The Bloomsburg Fair is in full swing this week. While enjoying the tractor pulls and Deep Fried Everything, take a glance at the little shows dotted here and there around the fairgrounds. What is it this year? The World's Smallest Horse? The World's Biggest Rat (ALIVE!)? Actually, I have inside information that there is a Giant Rat to be seen there, along with a Headless Woman, a Spidora (a spider with the head of a woman!), a Serpentina (a snake, also with the head of a woman!) and the debut of an all-new terrifying attraction - a genuine member of the walking dead, a Zombie!
Attractions like these (Single-O's, in carny lingo) - along with jugglers, acrobats, a hypnotist, and a big cat show, as well as the test-your-strength machine, the guess-your-weight-and-age guy, and all sorts of games, some of them even winnable - help to maintain an organic connection between the Bloomsburg Fair of today and the carnival sideshows of days gone by. In 2005, the Bloomsburg Fair was graced by the World of Wonders Sideshow, one of only a handful of genuine traveling sideshows making their way across the U.S. The legendary Ward Hall himself, a demigod in the world of sideshow, served as the outside talker for the show, and was accompanied by Pete "Poobah" Terhurne, who performed with the World of Wonders for many years until his death in July 2012.
The World of Wonders is not playing Bloomsburg this year, but there's still plenty of fun stuff to see and do - some of it just hidden in out-of-the-way places. Enjoy it all!
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