The State Fair

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
The family and I went to the Texas State Fair yesterday. It was a fun day filled with shows (dog tricks, pig & ostrich races), animals (exotic petting zoo & local livestock), midway games & rides, the auto show/expo, music, and plenty of food (cotton candy, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and all other sorts of fried stuff!).

My wife and I were talking on the drive home about how going to the fair has become a tradition for us each year. The Texas State Fair is a pretty big deal as it last for almost a month and the sheer number of people that attend is enormous, over 2.5 million!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Fair_of_Texas



As we talked a question came up, I wonder if going to the "State Fair" is as much of a big deal in other states? My wife grew up in Illinois and she has memories of going to the IL State Fair. I grew up in Tennessee and don't ever recall going to the State Fair.

So, what do you think? Is the "State Fair" a big deal in your state? What traditions are associated and what's it like to go? If you are not from the USA then does your country/region have anything similar to a state fair? If so, what is it like?
 

Jschultz

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2005
878
12
Chicago, IL
I'm in Illinois, and I've been to our state fair. To me, it's just OK. Due to location, it's actually easier for me to go to the Wisconsin state fair (which is a blast, imho.)

I happen to love streetfests and fairs. Summer in Chicago is my favorite, as we have 77 different neighborhoods and a lot of them do a fest or event. So pretty much every weekend there are multiple events going on.
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,476
1,403
Upstate NY
In Upstate NY, they are not a big deal. There is the Syracuse Fair, which is kinda a big deal, but that's 4 hours away.

The thing that ruins it for my family and I is the ridiculous prices for entrance and food...and the games are even worse. Even the local fairs are out of control. Why would I pay over $35 for almost no food and $25+ entrance fees when we can just go to a decent restaurant for half that? It's just not worth it anymore.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
California State Fair is HUGE. They do pretty much the same that you see in Texas, but one thing everyone loves to go to the fair for is that they have free concerts there. Obviously, you still need to buy the tickets to get into the Fair, but after that, the tickets to the concerts are first come/first serve.

The only stipulation to the concerts is that the performers have to be native to California. So we'll get acts like Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, Starship, Journey, Weird Al.. I think even Motley Crue played it once.. Though, it would be great if they got Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold to play, or even Jeff Dunham!

Outside of that, the car shows are the big thing. Keep in mind that the concept of the chop shop began here in the 1950/1960s with George and Sam Barris. So we'll see those on parade along with classic cars that make you want to take them all down Route 66.

Texas will probably have better fair food, as ours here is meh. But other than that, we hit a little under 1 million people this past year, and that was a 11% jump from last year, so it will probably be bigger this coming year.

I don't remember going to the Nebraska State Fair, because if I wanted that, at the time there was a corn field at the end of my block. I could have walked over there and had my own fair! :D

BL.
 

Mac'nCheese

Suspended
Feb 9, 2010
3,732
4,967
The Sussex (spelling?) country fair in New Jersey is always fun but I wouldn't know if it is considered a big deal. There is also a yearly state fair at the meadowlands (Giants stadium) but that is more like a big carnival than an old old fashion country fair (they do have pig races though.)
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,286
928
The Finger Lakes Region
In Upstate NY, they are not a big deal. There is the Syracuse Fair, which is kinda a big deal, but that's 4 hours away.

The thing that ruins it for my family and I is the ridiculous prices for entrance and food...and the games are even worse. Even the local fairs are out of control. Why would I pay over $35 for almost no food and $25+ entrance fees when we can just go to a decent restaurant for half that? It's just not worth it anymore.
Your not the only one that thinks this way.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,114
1,246
Always a day away
I went to the Texas State Fair once. It was twenty years ago, and I had tickets to the football game, which got us admission to the fair. To me, the fair was just okay; I haven't been back. It was too crowded, too expensive, and in a really crappy part of town.

I agree with mscriv, though, around here people absolutely lose their minds over the fair. It's just not that big a deal to me, personally. I'm definitely in the minority, I think.
 

palmerc2

macrumors 68000
Feb 29, 2008
1,604
641
Los Angeles
I've never been to a state fair, I was just in Dallas and kinda wanted to check it out. As healthy of an eater I am, I legitimately want to try a deep fried stick of butter....just once.

I grew up in Arizona, there's something that happens here but nothing too crazy. Now living in Los Angeles there's the Orange County fair, which quite frankly is a joke.

As far as comparable fairs overseas, I was in Munich for Oktoberfest and all I can say is WOW! It's freakin amazing. I could definitely see myself there every year. 15 days of carnival rides, Bavarian food, dancing, music, and of course......beer!
 

TheAppleFairy

macrumors 68030
Mar 28, 2013
2,500
1,935
The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
Yeah I grew up in Montgomery county NY and used to go to the Fonda fair a lot as a kid. This year I went to 2 fairs near Albany, as that's where I live now. I don't really care for them but the kids like it.

I have never been to the state fair in Syracuse, though every year I say I am going to go.


In Upstate NY, they are not a big deal. There is the Syracuse Fair, which is kinda a big deal, but that's 4 hours away.

The thing that ruins it for my family and I is the ridiculous prices for entrance and food...and the games are even worse. Even the local fairs are out of control. Why would I pay over $35 for almost no food and $25+ entrance fees when we can just go to a decent restaurant for half that? It's just not worth it anymore.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
I'm not sure why these things are called State Fairs. Does the state government have anything to do with it?
Not really, with the exception being that it is always held in the State capital.

BL.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
Might want to inform Texas then. Austin is the capitol of Texas not Dallas.

;)
Might want to inform New York too, these rednecks setting up the fair must think Syracuse is the capital.
Then that definitely must vary from state to state; Nevada's has always been in Carson City, California's is here in Sacramento, Oklahoma has theirs in OKC, Nebraska has theirs in Lincoln, and Oregon has theirs in Salem; all state capitals.

BL.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,199
722
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
I went to the Texas State Fair once. It was twenty years ago, and I had tickets to the football game, which got us admission to the fair. To me, the fair was just okay; I haven't been back. It was too crowded, too expensive, and in a really crappy part of town.

I agree with mscriv, though, around here people absolutely lose their minds over the fair. It's just not that big a deal to me, personally. I'm definitely in the minority, I think.
Yeah, it still is expensive and crowded. I don't care for it either. There are way better events and things you can go see that cost the same amount of money you waste at the fair. You don't have to walk two miles to and from your car either.
 

RoastingPig

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,605
62
SoCal
I'm in Illinois, and I've been to our state fair. To me, it's just OK. Due to location, it's actually easier for me to go to the Wisconsin state fair (which is a blast, imho.)

I happen to love streetfests and fairs. Summer in Chicago is my favorite, as we have 77 different neighborhoods and a lot of them do a fest or event. So pretty much every weekend there are multiple events going on.
gotta love them creampuffs. Wisconsin state fair is really fun.

Ive also been to the California state fair which is not to pleasant because its held in sacramento in the middle of summer.
 

b3av3r

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2012
185
0
Louisiana
We stumbled onto the state fair one year by accident. We just happened to drive by and see some lights and decided to check it out. There wasn't much to it but it was spread out over a large area so it gave the illusion of being a big fair.

Here in Louisiana parish fairs are usually big deals (they are free admittance) and have bands playing everyday with some of the bigger parish fairs pulling in a nationally known musician. Of course, we also have a festival for everything around here so you can find fair-like events almost every weekend.