At the Fair: It's about the kids

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Some adults may already be tired of the SEMO District fair, now in its fourth day. The fair can be expensive, loud and can cause traffic problems.

But to 5-year-old Megan Engelen, spending an afternoon at the fair is like Christmas. She and her family go once a year, and Megan anticipates the taste of cotton candy and the thrill of park rides.

On Sunday, Randy and Karen Engelen drove their children Megan, Ethan, 2, and Rachel, 4 months, by the fair and told them Wednesday would be the day they would get to go. All week Megan asked if it was Wednesday yet, Karen Engelen said.

After naps, the family headed to the park. The afternoons are more family friendly, Karen said.

Megan said she enjoyed being the only child on the Musical Chairs, a swing ride, where she said she felt like she was flying and could see everything.

Younger brother Ethan Engelen looked on with jealousy as his sister flew around in circles.

Randy took turns picking up and carrying Ethan and Megan so they didn't have to walk while Karen and her mother-in-law, Catherine Engelen, carried and pushed Rachel in a stroller.

In addition to the physical price these parents paid, there was a monetary price as well.

Kiddie rides were two tickets, which cost $1 each and admittance to the fair was $4. Some of the other rides cost three tickets.

"This year it is more expensive," Karen said.

The Ferris wheel was one of Megan's favorite rides.

From the top, she and her family could see the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. But her brother was more interested in the tractors.

"We always see the animals and Ethan Loves the tractors," said Catherine Engelan, "but Megan loves the rides."

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