Saturday, September 26, 2009

Have A Rockin' Time At The State Fair!

When the State Fair rolls around, you have the opportunity to experience a great day without spending a load of money. You should visit a State Fair at least once, and you may find yourself going back year after year.
If you don't watch out, you could wind up with some items that you realize that you don't really need when you get home, but here are a few tips to ensure that your trip to the State Fair is a wonderful experience...

Check the newspapers and internet to see if there are discount tickets to the Fair. Sometimes soda cans will have a coupon or certain retailers will be providing entrance tickets at a couple of bucks less that what you will pay at the Fair ticket counters.

Go to all of the buildings. You will see a myriad of wondrous items that will mop a floor, clean your eyeglasses, give you a massage and entertain you in ways that you didn't know existed.Watch out - Here is where you might get carried away and wind up purchasing some terrific doo-dad that will later have you wondering if your brain went on vacation during the sales pitch.In my latest trip to the Fair, I came home with a thing that folds dough to make fried pies. Never mind that I never make fried pies.... Last year I became the proud owner of a set of Sham-Wows at the Fair, so I know what I'm talking about here.

Be sure and stop by the exhibits of ribbon-winners in the various Fair competitions. You will see the largest pumpkin, the best zucchini, tomato, sweet potato, chili pepper and countless other extraordinary vegetables.Also take note of the other exhibits, you will see quilts, aprons, beautiful canned foods, numerous eclectic collections and may pick up some good ideas.

What's a State Fair without animals and shows? I generally see pigs, goats, Clydesdale horses, cows, chickens, rabbits and sheep in the barns. There are other shows and exhibits that feature performing animals - be sure and check these out.At the Oklahoma State Fair, I have seen racing pigs, performing dogs, wild west shows featuring trick riding, lumberjacks in competitions, tiger shows, hypnotists and high-wire motorcycle riders.

If you have kids, they will head to the Midway, which is where all the rides and games are located. Do your research to see if buying an all-day armband for each kid is more cost-effective than paying as they go.

Food is one of the big attractions at the State Fair. The smell itself as you walk around will make you hungry. You will see things at the Fair that you will not see any other time, and this is probably a good thing, since the Fair and healthy eating do NOT go hand-in-hand.

In my latest foray to the Fair, I had Tater Twirls, Fried Veggies, Fresh Lemonade, a Corn Dog and Roasted Corn. (I shared the Taters and Veggies with a friend, so it's not quite as bad as it looks.)

I brought home fudge, cream cheese strudel and salt water taffy.Some of the things I passed up were fried Twinkies, roasted turkey legs, Fried Oreos, Fried Butter, Fried Snickers, huge cinnamon rolls and about a million other things.
Be sure and keep a tight hold on your belongings. I have never had a problem at the Fair, but there are usually some suspicious looking characters around.I usually wear a backpack that contains my camera, essentials and a couple of light rain ponchos if there is a threat of bad weather. This frees up my hands to hold all of the fried food I am eating.

The State Fair only rolls around once a year, so plan to have a one-day guilt-free experience. Take in all of the sights, sounds and smells - you'll be exhausted by the time you get home, but you'll love it!

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