When my husband and I planned our wedding a decade or so ago, we really tried to find the perfect day, time, month, and year. We took into consideration the weather, potential ramifications from the Y2K computer meltdown panic, superstitions with the number “13” and upcoming potential guest pregnancy due dates. The one thing I never considered was the big deal my future in-laws would make about how our wedding happened during their rural county’s “Fair Week.”
If you are like most of the world, you’ve never heard of Fair Week. Allow me to give you the lowdown. Fair Week is a big “to-do” in my in-law’s small-town county. It is an agricultural fair that attracts 4H exhibitors, animals and tractors pullers from all neighboring counties. People arrive by tractor, foot, wagon or horseback. It is such a big deal that during the opening day’s Firetruck Parade, I seriously worry about what would happen if there was an emergency anywhere off fairgrounds. This hours-long parade has all emergency vehicles within twenty miles tied up in a calamity of kettle corn and cow pies.
Now, my in-laws are tractor people. They each have their “brand” of tractor that they would defend to the end of their life, if needed. They buy tractors for fun at auctions to fix up and collect. Yes, collect. They have buildings they’ve bought to house them. So, it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me when my future brother-in-law was horrified to learn our wedding was during…FAIR WEEK. At first I thought he was joking by how much he went on about it. But soon I realized that our wedding was truly a great hardship for him. Who would park cars on their lawn for the fair visitors? How would they get the tractors ready? Who would dress up like a colonial lady and sit in the old-fashioned house to cook meat pies over a fire pit. Sigh…no one this year. Because of “The Wedding.” In fact, I felt so bad I seriously thought my future brother-in-law would be a no-show. Even though he was the best man.
Looking back, I’m happy to say that my brother-in-law actually did come to the wedding. Although planning any anniversary-related events remained such an inconvenience to everyone that we no longer celebrate our wedding. Instead, on our wedding anniversary we now celebrate the birth of our twins who happened to be born on that same date three years later. Yes. During “Fair Week.” And to this day, the planning our family party for my twins birthday still depends on the timing of tractor parades, meat pie cooking and 4H livestock judging.