Monday, October 27, 2014

all is Fair {frocktober, day 26}

Dress (remixed 1, 2, 3, 4): Zulily
Lace Top (remixed 1, 2): Ruche, Vest (remixed 1, 2): Kohl's

Yesterday's post was all about laziness, so it's only natural to follow it up with a very colorful day at the Fair!

The last two summers saw us gleefully attending the North Carolina State Fair, which was actually my husband's first experience with a State Fair. It was such a joy to hop alongside him as he discovered all of the blinging glee of the fairgrounds. We ate way too much and played way too many games and had a total blast. Although I grew up occasionally attending the Arizona State Fair, I have to say that the one in North Carolina is pretty special. There's just something really grand about it that invites tradition. It somehow feels cleaner while also being more condensed, and there are many exceptional stands of sweets and treats that the true local fair-goers know and love. We were lucky to have gone with friends who had been going to the State Fair since they were little, and they showed us all of the greatest places to go!

Although we knew it was going to be different, as soon as we moved back here to AZ we knew that the Arizona State Fair was high on our list of October activities. We finally got to go yesterday with some friends, and I couldn't help but think and wonder at what traditions we might form over the next few years. Will our kids grow up going to this Fair? Will we always get little freshly fried mini donuts tossed in cinnamon and sugar? (I know I will). It's fun to think about, because after all, traditions have to start somewhere.

I did notice that our fair tastes and priorities have definitely been refined.
The last two years taught us not to play the games (waste of money, cause of frustration) and to really prioritize fair food. You can only handle so many stand specialties before you feel like you're going to hurl. (Is there a classier way to say that?)
I'm definitely more salt-focused. I want twirly spears of kettle-fried potatoes, spicy corn on the cob, bouquets of french fry ringlets with dollops of ketchup, crispy egg rolls on a stick.
Dustin is all about the fried candy bars and, ew, fried pop tarts. He loads up on the sweet stuff and, I can tell you right now, he regrets it heartily afterwards.

I'm not saying I didn't unceremoniously scarf down a baker's dozen of freshly fried mini donuts in cinnamon and sugar; I'm just saying the struggle is real and it will destroy you.

The Fair can be a big drain on your funds for not a whole lot of return, but I think there are many ways to go to a Fair and really enjoy yourself without spending so much. Avoid the games. If you must play, play one and set limits to how many times you can play. Suckers will literally spend $50 on one frustrating game for a stuffed animal that maybe costs $5. (I say "suckers" with great affection for my husband).

As I said earlier, prioritize the food. Choose a few must-haves and remind yourself that you weren't even hungry when you entered the park. There's no need to eat 7-10 times. I'm convinced that Fair food is bewitched, though, because you constantly feel like you need more which makes no sense. My tummy can't possibly be big enough for another bacon-wrapped, deep-fried turkey leg.

There are sometimes free concerts and other fun events to go to, so it's good to check those things out before you go. We were pleasantly surprised last night when we stumbled up to the stadium at the center of the Fair and realized Josh Turner was playing! We went in for a few of our favorite songs of his and rested our feet in the air-conditioning. It was such a nice surprise!

You can also check out all of the indoor aisles of demonstrations, samples, and lame displays. They're silly but they're fun! Also, the animals! Any State Fair of repute will have barns of cows (and maybe even cow hats!), goats, chickens, and sometimes even super weird-chested pigeons that end up creeping you out. Because seriously, who breeds pigeons? And why do they look like that?

The point is, enjoy walking around. Enjoy the lights and the screaming of happy fair-goers that reminds you of hours of playing RollerCoaster Tycoon. Watch your feet because the ground is filthy. Watch the crowds because people-watching is fun number 1!

Eat and watch and laugh and eat and go home happy.

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