Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bob Dunning: It’s taco time at the county fair


From page A2 | August 16, 2013 |

HOLY GUACAMOLE … I’ve always said there’s no fear of running into a fellow Davisite at the Yolo County Fair, given that most residents of the Second Most Educated City in America don’t “do Woodland.” … after all, county fairs — with their emphasis on beauty queens, corn dogs, destruction derbies, deep-fried Snickers bars, tractor pulls and raising farm animals for slaughter — don’t rank high on the intellectual scale …

Thus it was both shocking and refreshing to see the photo in Thursday’s Enterprise featuring several prominent Davisites chowing down on at least two boxes of Catholic Tacos from the Holy Rosary Church booth … rumor has it that newly installed Pope Francis asked that several boxes of these world-famous tacos be shipped to the Vatican as well … my family and I attended the fair last night, primarily to indulge in this annual taco extravaganza … the tacos, in fact, have become the No. 1 reason to attend the county fair …

Given that admission to the fair is free, many folks come through the gates five straight nights just to pick up a box of tacos to take home … fortunately, Thursday was also an important “feast” day in the Catholic Church (the Assumption), so we ordered an extra box ourselves, slathered in the “mild” sauce that is both complimentary and complementary … Taco Bell does have its following, but you really can’t claim to have lived in this county if you have never tried a Holy Rosary taco at the Yolo County Fair …

SPEAKING OF BEAUTY QUEENS … years ago, the Yolo County Fair used to crown a Sugar Beet Queen in honor of what was then our most famous crop … it was always fun at harvest time to go for a ride in the country and find one of the few Yolo County roads with a curve in it, certain there would be sugar beets spilled all over the pavement, much like tomatoes are now … but the closing of factories that used to process the lowly sugar beet — basically a sweet, overgrown radish — doomed this cash crop to nothing more than a curiosity in our area …

FAIR GAME … county fairs always have a theme that is invariably a stretch and quickly forgotten … this year, however, the Yolo County Fair board hit a home run with the exceedingly clever “Swine On Harvest Moon.” … of course, now that “You Only Live Once” has become part of the language, the pressure is on to come up with something eye-catching every single August … put simply, the logo fits …

This year’s fair has its usual display of well-groomed swine, and Sunday’s closing is only a few days away from a harvest moon … given that Yolo County tomatoes are being unceremoniously ripped from their vines even as we speak, it will without a doubt be a harvest moon … Swine on Harvest Moon indeed …

MIDWAY MADNESS … I’m a sucker for any carnival game that involves pitching a ball or a coin at a difficult target in order to win a swell prize … last night, however, my higher math skills were tested as well by the ping-pong-ball-in-a-floating-dish challenge that featured three balls for a dollar, eight balls for two dollars and 15 balls for five dollars … after much calculation, I determined I could get 16 balls for four dollars and actually save a buck, but that still didn’t guarantee that any of them would land in the proper colored dish to win me the really big prize …

I knew how the game was played because the bright sign over all those floating dishes promised that a ball in the blue dish “get’s” my choice … you see, if more Davisites attended the fair, I’m certain most of these grammatical and mathematical problems would disappear … in fact, I’m certain of it …

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due Tuesday, Sept. 3, at midnight. Entries may be about any subject and should be between 400 and 800 words in length. Entries, including daytime and evening phone numbers, a brief biography of the author, and a mug shot suitable for publication, can be emailed to



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