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Saturday Night Wrestling at the Lake County Fair

My husband and I don’t really have date nights. We are busy, but we are also home­bodies. When we can, we prefer spending time together outdoors. Sometimes we find a show to binge together, but he’s not one to sit still (or stay awake) unless it’s especially captivating. It’s probably important to get out of the bubble, at least once in a while, and go “out.”

With that goal in mind, I asked if he’d like to go to the Lake County Fair in Two Harbors on Saturday, August 12th. He had some sid­ing to do during the day so we looked at the schedule to see what would be happening in the evening. “Wrestling,” I said. “With free popcorn.”

He said “I’m in.”

We didn’t know what we were in for when we entered the commercial building of the fairgrounds, after saying hello to some alpaca (omgosh, how cute are alpaca?), and having some nachos at the 4-H kitchen. I spent too much time talking to Betty, a massive black cow, and Princess, a 2-year-old goat, to make it to the opening of the show, but we could hear a lot of cheering and jeering as we made our way to the ring, passed commercial booths. We took a stance behind the crowd, near the OUT Mobile Escape Rooms, which looked pretty interesting. (I watched the own­er dismantle the thing, but I don’t have any hints to report.)

I was glad we weren’t too close to the ac­tion. The Midwest Wrestling Association puts on quite a show, wrestlers jumping in and out of the ring, tossing chairs, getting in faces in the first rows, and collecting high-fives and fist bumps.

The cheers were too loud for me to hear who was who, but I think a fan favorite was “Bubbles,” a massive wrestler that had to de­fend a big belt. He spent a lot of time with the belt before the match, carrying it around and almost dancing to a song everyone seemed to know, though I hadn’t heard it.

His opponent appeared after the song was over. Tall and lean, wearing a plaid shirt, and a black and yellow mask over his head that looked villain-y, the crowd hated him imme­diately.

It was a long match, I think. I’m not sure how long matches usually are in regular wres­tling. It really seemed that the villain was go­ing to take the belt for much of the time. The kids near the ring yelled at the ref that he was cheating! I, too, wondered if below the belt counted in this type of sport.

The Midwest Wrestling Association puts on a good show at the Lake County Fair. (Photo by Sarah K. Simon)

In the end, however, Bubbles triumphed. The crowd went wild. “We did it!” he shout­ed, though I had to ask my husband what he said over the elation of the noise around us. The song played again, and the belt was thrust over his head.

This was a new experience for me. I watched GLOW, and that’s the closest I’ve seen to that kind of wrestling. It’s fun to watch the wrestlers live out a dream, obvious from their enthusiasm. Their desire to partic­ipate in the sport matches their desire to per­form for a crowd.

The wrestling was fun, but I got the most entertainment from listening to the harshest critics and biggest supporters at the event, those kids up front. They loved Bubbles, I hope I heard his name right, and made sure he knew it. In other matches, they were helpful, suggesting a wrestler pull the hair of another when he was in a jam.

In a pre-event article I wrote about the Lake County Fair, Rachel Bailey, Secretary Man­ager of the Lake County Fairgrounds said of the Midwest Wrestling Association, “We love having them. The crowd loves them. And the kids really get into it.” I can attest, they sure do!

It was an odd date night, my husband and I agreed. We also agree those are the best ones. It’s not something we will forget and, being on a budget, it was a great deal of entertain­ment for the cost of fair admission!

To learn more about the Midwest Wres­tling Association visit the MWA Pro Wres­tling Facebook Page. To learn more about the Lake County Fair and Fairgrounds, visit thelakecountyfair.com.

Feel free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com with any news we should news about!

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