Friday, September 25, 2009

It's About Fair Time!

It is here!
A year of waiting is over!
Can you feel the excitement in the air?
The anticipation of a new thrills and sensory delights?
The State Fair of Texas begins today.

The State Fair is a much anticipated event for my family. For us it ranks as one of the unofficial holidays of the season. It is a tradition that reaches back to my childhood days and has now spread to countless nieces, nephews, cousins, boyfriends and girlfriends.

If any of you live within a 50 mile-radius and have never gone, what are you waiting for? For all those writers in blog land, let me assure you that you will come away with a wealth of material you can drawn upon for those future and current WIPs. A day at the fair will totally envelop all 5 of your senses in wonderfully, remarkable ways. Allow me to elaborate:

HEARING: It isn't long before we hear the rhythmic cadences of the fair "barkers". They are calling out to fair goers to come and buy the "best turkey-leg in Texas". Others smash their lips against the microphone and fuzzily beg you to "toss your pennies in the dish! Everyone is a winner". Each ride on the Midway has it's own throbbing, pulsing musical beat, often overlapping with it's neighbor. Each song pulls at the masses to hesitate and take a longer look. The rushing whirr of the rollercoaster rides and the joyful screams of the riders are just persuasive enough, and we stand in line.

TOUCH: The new cars are perhaps the biggest draw for our fingers. We glide our hands along the smooth shiny surfaces and move into the interior. Which do we prefer? Not sure. let me touch the coolness of the leather seats and then take in the softer finish of the cloth seats. No need to stop there. Let's go shopping at the Bazaar. Jewelry and earrings gravitate to our fingers and we have to touch the textured purses, scarves and clothes. I turn the corner to find my husband exploring the feel of the recliners and pull my son off of the display mattresses. Too much to touch.

SIGHT: The first sign of fall can be seen in the gorgeous yellow chrysanthemums that greet visitors at every entrance and all over the park. On the midway, the final rays of the sun have barely set before the brilliant white, red, and yellow pulsing lights of the rides beckon to their excited riders. For the quieter nightlife group, the magnificent light show on the plaza features synchronized fountains dancing in reds and blues as the strobe lights sweep the night sky. All sit in awe of the spectacle, and every adult momentarily experiences that child-like appreciation for something so unique, so different and so unexpectedly "cool".

SMELL: No place but the State Fair contains this strange combination of scents. Almost immediately our noses are intrigued by the delectable aroma of baking bread in the food building. Hooray! Free samples are ready and no matter the length of the line, everyone is patient. A few steps outside and the stench of animal waste rapidly overwhelms us as we approach the petting zoo. No need to linger there as the unmistakable lure of fried food is compelling us to find it's source.

TASTE: We found it! The Fletcher Corny Dog is the most famous dog in Texas. It is the reason we abandon our diets one day out of the year ( OK twice if you count Thanksgiving). One mouthful of the warm corn-dog smothered in your choice of mustard or ketchup, and you will swear off of the frozen wannabes. Nothing compares. . . well, almost nothing, except the sinful cinnamon rolls in the food court. After all, every corn dog deserves a worthy dessert and I have found it. These Texas sized rolls are handed out hot and in a dish complete with a fork. These heavenly concoctions are literally swimming in a vanilla frosting bath that is just like Grandma used to make. Fried butter is the newest temptation this year, but not sure my arteries will forgive me for that one. As the end of the night draws near we raid the cotton candy stand for the pink clouds that have become our children's yearly souvenir, enjoyed slowly, days after the fair has ended.

The long walk back to our car is always a great time to sum up our favorite memories of the day.

And now I am asking if any of you have attended the State Fair of Texas. If so what are some of your favorite memories , or not so favorite memories? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Mom. You're going to make me cry! I want to come with you all sooooo badly. *sigh* My favorite memory is riding in the parade in the float behind PaPa. I thought all eyes were on me...and they very well should have been! heh

  2. oh.....I can almost taste the corn dogs now! And feel me feet hurting from all the walking, but it's worth it. I always come home with a box of saltwater taffy. And of course, we have to go the the livestock barns. The cows, pigs, goats and sheep all look the same every year, but they're still interesting. (to me) Can't wait to go this year!

  3. I've only been a couple of times, but the way you describe it sure makes me want to go again. For a family our size, it was just too expensive to go. Maybe now is the time... :)

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  5. Hi, Ava! Just came over from Sherrinda's blog. Welcome to blogging.

    The State Fair of Texas sounds like a great time!

    Have a good weekend.

  6. Not the Texas state fair, but the California State Fair.

    I was handing out free water with a Christian women's organization. We used this opportunity to witness to the fairgoers about the water of life, Jesus. One man came by and spewed his anger at us, shouting, "I know why you're passing out this water! You only want that reward it talks about in the Bible! I've read that verse about getting a reward for giving water away!"

    We looked blankly at each other, shrugged our shoulders and laughed. A few nutes at every State Fair!

  7. I haven't attended the state fair of Texas, but you made me feel like I was there! I'm from Michigan where all of the fairs have to be in the summer--otherwise we chance having the weather cold and drizzly like today!

  8. I have lived in Texas my whole life and I have never attended! I feel so deprived after reading your account.

    I will definitely plan to take my family.

    Thanks for sharing your vivid memories!


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