Saturday, June 11, 2011

PECUARIA de Goiania - A day at the Fair - Goiania Style

We arose today to bright skies and the usual sun shining through the windows into the apartment.  There is
not a cloud in the sky and the breeze is crisp and inspirational.  After a great breakfast of fresh papaya, tangerines, and a Brazilian pastry we decide it is a good day to head to the Pecuaria de Goiania (Agricultural Fair of Goiania). The pecuaria is a very popular destination in the city for the sixteen day celebration of agriculture and country music.  This year the pecuaria is celebrating it 66th year of Agricultural Exhibition of Goias and the 26th International Exhibition of Animals.  As you can imagine it has a long history of excellence and I have heard stories of huge crowds of people at the fair. However, we are attending on a weekday and so that should translate to less crowds which makes me happy.

We stop to pick up Margarete (our travel companion) and she comes out dressed in her cowboy best with boots, denims, plaid shirt and cowboy hat.  I understand that Goiania is very much like the area of Iowa I grew up in with lots of agriculture and livestock.  They vary a little because the city loves its cowboys and country music and it is often compared to Texas or Nashville in the USA.
Arriving at the fair grounds, there are a lot of available parking spots and we head straight to the ticket window (thinking we have come at the right time).  We purchase our R$20.00 ticket and head to the gate.  Upon passing through the gate,  I am quickly transported back to the county fairs of my youth. As an active member of 4-H I would proudly take our garden produce, wood working projects, and entomology displays to the Buena Vista County Fair in hopes of the coveted blue ribbon. Many of my friends exhibited their livestock and I would support them as they paraded their animals in front of the judges.  It was such a great learning experience and when the judging was finished and we ended up with those blue, red, or white ribbons,  I remember just how proud I was..

The other fair we regularly attended was the Clay County Fair in Spencer Iowa.  Since our school district was in Clay County we would get a day or two off of school to attend the fair.  It was always a great opportunity to spend time with family or friends. All the carnival rides, baked goods, produce, livestock and you just never knew who you would bump into. I remember those days like they were yesterday.  As we walk through the livestock barns of the pecuaria it is easy to see the similarities.  The barns are full of magnificently manicured cattle, washed and ready to head out for judging.  Lots of vendors set up to sell all the agricultural equipment one would need.  We stroll around a while and see some of the exhibits and stumble across an exhibit sponsored by the Goiania history center.  The exhibit is filled with artifacts and farm equipment of the early years in Goias.  I take a moment to reflect back to the stories of my grandparents and the thrashing machines they used to harvest the crops.  What a wonderful time and the exhibit is a great tribute to this era. It is filled with grain crushing instruments and all sorts of artifacts from early farms in the region. 

We are surprised as the fair grounds seem to be empty and our plans of eating lunch are doused as a vendor informs us that everything is closed today until 5:00 P.M.  We continue walking around a while through the small carnival and by the bandstands.  Imaging what is must be like during the evening when the country music stars are performing.  After the grandstands we decided we have seen most of the fair and since everything is closed, it is time to head out. Honestly it felt like attending the Clay County fair on the day when the cattle are leaving to make way for the horses to arrive the next day.  My experience at the pecuaria is definitely a great trip down memory lane and I am truly glad we attended.  I hope to go back sometime and see it when there are larger crowds and do some good people watching.  Until then check out your local fair!


Yvonne Meyer said...

I was in 4H and FFA as a farm girl and raised many different animals and vegetables to compete at the fair. I enjoyed being part of the community that would get there early and stay late doing behind the scenes work to keep the animals looking their best for fair goers and judges. Nostalgic. We used to go to the Nebraska State Fair with my grandparents. This is one of my oldest and fondest memories. I like that this pattern/activity is international.

Dave said...

Yvonne, Looking back at life - 4-H played a important roll for me as a child. My favorite part was the basketball tournaments and then family time. I am finding myself doing a lot of reflected during this part of my life. It is surely all good! thanks for your comments