Oh boy! I think I can already smell the deep-fried goodness and sense all of the goose-pimply giggles that I am about to receive from the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo. Oh yeah...it's go time!

I love the fair! Granted; I'd love the fair even more if I didn't depend on a DJ's wages and could go on more than two rides, but it's all good as they say.

I've actually loved our Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo since I was an eensy, weensy Cowboy Troy, being what you might call a "lifer" around these parts. I think I offer a unique perspective on it, too.

JUST A SMALL TOWN BOY

That perspective is (as I often like to point out) that I'm from Midwest. Not "The Midwest," but the actual incorporated, once-thriving, and proud town of Midwest, Wyoming - forty miles north of Casper and home to one of the world's biggest light crude oilfields! Ask anyone, they'll tell you I'm "small town"...and proud of it!

So for me and quite a few of my peers, I think getting to go to the fair was much more of a treat and a reward. We just didn't get to see or enjoy something of that magnitude on a regular basis. I'll compare it to Charlie Bucket getting to visit the chocolate factory as opposed to Veruca Salt. She might remember the event for a day. I'd remember it for a lif...okay, don't want to stretch it too much; I'd remember it at least for another entire year.

Actually, a lot of things from Central Wyoming Fairs past are committed to memory. I used to always need a new plastic, bejeweled-handled, fencing sword.  A week later, I'd be out of luck until next year. I was elementary king of bringing home the fuzzy banana and giant pink comb. I loved to play the ducks, and in my later years I discovered how easy it was to nail the lewdest, nakedest picture on the wall with a dart and take it home to drool over.

ALL'S FAIR TO COWBOY TROY

I thought the fair and rodeo were magical; everything from the music to the lights to the smells and the sounds. It was crowded and rowdy. It was everything that my sleepy little hometown wasn't. We'd make a whole day of it, beginning downtown at the coolest parade ever, and then off to the fairgrounds. Strolling down the midway, checking out all the toys, and prizes and balloons and stilt-walkers, costumed characters and clowns was a ritual upon entering.  It was as close to Disneyland or to Coney Island or to the zoo as I would ever get for a while.  

And of course, I was a big ride fan! Still am! There's another memory: the moment I realized that the kiddie stuff was no longer doing it for me. I remember going around in circles one day on the little motorcycles they used to have, and thinking I was bored and that it was finally time to go "grownup."

I got my cousin involved at that point, and looking back I wish I would have chosen a more intermediate relative. After getting my feet wet with the Sizzler, Octopus, and Flying Bobs, and against my best inner judgement, I let him talk me into getting on the Skydiver- which just happened to be the biggest mammer-jammer there; a colossal Ferris Wheel sort of thing, but with caged vehicle-like cars that came complete with a steering wheel that would let you spin it endlessly as you already moved in a 360° motion. As the operators locked us in place I couldn't believe it had all come to this. Cous' spun that thing so hard I felt like I had emerged from Hell's washing machine when it was all over. I'm sure my screaming hysterics provided much comic relief for our overworked "carnies." 

JOINING THE BIG LEAGUES

I was never the same after that. I was "experienced." It was on to the Zipper - another urine-inducing screamer of a ride. Was it the g's you turned in those flips, or the sounds of what you could have sworn were bolts popping out of the framework that scared you the most? I think it was a nice combination of both for me.

Within the last few years, The Power has managed to get an oh shet out of me, and so did that torture device that has raises you up into the air slowly and then drops you suddenly. I didn't enjoy the open air ride up, and my god, I felt my posterior internally pushing its way through my lungs on the way down. I've decided I'll let the kids have that one. I understand they're bringing in a new form of adrenaline rush this year, and I can't wait to stand in line for that one, either.

I think I'm ready!

The carnival begins this Friday, July 6th and goes through the 14th, opening daily at noon. PRCA rodeo action begins on July 10th and runs through the 14th as well. There are also other exciting events planned around the fair this year.  Check here for the complete schedule, and check out last year's gallery of pictures.