Our State Fair is the Best State Fair

You want an awesome day of cheap wholesome fun? A day that’s good for the whole family but not nearly as lame as it sounds?

I have two words for you: STATE FAIR.

Yeah, they sound dumb and boring. But, really? The State Fair rocks. It’s like Niagara Falls–has a bit of an old fogey lame-o reputation, but actually quite neat and fun and awesome.

In the darkness of last winter, I received a phone call from a dear friend telling me that she and her boyfriend were getting married and would I please save the date? She (unnecessarily) sweetened the deal by adding in “That’s State Fair weekend!” When addressing her guests at the reception, she mentioned that the timing of her wedding on State Fair weekend was not a coincidence. The Fair was really important to her and she wanted something going on to entertain guests and for her have fun at with her wedding party.

So, this weekend Dan and I went to the Iowa State Fair. It was the scene of our first date many summers ago and we had a blast. And, those of you who have never been to a State Fair, let alone with queen of State Fairs, I know you’re kinda wrinkling your nose, but good, silly fun was had all around. We:

1. Ate giant turkey legs. And ice cream (There are also such favorites as deep fried Snickers bars, corn dogs, funnel cake, sno cones, cotton candy, pork chops on a stick, and burgers and such…)

2. Saw a baby cow being born.

3. Pet a baby piglet. (Also?Anywhere with livestock has hand sanitizer all over the place! Go State Fair!)

4. Saw a lot of painted soy beans.

5. Saw a life-size Harry Potter made out of butter. And the butter cow.

6. Looked at lots of animals.

7. Saw a lot of 4-H projects and quilts.

8. Saw a lot of humongous vegetables and pretty vegetables and weird vegetables and pretty cakes.

9. Did I mention the giant turkey legs?

10. Saw George Stephanopoulos and Fred Thompson. (But that’s not standard State Fair. It is, however, standard Iowa during primary season.)

Then there’s the stuff we skipped this time around– mainly midway rides, carnival games, and the concerts. Plus, we didn’t see all the competitions. I heard on the radio there was one for putting food on a stick that usually doesn’t go on one. I think the winner involved eggs and sausage. One odd food on a stick I did see a lot places was cheesecake. (It was frozen and covered in chocolate, which is how I think it stayed on the stick.)

But by going to the Iowa State Fair, the mother of all State Fairs, we missed our local county fairs. Go to the fair!

-posted by kidsilkhaze

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8 Responses to Our State Fair is the Best State Fair

  1. […] 20th, 2007 by poetloverrebelspy Today kidsilkhaze blogged about the cheap fun to be had at your local state fair. Less Than a Shoestring heartily seconds that emotion (and oozes with envy at the roasted turkey […]

  2. Dana says:

    Ah, the fair. I remember that visiting the animal barns, particularly the cow one, was always mixed, because I had to do it as part of the fair tradition, but it was smelly. But I also thought it was kind of like stepping into another world, with all those farm kids who actually did things like show cows and goats and stuff for prizes, whose lives I would never actually live. They were like characters in fiction, except alive, and sitting right there, next to their cow. Did they get out of school for this? Did they have lots of prizes? Were there certain families that always won? It was almost like visiting a different country, except in my own city, populated by people from right there, too.

  3. Rob says:

    I wish I could say something eloquent or profound but I can’t. So I’ll simply say that fairs rock for 4 reasons:

    1) People watching smorgasboard
    2) Smorgasboard of food otherwise too unhealthy for swine consupmtion, but its OK, because you’re at the fair.
    3) It reminds you that people still make things that don’t wind up in plastic boxes hanging from pegs
    4) It reminds you that people still grow things that don’t wind up in cardboard boxes in a grocery-store freezer

  4. kidsilkhaze says:

    Dana– most state fairs are right before school starts so you don’t have to take time off. I’m always amazed at the 4H and FFA kids, as well as just the regular farm kids who spend so much time doing something so big like raising a goat or a pig to show it at the fair. Much bigger and cooler than anything *I* did as a kid!

  5. Dana says:

    Jennie,

    The NC state fair is always in October, and our school year long ago gave up that idea of starting after Labor Day, so I remain curious about those NC farm kids I saw. My mom’s family was very into 4H as kids, but they mostly just raised chickens, as far as the animal stuff went. I don’t guess there’s a lot of intensive “showing” in chicken raising. (Then again, I may be wrong.)

  6. kidsilkhaze says:

    Interesting. Iowa ended this weekend, and the Arlington and Montgomery County fairs were both this weekend. I know a lot of local school started yesterday…

    And there were definetely chicken showings at the Iowa fair! I thought I saw the most massive rooster known to man, but hten as I got closer, I realized it was 2 roosters but the angle had made it look like one…

  7. sonetka says:

    Utah’s state fair is in September – we went last year and want to go this year as well (I have fantasies about entering the baking contests, although I would surely be soundly thumped by mothers-of-10 who’ve spent the last twenty years cranking out perfect brownies and loaves of pumpernickel). I wondered about the 4H kids as well – when I was their age, I could have told you that milk came from a cow’s udders, but that was pretty much the limit of my expertise.

  8. Matthew says:

    I always rather liked the New York State fair growing up, but not super-much. The rides were overpriced and the food wasn’t great. I liked the various “Green Technologies of the Future” they always had with electric cars and solar/wind/renewable power things they always had. We never actually went to the one in Bangor Maine, where the headliner was “Pig Racing”. Sometimes it seemed funny enough to be cool, sometimes not. We just moved to Columbus, Ohio and were warned off our state fair here. According to the landlord, it had become a gang hangout, and the previous weekendhad seen a massive melee between several dozen gang members.

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