holoholo photo

All’s Fair in Love and War

This post is a direct result of my previous fair post “A Fair to Remember.”

There are three main reasons you should take part in the Maui Fair every year; the food, the attractions and of course, the food.  Friday night we attended the 91st Maui Fair (remember, you can no longer call it the Maui County Fair anymore) with food and art on our minds…and dust in our mouths and eyes.

The Food.

Maui, as with all the Hawaiian islands, has been a melting pot of many different cultures and ethnicities for decades.  If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Hawaiian islands, one of the best ways to get educated quickly is to sample the food at the fair.  There’s no room for hate, discrimination, bigotry, narrow-mindedness or discrimination in the kitchen. All of these different cultures were introduced to the Hawaiian islands over time and each one seemed to put their best dish forward, so to speak.  Now we consider any food that has survived the test of time to be “local.”

The food booths at the Maui Fair may have served as the model for Walt Disney’s world-famous Epcot Center.  The menu starts off simple enough with food you might be familiar with like spaghetti and meatballs, barbecue chicken, roast pork, turkey drumsticks, pizza, corn on the cob and fried fish…what I would consider Anglo or Caucasian staples.  If your tastebuds are bored with the old standards you can wait online for some Chow Fun, loco moco, Shoyu chicken, samosas, pork and peas, pork adobo, dry mein, flying saucer, chicken hekka, pronto pups, Kalbi ribs or the ever satisfying smoked meat plate.  For dessert your pleasures include cotton candy, just about anything deep fried, malasadas, Li Hing pineapple, cascaron, waffle cake with ice cream, boiled peanuts, funnel cake, poi mochi and of course, shave ice.

I didn’t list everything, but it doesn’t matter, because you’re already hungry by the time you’ve read down to this line anyway.  The food is so ono (delicious) and so plentiful, I suggest taking one quick lap past all the booths first, focus on what you really want then go hurry up and wait on line.  Your patience in the long lines will be rewarded with savory deliciousness, possibly on a stick.  Also, you’ll run into ten different people you know while standing there salivating.

The Ferris Wheel of DEATH!!!....well, at the very least the Ferris Wheel of Epileptic Seizures.

The Ferris Wheel of DEATH!!!….well, at the very least the Ferris Wheel of Epileptic Seizures.

The Rides. The Games. The Smell.

I do not trust any amusement ride that can be assembled or taken down in a matter of hours, so I’m not the best at giving a glowing review of the Maui Fair rides.  Everybody looked like they were having fun and the lines were certainly long enough for the majority of them.  The Ferris wheel, the Zipper and the swings are the staples of any good fair, so all three were present and accounted for.  There were also the burlap sack slides, bumper cars, the fireball (a ring of death type ride that took you completely upside-down) and a viking boat swing ride that had an egyptian motif on it (it was a bit confusing).

The games are the same every year.  Balloons that need to be pop with darts, paper stars that need to be destroyed by bb’s, rings that need to be tossed, basketball, softball and baseball games that need to be thrown hard, super soft or arced like a rainbow to win a prize.  Speaking of the prizes, they were the same as last year as well.  The cheap stuffed animal from a Chinese sweat shop factory is not worth the $20 its new owner spent trying to obtain it to impress his boyfriend/girlfriend/child.  As long as they had fun trying, the price is irrelevant and the joy is everything.

The livestock pavilion is a blast…of fresh smells.  The animals are beautiful, but the kid’s reactions to the smells and sights are even more precious.

The only type of swingers I like to photograph at night.

The only type of swingers I like to photograph at night.

The Art.

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit this year’s fair was to see how my pictures did in the photo salon.  I had entered six photographs in the “open” division and I was curious what the judges had thought of my submissions.  One whole side of the gymnasium is dedicated to the hundreds of photographs submitted by the many talented photographers of Maui County.  The center part of the wall has the winners, while the end sides have all the remaining submissions.

Plastered wall...of pictures.

Plastered wall…of pictures.

We began our search on the left side and moved right perusing and critiquing every picture along the way.  I recognized several names of photographers I have met during classes or the Maui Camera Club meetings and was impressed with their submissions.  I also saw some pictures from people I consider friends, such as: Reis Shimabukuro, June Harper, Vicky Jaurez and Jon Stockwell (Go ahead and click on their names to see their facebook photography pages).

I saw several of my pictures on both sides of the wall, but I was fortunate enough to see one in the winner’s section.  I am very proud to share with you that I took a third place ribbon for my black and white picture, entitled “Mail Call.”

Vinny. Mail Call

Mail Call

It has been one year since last year’s Maui Fair.  Coincidentally, it has been exactly one year since I was able to go back work after being out for 18 months.  I set a goal for myself after last year’s fair to submit a picture into the photo contest.

I completed that goal.

Not only did I complete it, but I was able to take home a ribbon.  It is no first place or best in show, but it is a start.

Time is a gift, I do not intend to waste it wondering what if.  I am proud of the fact that I was able to achieve one of my personal goals this year…at least one that did not have to do with my leg or health anyways.  Now I have to shoot for the moon next year.

Any suggestions as to what next year’s goal should be?