It has been a number of years since I’ve been to a fair, let alone the State Fair. I believe the last time I went, tagging along for my sister’s prize-winning Holland Lop bunny to compete, I was still a pre-teen; I remember sitting at the back reading The Sword of Shannara while listening to a cassette disk on a Walkman. Yeah, I was that kid.
Anyway, I won 2 entrance tickets at work ($20 value), so we loaded up yesterday morning for a full day!
The fairgrounds opened at 10am. We decided to leave a little before 10:00 so that we would get there before the crowd. That failed miserably, as half of Big City (and all it’s fair guests) had the same idea. The city had set up the right-hand lane with orange cones to be only for the Fair entrance; it took us almost an hour after leaving to finally turn into the fair gates because the line was so clogged up.
Then we found a parking space faaaar from the ticket entrance, walked over, stood in line to turn in our tickets only to find we were in the wrong line and could have skipped that whole ordeal, had our bags checked, and then followed the crowd into (*Smeagol voice*) the tunnel… where we came out on the far side at the Fairgrounds!
Rysa and I had three primary targets: food, animals, and rides. It was the second-to-last day of the fair, however, so most of the animals had been taken home. Still, we had a list of fair food we had to munch and there were rides to be ridden!
Rysa got the grilled corn (2 cobs) and I picked up a funnel cake.
We wandered a while before the sun got too hot and went to see the Art Galleries, the cultural exhibits, muddle through the empty animal pens to see the few animals that remained, and buy lots and lots of water. (We found a little stand wedged between two gallery buildings where they sold 1L bottles of water for $4. They’re usually under $2 in the world of the not-fairgrounds, but the cheapest bottled water at the fair. No matter what remote corner of the grounds we were in, we dropped everything to go get those water bottles. We ended up drinking down 3L before we left the fair.)
We went to explore the rides (and use the credits Rysa had loaded onto a ride card earlier in the week) and went on a sadly disappointing Haunted House. Everywhere I looked, there were carnival games between the rides and they were loaded with – *gasp* – POKEMON PLUSHIES! Mostly Pikachus of varying sizes, but one or two stands also had the Kanto starts (Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle).
However, we got hungry again, so we returned to the giant line of stands for more food.
Grilled chicken kebab. Then Rysa got her own funnel cake.
We returned to the rides & games area to mess around, went on a few fun rides, and everywhere I was taunted by those Pikachu prize plushes… At some of the harder games, they had a Pikachu plush over 4′ tall and required a packhorse to carry it around the grounds (because you couldn’t leave the grounds to put it in your car without paying to re-enter). However, I sucked at the games, so I found a little kid’s game where “every player was a winner”. (You pay to pick up rubber ducks in a swirling kiddy pool. The ducks weren’t labeled in any way, you just grab a duck and get a prize based on how many you paid for.) So I paid $10, grabbed 6 duckies, and got a little Pikachu plush (about 6″ tall).
(Yeah, I paid for a carnival prize, but I didn’t want to only spend money on nummy food after going through an entire fair!)
Anywho, we didn’t put on sunscreen like the white little idiots we are, so we both got fried in the Southern sun. We settled down at the horse showmanship competition and watched jockeys in very shiny shirts prance around in a ring on their horses (I love horsies…) until the last of our food was gone. Then we really felt the sunburns and we decided to head home.
Finally, while in the car, Rysa looked down at her pedometer that she had slapped on before going in. We had walked about 6 miles. *falls over dead with heatstroke*
After the fair, Rysa took a nap while I slathered myself in aloe vera. Then I took a nap while she went to pick up Zoe to spend the night. I didn’t wake up until 9PM when I happened to hear the door close; apparently Zoe was bouncing around non-stop for the last 3-4 hours and I slept right through it. Zoe was “watching” My Little Pony and that turned into an hour long marathon before Rysa and I got extremely hungry. At 10PM, we ordered delivery pizza and gorged ourselves on cheesy bread. The three of us didn’t get to bed until 11:30PM after about 3 hours of My Little Pony on Netflix.
It was a great day.