Thursday, October 05, 2006

On Tuesday I went to the Topsfield Fair (in Massachusetts) with one of our daughters. This agricultural fair has existed since 1812. Its popularity has never diminished over the years and remains the place to go when October rolls around.

When our daughters were growing up we would take them to the fair to visit the baby goats, sheep and rabbits. Tuesday we visited all of the animals including chickens and roosters. Three of the highlights on Tuesday was 1. a concert with Chubby Checkers [the Limbo creator] on his 65th birthday; 2. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride and 3. the Clydesdale horses.

We went to the Chubby Checkers concert at 2 p.m. then continued to visit the fair grounds until 5:15 when we decided we should go into the Arena and get our seats for the Musical Ride. The seats did fill up quickly but we were in the second row so had a great view. This performance is always very popular and the Topsfield Fair was the only U.S. venue for 2006. In the past they have been at a variety of agricultural fairs in New Hampshire and have performed in different parts of the U.S. I had seen the Musical Ride many years ago in Manitoba. These riders are great. Did you know that the riders commit three years to these performances and after three years they return to police work. All of the horses are specially bred so that they will all be black. After the show, the horses are brought to the sides of the arena so they can be petted. The rider on the horse in front of us rides once every four years. He does not return to police work as he is one of the trainers. He rides for one year, trains for two or three years then rides again. He said he is part of the Musical Ride every four years.

At the end of the performance, the national anthems for both Canada and the United States was played. I sang with both and once I began to sing "O Canada" I could hear a few people around me joining in.

We didn't see the Clydesdales pull the wagon because of the time they were performing but we did see them and they are really handsome horses!

The Bee House is always interesting to visit. Did you know they mark the queen with a color so they know where she is all the time. Of course, experienced beekeepers do not have to do that but for those of us who would not keep bees except to watch them pollinate our plants , it was interesting to see her and the swarm of bees around her [of course!]. We were told that many beekeepers who rent out their bees to pollinate apple orchards use a new queen every year. There are some 20,000 bees in one hive when rented to professional apple orchard growers.

The last couple of days have been like summer in Massachusetts but we've now gone to the downside of that it was it nippy this morning.

Have a nice day.


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