Tuesday, September 24, 2013

State Fair

For two weeks every September, Oklahoma City hosts the "Great State Fair of Oklahoma." When I was growing up, we got a day off of school and a free ticket for "Fair Day." Sadly, kids these days don't get out of school for the Fair anymore. So we decided to remedy this situation. We checked the girls out an hour early, and off we went to check it out.

I absolutely love the Fair. Yes, I know it has it's downsides: The Midway, obnoxious carnies yelling at you, crowded streets, the smell of manure and beer mixed together, and an array of interesting outfit choices. However, if you avoid going on a busy weekend and try to be there during daylight hours, it's not so bad. In fact, it's pretty darn fun! We hit up my favorite building first: the Creative Arts Building. This is where all the classic fair competitions are like blue ribbon pies, cake decorating, sewing, jams, jellies, kids' art contests, 4H projects, etc. There's also a kids area where they can paint, build, and play games.  All three of ours made "spin art" while we were there.
 Leah and Hannah showing off the enormous pumpkins. I'm ready for fall, but I don't think this would fit on our front porch!
Watching the blacksmith
 Next we headed across the street to Centennial Village where we saw a group of older women doing a clogging performance to various country music songs. They were really into it, and the kids wanted to stop and watch for awhile. We also watched a blacksmith at work and saw a soap making demonstration. 
 My Frontier Family
Mike is riding that horse like a boss.
Me and my two favorite 8 year olds.
Next we wandered around and found a "fire safety show" complete with real firetrucks and firemen talking about what to do in an emergency. The kids begged to stop and watch, so we did. At the end, they got to crawl through a "smoke house" where they learned to get low and crawl to find their way out. They crawled through that house approximately 100 times before we moved on.

Lucas narrowly making his escape
What to do next? Head to the rides of course! Unfortunately to get to the ride area, you have to walk through the Midway. The Midway is the area where all the "lovely" games are. You can choose to pay $5 for three tries at throwing a ring on some coke bottles in order to win an over sized stuffed Tweety Bird. No thank you. But of course, all the Midway workers yell at you as you walk by, and my kids begged to play every single game. It was a long walk through, but we made it to the rides. We gave each child a set amount of tickets and told them they could choose which rides they wanted to do. They were in heaven.

Hannah and Leah chose to ride this one called The Himalaya. It went around at lightning speed blaring a few fist-pumping club songs. Hannah loved it. Leah thought it was just "ok."
In this photo, the ride was just starting out. It sped up so much I couldn't get another picture of them. 

A view of the classic skyline ride. It's been there forever. 

Leah and Lucas went through this fun house complete with a maze of mirrors. 

This picture cracks me up. The girls are just people watching and Hannah's expression says it all. "What exactly am I looking at?" 
On this particular day we saw:
A man with a long, braided rat tail
Many ladies with bedazzled cowboy boots
Too many t-shirts with the arms cut off to count
A few cut off jean shorts that were a little too short, exposing some cheek
What can I say but it's all classic state fair wear.

Hannah and me waiting on the rest of our fam at the fun house. Hannah didn't want to waste her tickets on things like that. She likes the thrill rides.

Like this one! She rode it all by herself. She looked so small, but she was brave and she loved it.
She's on the fifth row from the top on the left end.

This is what happened when Lucas ran out of tickets. 
Temper tantrum on the dirty fair street. 

Leah used her last tickets to go down this slide. I wanted to do this one too, but no adults allowed. Boo!

After we were done with the rides, our next mission was FOOD. When you ask most people why they go to the fair, the answer is mostly "for the food." It's one time a year to indulge on junk food. Corn dogs, funnel cakes, roasted corn on the cob, cinnamon rolls and just about anything deep fried on a stick. This year, in addition to chocolate covered fried bacon and deep fried butter (now that's gross), the new fried item was deep fried watermelon bites. They were everywhere. Personally, I think that sounds terrible, so we didn't partake. But it is certainly fun to look around and oh my...the smells. I actually opted to skip fair food this year because....drum roll....I got to judge a crock pot cooking competition! For a mere $2 I went through the line of 21 crock pot contestants who dished me up 21 bowls of their tasty creations. That breaks down to 7 soups, 7 main dishes, and 7 desserts. The ones I liked, I licked the bowl clean. The ones I didn't, I took a few bites and moved on to the next. Mike and the kids also helped me taste test and we ended up choosing our favorite for each category. It was a lot of fun. 

Our night ended with walking through the car show. The kids loved getting in and out of all the fancy new cars. They were blown away that some SUV's have TVs in them! Haha! I drive an 11 year old minivan, so they are not privy to new technology. From there, we made it out to our car just after the sun slipped down below the horizon. Lucas conked out in his car seat and the girls were quiet on the drive home. I suppose we'll do it all again next year. 

Hannah declaring, "This is the one I want when I'm 16!"
Start saving, kid.


Joe and Talsie said...

while I haven't personally taken part I have heard the fried butter is actually amazing. No stick of butter rolled in crumbs and dunked in hot oil. Instead think of a pat of butter infused with herbs, garlic, or even raspberry, wrapped in dough and then fried. Basically deep fried, buttery bread. Probably a days worth of calories!

Emily said...

Well, that does make the butter thing sound a little better! :)

Sarah Purdy said...

Mmmm...I can almost taste the funnel cakes! It sounds like your family had a great time at the fair! Our fair is always the 2nd week of July when it's usually 100 degrees so I've always skipped it. I think once my kids are older, it'll be more enjoyable. How was the crockpot contest? What was the weirdest thing? What was the most surprisingly good tasting thing? Back in Northern CA, our fair always had deep fried Snickers and I still kick myself for never tasting them! (I was always trying to watch my calories or something.)