My booth used to be just the Ice Cream Booth. Mom and Dad actually ran it until Mom got asked to be on the "Big 6" years ago. Then I took over. In 2002 we grossed $417 for the whole fair. The following year we started selling smoothies. This year Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday we grossed over $440 EACH night! (Not Saturday because we had yucky rain).
The Smoothies we sell come in half gallon concentrates. They need to be mixed one part mix to 3 parts water. The first year we did that we got a big bucket, poured in the concentrate, filled it with water, poured it into pitchers, poured the pitchers into the machines and made a big mess everywhere. There was also a funnel involved at some point. Throughout the years we have refined the process and it is much less messy and much more efficient.
During the messy years, our pastor learned that if he didn't cover his washer and dryer with a plastic tablecloth, there would be quite a mess in there. It is actually in his laundry room that the smoothie mixes are made! We don't really make a mess anymore, but he is still proactive. Actually this year other people made a mess in there and I kept cleaning it up. That was a little annoying.
Here is the *new* sign for our booth. We were super excited about it.
How exactly do we make the smoothies you ask? I will show you!
Here I am filling the empty jugs with water. First we pour the concentrate into 2 1-gallon containers. Then we fill up the rest of the container with water. We use a food grade hose attached to the sink. It is quite an art being able to fill up the jugs without making a ginormous mess everywhere. But we are professionals now!
Here is Amy pushing our many jugs out of the basement, up the ramp, and into booth.
Here I am filling the smoothie machines with our mix.
Oh? You wanted to know what the front of the machines look like?
Here they are!
And this is where we store the extra mix. The smoothie machines need to be filled up several times an hour to keep them frozen enough to serve. So we are constantly making mix and constantly re-filling the machines. Luckily this year we had an extra refrigerator to store the mix in. Otherwise we have a crazy cooler situation and have to use ice and store it in the cooler you can see on the left. This is the cooler we lovingly refer to as "The Coffin" because...it looks like one!
Here we are standing in front of our new sign!
Steph and Amy-Chairs of the Cool Delights Committee
There is also a picture of me sharing Amy's first alcoholic beverage of any Country Fair with her. She just turned 21 and I was excited to buy her her first Country Fair drink!
I have not ridden on a ride at Country Fair since I was a kid. It surely has been over 10 years. Probably more. This year Adam suggested we take a ride on the Ferris Wheel and I was all about it. His brother Tony and his wife Jessica came by on Sunday night and we rode it with them.
On Sunday night the fair closes at 10:00. Just before that, little worker bees start working and tearing everything down. Pretty much the WHOLE fair comes down that night. What takes days to prepare all comes down by 11:22 (that was the time last night). We missed the record 11:15 by 7 minutes. We work in our booth cleaning and sanitizing everything, carrying buckets of water back and forth to do so and putting everything away for next year. Everyone else runs around taking down tents, booths, and anything and everything that is around.
Even Adam has a job during tear down. He goes to borrow the bucket truck from work and is in charge of taking down the speaker system. I think he loved me taking picture of him doing this in front of all of the men working.
The best part of tear down is the free pizza and beer afterwards for the workers. Well actually during all of this, the women all go upstairs and have chocolate, cheese, and wine. Now I love those things. Especially the cheese and wine part. But...since I am part of the "man" group that is tearing down booths (because no one else is going to clean up my booth if I don't), a few years ago I declared that I preferred pizza and beer to cheese and wine after the Country Fair. It just seems more appropriate after all of that hard work. So that is what I was doing until 12:30 on Sunday night. I still had to get up on Monday morning to teach all of my little preschoolers (who require a lot of attention) summer school. But I came home and took a 2 hour nap!
So that folks, is the Country Fair. Although it is busy and I spend lots of money and I don't get any sleep....and I get mad when people don't follow the rules and I tattle when I see other booths not doing what they are supposed to be doing....
I love it!