult it was for us to save up to buy three $7 armbands for the boys to ride the rides.  Sometimes family would gift us and help toward the $21 which was a lot of money for us back then.

Now, as old married people, we just walk around the fair to see people we knew and chat and grab a few things to eat.  This year I took my camera which made it a lot more fun for me.  I SO enjoy photography.  Of course, photography is only fun if I can share my photos and others can enjoy them.

I wanted to go at night this time and try to catch the mood of the fair with all the lights.  It is really difficult to photograph at night and so this was a challenge for me.  I really do not feel I can capture the essence of the enormity of the fair or the mass crowds of people without having some way to make myself taller.  There were so many people there that there was no avoiding taking photos without people in them.  Several times, the people behind me got mad because I was stopping in front of them.  It is just awkward, but someone has to do it!

Entering the fair. Tractor display

Old Missouri State Highway Patrol car.

I liked that this marionette show was specifically geared toward Cape Girardeau with the riverboat stage, but we did not get to see the show.

We watched a bit of Kid Davie and his magic show. There was a huge crowd too! He encouraged conservation in his show and seemed to do well with his tricks. He even pulled out a rabbit.

Everywhere you go, there are signs like this directing. I wonder if anyone really ever utilizes them? It is not too hard to get lost. However, it does add a different flair to the setting.

I tried forever to get a photo of the "crowds" but I am too short and just needed a lift!

I thought the lemons in the stand to buy lemonaide made for a fun photo.

We did buy some of these chips, but were actually a bit disappointed. They were in such a hurry to get through the long line of people that ours was not cooked in the middle and the outer part was sometimes too dark. It still wouldn't be the fair without them, but we should have gone to a less busy stand to get them.

It would not be the fair without funnel cake either, but we were also rather disappointed in our funnel cake too. Where is the tall fluff? I think the batter was a bit off.

Hubby said he remembered playing this game as a child, so I snapped a photo of it. I never remember going to fairs like this as a child.

I tried for a long time in different positions to get an artistic photo of the ferris wheel, but I really think I need a tripod with a long exposure and with the crowds, that is nearly impossible to do. Plus, I think I need to be there at dusk to get a blue sky background.

All the prizes at the game tables just make the fair. I never do play the games and never have as I just am such a penny pincher!

One of the many rides I had a chance to snap a photo.

I always thought this was a popular game whereby one hits to make the bell ring, but no one was partaking when we went by. It makes me think of this game in various movies.

Flying high!

It wouldn't be a fair without a duck game, now would it?

Sudden drop.

Carousal is so classic! It has to be at a fair or it is not a fair!

We did walk through one of the buildings where people had submitted crop that had grown for judging. It seems lots of people made corn entries.

Um, tobacco maybe?

Wheat table.


The grandstand was jam packed with people watching the tractor pull.

Hubby's favorite part of the fair is the taffy. We always have to buy a bag.


These photos are a few of the same that are in the above slideshow video. I picked out a few to put here as photos.

Sepetember 12, 2019

September 11, 2018

September 9, 2017

September 13, 2016


This to me is a sign that the fair is coming! They used to put one in our yard every year which actually was an inconvenience when our teenage sons needs to park their cars in the street and could not or we wanted to have a Fall garage sale and could not. They do not put these signs in our yard now.


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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