Yes, that’s what the Delta Fair smells like.
Normally, we stay open late on Tuesday evenings. Even though we’re usually open until noon on Saturdays, there are still some folks whose work hours make it hard to get their pet in for a visit. So, starting about 1990, we started scheduling until 7:00PM on Tuesdays. I thought I’d just start later on Tuesday mornings and keep it an eight (or nine) hour day. It didn’t take long to find that trying to open at ten instead of eight-thirty just meant that my phone rang off the hook from eight-thirty to ten. I just got reconciled to Tuesday being my "long day" every week. Every week except one, that is.
The Delta Fair parade begins at 6:00 PM at the West Y intersection, which is about one block east of Kennett Veterinary Clinic. They begin lining up floats, antique cars, tractors, beauty queens, marching bands, fire trucks and politicians (in a very particular, if arcane, order) on three sides of this intersection about five o’clock. This means that if you want to get in or out of our parking lot after 5:30, you had better be planning on a western approach from Arkansas. You ain’t going the other direction until about 7:30. It is one big, long parade.
Therefore, on this particular Tuesday night each year, we don’t schedule appointments after five. The staff leaves on time (usually), and I do paperwork and return calls until six, when I walk over and watch the parade. There have been years when I got caught and did emergency surgery instead (a cat C-section, for instance), but usually I go down the street across from the bowling alley and enjoy the spectacle. I’m an old band-nerd, so I like the marching bands the best. The Campbell High School band looked the sharpest tonight, and had an amazingly good sound for a marching band that was ninety percent woodwinds. I’m a low-brass man, myself. Good old Kennett High School had the biggest band and the best sound: lots of low brass.
Then we zipped out (if being stuck in a long line of cars waiting to turn in to the parking lot can be called zipping) to the Fair for a famous Tyrone Burger and a swing through the exhibit halls. I didn’t try to "win a prize every time", and there are no side-shows featuring performers who are "all alive." My favorite spot was the 4-H booth, featuring my brothers and their families and several other young 4-H Rodeo enthusiasts demonstrating calf-roping, goat-tying and rope tricks. Dummy mock-ups substituted for the livestock, but the roping was all genuine (pronounced with a long "I", to rhyme with "when you whine"), and the performers were "all alive".