ED NOTE: This is from 2008. There will be, due to flooding from “Lee”, no 2011 Bloomsburg Fair. Bummer.
A trip to the Bloomsburg fair is like a harbinger of the inevitable slide into weather that doesn’t support the wearing of shorts here in NEPA. It’s almost impossible to contemplate that in a few short weeks we will be digging out hats, gloves, boots, sweaters and polar artic fleece undies. But for one all too brief shining week we can pretend it’s still summer. The 154th annual edition of the fair that draws close to half a million people is going on right now. Two things are missing from this years Bloomsburg fair. One important, one personal. More on that in a moment.
The fair is nothing if not efficient. You park in one of the immense lots and a tractor pulling trolleys transports you to the gate. A comparison to Disney World was made. Disney it’s not. The trolleys need a shot of WD-40-they squeak and squeal like girls at Jonas Bothers concert. And the operators of the tractors are in the dictionary under “Jackrabbit starts and stops.” The word lurch comes to mind and I don’t mean the Adams family. But a promenade around the grounds, stuffing your face at every corner soon makes up for the ride. Oh, the agriculture and 4H displays are great. But you go to the fair to stuff your face.
And that brings me to the two missing elements from this year’s gluttony fest.
Phil’s Cajun Kitchen has stopped selling Jambalaya. For the unitiated Cajun Jambalya is basically rice and whatever is in the kitchen. Sausage, chicken, onion, peppers, celery spices and hot sauce. MMM good. But, alas no more. For me this is like finding out there is no Santa and what’s this about the Easter Bunny? A bowl of Phil’s steaming concoction was the perfect breakfast at the fair. It was good for lunch and dinner too. RIP Jambalaya.
But the more important absence at the fair this year is somewhat more ominous. No bees. No nasty yellowjackets. On the surface this is a blessing. The winged uninvited guests made fair going uncomfortable at times, competing for sweet stuff. In years past a purchase of soda meant the possibility of getting stung or at least hazed by a squadron of the busy insects. But this year there were few if any buzzing around. Either this means the Bloomsburg fair has figured out a way to charge them and they can’t afford it or…colony collapse disorder, a mysterious disease killing off bees nationwide has hit our area. And that is a very scary thing indeed. Someone said, “No bees, No humans” and that’s about right. Without the pollination of bees, fruits and vegetables could disappear like Phil’s Jambalya.