The food options turned out to be disappointing: we had passable corn dogs and fries with reconstituted gravy, though we did find an apple crisp with real fruit and a good cinnamon-scented buttery oatmeal topping.
But let's get real: we weren't there for the food. And while the llamas and goats and fancy show chickens and angora rabbits and Shetland ponies and falcons and ducks and Shire horses and bees were cool, we weren't there for them either.
Nor was this trip based around a desire to see the prize-winning 1,400-pound pumpkin.
Nope. It was all about Robinson's Racing Pigs.
We were at the track 15 minutes early and picked out a good spot on the turn, so we'd have a view of both the straightaways and the central water tank. Next to us was a tiny white-haired old lady, quite giddy with excitement, who told us she came every year just to witness this event.
The crowds gathered. The moment approached. And then, sadly, my camera died. Luckily, many other people have recorded before me, so I gratefully bow to their superior battery power.
And then the theme song began.
That should give you a pretty good idea of what was coming, no?
The premise of the show was this: the barker (possibly Robinson himself, though more likely a protegee in the Dread Pirate Roberts vein) herded four pigs into the starting gate. Then he divided the audience into four groups, chose a representative from each, and assigned them a pig, which he named according to a topical pun (e.g. Lindsay LoHam and Britney SpareRibs). The groups then were to yell encouragement to their pig, with the victorious assignee winning a voucher for a free slushy.
(Worth noting: when the pigs were given political-candidate names, 90% of the crowd rooted for BaRack-of-Ribs Obama. This is Massachusetts, after all.)
The pigs, for their part, were motivated by Oreo cookies waiting at the finish line: first piggy home got to snarf all the cookie before the others arrived, like this:
And then there were the swimming races:
I felt a little guilty watching the piggies perform for the benefit of baying crowds, I must admit. But then I remembered that the previous night I'd had braised pork shoulder with collards at Highland Kitchen, so really I was in no position to pass judgement.