Weekend Plans Post: The State Fair

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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31 Responses

  1. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    I have never been to a State Fair. (They were not a big thing where I grew up, and the fairgrounds were hours and hours away from us). I don’t think I’d go now; crowds of that size make me uncomfortable. Still, it would be nice to see the animals and the artwork and maybe get a lemon shake-up.

    No real plans for this weekend. This was the first week of classes and I feel like it was about five years long. (I have my first grief counseling appointment this afternoon, and now I think I was smart to schedule it; earlier I was like “I’m doing OK, I won’t need it” but after this week it’s pretty clear I’m not doing OK.) I have bell-choir rehearsal Saturday and I might try to work a bit on some ongoing research, but other than that I expect it will be quiet.

    I wish it were less hot here. It’s hard to want to do anything much when it’s so hot.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
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      says:

      You know, I think that you’d dig going to one. Yes, there are *HUGE* crowds but, in our experience at our fair, if you go during the day, you avoid the rowdy folks. The only problem at that point is how dang hot it is… but the arts and crafts pavilion has A/C and the heat outdoors has the side effect of making the lemonade taste even better.Report

  2. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    says:

    tap on the glass in front of particularly chunky chocolate chip cookies and say “that there is some quality chunkin’.”

    So I got to thinking: At some point, a chocolate-chip cookie just can’t get any chunkier, right? You make the chunks too big, and the chips just melt right through the cookie while it’s baking. No good!

    But what if we made a chocolate bar with chunks of cookie inside? A cookie-chip chocolate bar, if you will. Then there’s no limit!Report

  3. Avatar CJColucci
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    says:

    My wife, who grew up in NYC, went with relatives every year to the State Fair in Danbury, Connecticut. She thought it was The State Fair. When I told her about the New York State Fair, held annually in Syracuse, where I grew up, she was astonished to hear about it.Report

    • Avatar Frank Benlin in reply to CJColucci
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      says:

      Why would your wife think the New York State Fair would be held in Connecticut? Is it because the Giants and the Jets play in New Jersey?

      Of course you could compromise by going to the Orange County Fair in Wallkill.

      Personally I like Spiedie Fest, but you have to be from a very specific part of New York to even know what that is.Report

  4. Avatar jason
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    says:

    Yup, it’s going to be hot in the ‘Blo; my weather channel app says 95 and 99 on Saturday and Sunday. Stay cool. We’re actually going to the fair this year because the wife wanted to attend a concert on the 31st. We’ll probably get there early to have some fair food.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    Like fillyjonk I’ve never been to a state fair. My first blush reaction to the idea is that there isn’t anything there I would find interesting, though once I think that it hits me that I actually have no idea what one does at state fair. And now I’m googling the upcoming Oregon State Fair. The Special Events include Belt Buckle Battle, Monster Truck Championship, tractor pull, and a seemingly misplaced thing called the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs. So probably not my cup of tea in 2019, but I bet when the kids were actually kids it might have been a blast.

    I’m mostly relaxing this weekend. The only things I have on my calendar is taking the oldest boy out to dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday, and meeting up with Burt tomorrow to do a distillery-tasting run with knitting niki.

    Main goal: engage in absolutely positively zero work-related activities. We’ll see how well I can actually do with that.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      It’s, like, a Ren Faire for normal people.

      Maribou and I don’t go to the events proper (monster trucks, tractor pulls, Rock and/or Roll from 38 Special), just the various pavilions and see the various 4H kids doing 4H stuff and hearing a rooster crow from 10 feet away is an experience in itself. If you’ve got a free afternoon, you would benefit from wandering through it with some roasted corn or a turkey leg or a beer smoothie in hand.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        See, I could see myself enjoying a Ren Faire, especially if I had someone to go with me. (A big thing with me and crowds is I don’t like being alone in them; I feel like I stick out like a lonely sore thumb among all the couples and families. Also being alone feels less “safe”)

        I mean, some Ren Faires are kinda hokey, but the hokeyness is part of the funReport

    • Avatar Frank Benlin in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      > I actually have no idea what one does at state fair

      Eat, drink, and be merry. Seriously. If you bring your appetite, your thirst, and your wallet you will have a great time.Report

  6. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    I haven’t been to a State Fair since I was in high school. My high school’s marching band was invited to be an “honor band” each year that I was there. Which meant riding a school bus for 50 miles to the fair grounds, and marching/playing around the periphery for an hour. Twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The weather was much as you would expect for August in eastern Nebraska: hot, humid, and the sun beating down. The uniform was wool trousers and jacket, white shirt, a waterproof plastic overlay that covered you front and back above the waist, and a tall fur shako. You could sweat off a quart or more of water during that hour in the afternoon.

    (It wasn’t the least pleasant of the summer appearances for the band. The annual “La Vista Death March” late in July each year was worse.)Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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      says:

      I can’t imagine its changed much. There are more gadgets and electronics but, between those, it still has high schoolers in wool playing “Louie Louie” as they march down the promenade.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Michael Cain
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      says:

      Good lord in wool trousers, that’s cruel and unusual torture.

      I went to several fairs north of where fillyjonk is and even for a son of the badlands i remember it being sweltering, fry an egg on the pavement.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to JoeSal
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        says:

        Yep. I’m sure they’ve changed things in the intervening decades (yeah, I’m old). Our band director was a retired Army master sergeant, who I realized in hindsight was outstanding at motivating young men and women in a particular direction. Surviving the La Vista Death March in wool and heavy plastic uniforms, playing all the music and doing the fancy marching, was a “we are just that damned good” sort of tradition.

        We also did a fine job on a concert hour of Sousa marches and Broadway tunes in the city park on summer evenings.Report

  7. Avatar JoeSal
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    says:

    Probably be listening to Born Down by johnny strong and sipping some rum.

    Apply some walnut stain to a sacred totem. I don’t know what’s in the minwax stain that makes it smell good, maybe linseed oil, but thats good stuff.

    The round death ray in the sky has baked the moisture out of the ground for a solid month and trees are looking a bit thirsty, prolly give them a drink.Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    As for fairs, state or county or worlds, I generally avoid them. You see, as a child, my father was a fair judge. Master of Stone fruit. So, I got my fill of the experience as a pup.

    This weekend, no real plans except more work in painting the trim on the old pile.Report

  9. Avatar PD Shaw
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    says:

    My wife and I volunteered to work a gate at the State Fair again this year, but for the first time for a long time, we didn’t walk around later. She signed us up for the 7-9 AM weekday shift at one of the more obscure gates because my wife is a strategic thinker, but it turned out that it was senior citizen day and we were at the gate closest to those events. So while my job was to sell the tickets, and my wife’s was to take the tickets (there is no way separation of functions could prevent fraud there), I basically asked everyone that came up to the gate if they might possibly be 60 years old and gave them a ticket. I sold none.

    It was also a gate politicians were going to use, though only one came while we were there. Some politicians make a show of paying for their ticket ($5), I was curious how many would use comps. A member of the governor’s security detail came and told me who he was and wanted to know if that gate would be kept open, it wasn’t open earlier. “Yeah, we opened it and we’re here until 9.” “You need to understand, I’m on the governor’s security detail and I need to know that when he gets here and when he leaves that the gate will be open.” Shrugs, “should be open; we’re just volunteers, I’m not sure how long it will be open.” I’m with the governor’s security detail . . . [Cut to the short, he’s not going to tell me when the governor will arrive or leave, I could be a NAZI saboteur, I just needed to say “Yes, it will be open.”] Never saw him.

    And at some point, a man with a badge gave me a parking pass and told me the President would be coming for the Looking for Lincoln presentation. He will look like Abraham Lincoln and if there is any doubt, his license plates are I-Am-Abraham-Lincoln.(*) About an hour later an SUV drove up, it was freakin’ Abraham Lincoln, he smiled beneficently, he saw my mouth hanging open, I looked at his plates, and sure enough they read I-Am-Abraham-Lincoln. I looked back at him and he smiled and nodded, as if to say “yep, guess that’s me.” Here you go Mr. President.

    (*) Close but not the actual plates. The President’s actually been assassinated, so I don’t want to contribute to an actual security concern.Report

  10. Avatar dragonfrog
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    says:

    The state-fair-equivalent fairs here have pretty good bands every evening, and the gate price is way cheaper than concert tickets for those same bands at a more standard venue.

    Because you THINK you can hang on to your money and just see the concert. But they know perfectly well you’re going with a nine year old, and you’re an old softy, and there is NO WAY you’re going to blow less than $50 on ride tickets and $20 on horrifying fried food.

    All that and we missed taking the little one to pet the goats – they were closing up that hall just as we arrived.

    Anyway, that’s my story of seeing A Tribe Called Red last month. It was a pretty good show.Report

  11. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    The Minnesota State Fair, with its grounds a mile or two from where I type this (it’s an urban affair) is A Big Deal around here – much bigger than the Wisconsin version that I’ve only been to maybe twice despite growing up close by as well. The Great Minnesota Get Together, they call it. We go most years. Her dad, a retired attorney, manages the ticket sellers every year. He’s there 12 hours a day for ten days every August. Her mother hates it, along with football. Apple pie is nice though.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Michael Drew
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      says:

      Colorado’s population is just a bit bigger than Minnesota’s now, but the Minnesota Fair puts Colorado’s to shame:

      + About four times the attendance
      + About nine times the economic impact for the state
      + No state money given to the Minnesota fair since 1949
      + Interesting factoid in the Wikipedia article says the Minnesota Fair clears more profit from winter boat/camper storage than from the Fair proper

      Every year when I was working for the Colorado state legislature, the State Fair came up in budget discussions. At that time the state was subsidizing the Fair operations, although the board seems to have gotten back into the black in more recent years. Relocating the Fair also comes up almost annually. The Colorado State Fair board asserts that the Fair would probably draw fewer people if it were closer to Denver because of all the other entertainment options. Interesting that the Minnesota State Fair is located in the biggest metro area in the state (also true for the Iowa and Texas State Fairs).

      Is this too political a comment?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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        says:

        Is this too political a comment?

        No, but the ones that would explain why this is good sure as heck will be.Report

      • Avatar jason in reply to Michael Cain
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        says:

        Yeah, but it’s probably easier to get to the Minnesota fair from a distance. Minnesota doesn’t have a mountain chain running down its middle. It may have something to do with the types of farming in Minnesota, I don’t know. I grew up going to the Kentucky State Fair, also in the biggest city in the state. Maybe their are other reasons for those fairs’ successes, maybe not.

        One problem with the CO state fair is that the fairgrounds are small, and you can’t really expand them in their current location. The second is all the bougie white folks in the northern sections of the I-25 corridor are too scared to come to Pueblo because there’s too many brown folks down here.

        The Fair in Denver? I’m sure everyone’s ready to enjoy the traffic and high priced accommodations to pay even more to go to the fair and even more for the fair food. In short, fish you; Denver has enough. (Sorry, angry SoCo resident here)Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Michael Cain
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        says:

        Is the school year an issue? Our state fair usually takes place either the week before or the week after the start of school. It makes a considerable difference in how many families attend.

        We have two state fairs, the one in the capitol is the main one, and gives out all of the agriculture and arts and crafts awards. The other is in the South, where they have the monster-truck and motor vehicle races.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to PD Shaw
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          says:

          Could well be. I see that in Minnesota, the state fair’s last day is Sep 2, and the first day for the public schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is Sep 3. Here, the state fair runs Aug 23 to Sep 2; the biggest five school districts in the state all started well before that, between Aug 7 and Aug 19. Even Pueblo, where the state fair is held, started classes on Aug 20.

          Off on a tangent… Denver Public Schools has 60 school buildings with no air conditioning. The official high temperature for each of their first two days of classes this past week was 97. (But it was a dry heat, with relative humidity readings of 9% and 12%.)Report

          • Avatar jason in reply to Michael Cain
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            says:

            I was wondering if school starts were a factor.

            On that tangent: yeah, there’s plenty of public schools in Pueblo without AC, and we’re usually a bit hotter than Denver. Sad to see the Denver schools have that problem. There’s a meme going around that claims CO is last in school funding. I know I’ve seen studies that put us at 48 or so in per capita funding. Is it a factor of importing most of our college grads? Or TABOR? I don’t know (but it’s prolly TABOR).Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to jason
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              says:

              Is it a factor of importing most of our college grads?

              In the higher education literature, there really is a thing called the “Colorado Paradox”. We’re only so-so at graduating our kids from high school (still better than our funding ranking), getting them into college, and graduating them. But a relatively huge number of college grads move here, so we have one of the two or three top “most educated workforce” rankings in the country.

              My friend the anthropologist says that if you want to learn the truth about some situation, look at the jokes that are told about it. Long-time Colorado joke I’m sure you’ve heard: “In a random restaurant in Vail, chances are good that your waitperson has a better degree than you do.” My daughter up in Fort Collins says that the same joke has become common there, with “barista” in place of waitperson.Report

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