I need to give you an impression of the size of the Indiana State fair. It’s 250 acres, a million square feet of stuff. There are many larger state fairs, but Indiana’s is big. One can easily spend the entire day at the fair. Walking miles and miles is part of the gig.
I love how this map shows a parking lot. The parking lot is only for special people. People like us have to pay to park in the yards of strangers who are mean and cannot explain how they want us to park at an angle on the edge of their porch.
Attendance at the state fair topped out at about 978,000 people in 2013. Last year they permitted samples of alcoholic beverages and 23,000 fewer people went. That’s right, I live in a place where people are offended by alcoholic intake, even when per person consumption is limited to a total of 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine. I do not know. We still have dry counties out there in the boonies.
Still, admission sales brought in $3.5 million last year.
This year, school started before the state fair, and I did not want to go on a weekend. Trying to avoid the massive crowds forced me to go after school, so this was possibly my least favorite trip to the fair. Even on a Tuesday, there were too many times we gripped hand to elbow and pressed through throngs of people.
This experience is different for females, and even less pleasant when coupled with anxiety. I think I did really well, considering.
I still loved going.
I do not have a big appetite in the evening. This is counterproductive to my goal of being fair food fat. The heat did not help — it was 86 and partly cloudy. These things impinge upon the pleasure of eating one’s weight in fried foods, and reduce the desire to consume dairy. I still had to get my enormous $90 Coca-Cola, though. That was our first stop.
Here I am, standing in front of a misting fan the size of the moon. As usual, I am all about a carefully-coiffed head and fashionable clothes.
Sassy and I shared some jalapeño cheese curds at a table with a couple from Wisconsin. They were pleasant strangers, who chatted with us about where to buy the best long underwear.
Moo wanted to ride on the swings. I am glad we’re not midway folks, because I’m fairly certain that a day at an amusement park would cost less than a day of riding at the fair. One ride on the swings cost 3 tokens and tokens were sold in increments of 4 for $8. So I paid $8 for my child to take a three-minute spin on the swings, and gave the remaining ticket to the family behind us. They were not from here, because the father said, “No way! People here are so generous!”
Still, Moo loved it, and grinned a weird petrified grin the entire time. Sassy and I couldn’t keep watching her go round and round, we were getting soooo sick!
Sassy and I also shared a pulled pork sammich, because we neither one thought we could eat a whole one. It was delicious. We found a clean table in the shade and farther from bees. The bees were a little crazy this year. I didn’t photograph the bees, because I was too busy trying to pretend to be calm for the sake of the children. I am so brave.
Then we meandered into the arts building, where I took very few photos, because the best things are behind glass, and I do not have the patience to deal with that. The quilts were beautiful and I don’t know how one gets a job judging quilts, but I’d like a piece of that pie.
I did take this photo, in the Centennial building, because we all loved this dress. I know you cannot see it, but inside the hem of this dress rests a fine edge of lace.
We visited a coupla of the agricultural buildings, saw the plastic-perfect shiny eggplants and the largest pumpkin.
I stopped to buy honey, but this became more of an excursion than I had planned. Four beekeepers swarmed me and had me sampling honey after honey and honestly, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I simply wanted local honey. I didn’t really want to have a honey-tasting. Still, they were very…helpful.
I had gone into that building because there was a large sign out front about giant cheese. I asked the girls if they wanted to see giant cheese, and of course they did, but there were two young men who seemed to think I was asking them. We found this hysterical, and made jokes about how I make the world’s worst cougar, dressed like a missionary, inviting young men to see the giant cheese exhibit.
There’s a science center, so Moo was all about that. We went into a tunnel (cell) and looked at its innards. I am very old and do not remember much about cells. Now my cellular focus is on how I gotta drink lotsa water and eat lotsa veggies or my cells will shrink-up and die and this will make me look bad and potentially lead to an early death. The girls know a lot about cells, so that’s nice.
And then, Animals! We say manimals, but you know.
We really wanted funnel cakes and ice cream. We really did. Not one of us was even remotely hungry. Isn’t that sad?
Still, I had a great time, came home exhausted and gross, and with money to spare. That’s how to do the fair.