I like the freakshow aspects of the fair best. The poultry exhibit, which contains space alien-ish specimens like Mr. "Brainiac" Turkey here, is a great place to take in the strangeness of the natural world. See you in November, buddy.

This little piggy went to Scorch-town. Hey, don't unduly fret about Little Hoggy --I hear before he got full of skewer, he was pretty full of himself instead and he JUST WOULDN'T LISTEN! So, you know, he kinda had it coming.

Him: "What the hell you lookin' at?" Me: "Nothing, sir"

The best 17 seconds of my week. Seriously, this surprisingly swift-moving slide was a real-deal thrill. A must!

This little piggy went to All-Covered-In Chocolate-Town. I suppose Cocoa Pork could taste good if scented with cloves, cinnamon and chilies, a la Mexicana. Of course, this ain't real--just one of the Fair's many, many captivating artworks.

Speaking of captivating art--the Di Salle Creative Arts building is like a dazzling imaginarium--check out these wondrously carved watermelons...

...and this goofy Shoe-cake..

...and (speaking of taking the cake) this stunning Crapper-cake! Fittingly, it took second place in competition!, you know, it was "number two"

Loved this--and the thought that someone in Ohio is (as a nearby plaque informed) a "Master Sand Carver" also fills me with delight.

Gotta take the Skyride--another (along with the Ferris Wheel, not pictured) MUST!

I call this picture BEFORE...

...and this After.

Probably the single best thing to eat at the fair is a simple and exceedingly fresh lamb sandwich. Juicy, tender and full of honest flavor, it's real food, not some silly deep-fried gimmick. Plus, it went great with a couple sips of wine (best deal: $1 "shots"); I got both in the must-visit Taste of Ohio Pavilion.

Frankly, sometimes the fair can be just a steamy-hot and caged-animal-stinky experience, but this year, against odds (was it the 4 shots of wine?) I kinda had a terrific time.

See you there next year!