The Power of a Community Fair

I always thought community fairs were lame. So I never went. Until earlier this year, when my best friend invited me to one. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go (it had sounded like that fair would consist of farmers showing off their chickens and not much else), but I did want to hang out with my friend, so I decided I would. 

When we showed up to the fairgrounds that evening, I was shocked by how many people had come. There was a haywagon giving rides from the parking lot to the entrance, and I realized I might have misjudged fairs. 

When we got in, we found out that the massive field was absolutely full – there were stands selling homemade fudge or other trinkets and goodies; people with old engine motors teaching about how they work; a track hosting horseback races, surrounded by bleachers of cheering spectators – and, most importantly, carnival rides.

There were small rides, fast rides, spinning rides, and tall rides, along with the classic carousel. Only instead of the classic carousel’s seats, there were cages with seat belts that you could flip as you rode.

The night of the fair was a night of friendship. The friend I had come with and I had met up with a few other friends once we arrived, and our group kept expanding and changing as we mingled about. Each of us would occasionally leave the gang to join another before returning later in the night. This all worked out perfectly, because no matter what ride you wanted to go on, you could find someone else who did too. 

I ended up making some new friends that night, and becoming a lot closer with some others. Looking back, I’m extremely glad I ended up going to the fair, and for all the friendships and inside jokes that stemmed from it. That night is one that will continue to encourage me to try new things, and I can happily say I’ll be attending the fair again next year.

Leaving My Mark

Last fall, I went camping in Algonquin Park. I’ve been going there for years, but this time felt different. Maybe because it was my first time going without my brother, maybe because it was the first time I saw a moose there, or maybe because for the first time I left something behind.

This trip, I brought a friend of mine with me in place of my brother, and we spent our days exploring the trails that ran around the park. At one point, we rode our bikes so far along one that we got lost on our way back. We decided to take what we though was a shortcut and stumbled upon one of the most beautiful places there.There was a bridge to the right, and small layers of a waterfall leading down to it. I slipped out of my shoes and socks and walked carefully through streams of the frigid water until I got to one of the large patches of dry rock, where I took the above photo. The sound of the water running over the rocks was music to my ears, and I never wanted to leave. Eventually we did, and a bit farther along we found this sign:We spent a few minutes reading all the names and dates scratched onto it before I picked up a sharp rock and decided to add my own. It took a bit of time to scratch it in – with another piece that read mine and my friend’s name and “2016” in the corner – but once it was done, I felt like I had accomplished something bigger than what it was. To anyone walking by, my name would be just another one in the tangle of graffiti. But to me, it felt like I had left an imprint of myself on the whole park. I’ve gone camping there countless times and walked those trails even more. Algonquin Park has been burned into me and become part of who I am, and now I can proudly say I’ve returned the favour.

Hey!

I’m new to this blogging thing, but if you’re reading this – thank you! My name’s Jenna Hartmann and I hope I entertain or inspire you at some point. This blog will mostly be me talking about my life – the things I’ve been through, the things I love, and of course anything I really feel like talking about. I might also write some stories every now and then that I’ll post on here! Hope you enjoy!