We met Mom and Dad on Wednesday at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This is the same facility in Tampa that hosts the RV SuperShow each year so we were already familiar with the park layout. The day was a little cool but the sun was out and it was nice to just wander around outside.
Just like the Big E, the fairgrounds is full of vendors trying desperately to separate you from your money. Trinkets, Crafts, Souvenirs and Miracle Cures all ready to make your life more enjoyable for a small fee. And, of course, every other booth was a food vendor from Hot Sausages and Hamburgers to Funnel Cakes and French Fries, they were all there. We didn't fall for any of these gimmicks but Dad did manage to get one shoe polished. I guess if he wanted the other one polished he needed to buy the stuff. We did have lunch and Ice Cream during the day.
Cracker Country was the true Gem of this adventure. No, it's not about a bunch of white guys in an urban setting. Cracker Country is a functioning historical village within the gates of the Fairgrounds. It is a village based around the early Florida settlers that made their living from cattle. They were called Crackers because of the sound made while "cracking" their whips to get the cattle moving. The village is similar to Old Sturbridge Village with a working Blacksmith, Printer and General Store along with a Train Station, School, Post Office and The Governors Inn which houses the portraits of every Florida Governor from Andrew Jackson to the present day. This was a great place to spend some quiet time away from the fair and enjoy some of the rich Florida history while listening to live bluegrass music in the village center.
I am not sure I can recommend the Fair, but if you ever get a chance to visit Cracker Country, you will have a great time. You can find out a little at CrackerCountry.org