(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Summer Fair 101
The fair. It is synonymous with all things summer. Food. Fun. Ferris Wheels. Community. Hanging Out. You get the picture. Some of us wait all year just to have that loaded potato or anything that goes on a stick or can labeled a finger food. Plus, the fair can also make you feel nostalgia. With all the sights and smells, it’s a definite hotspot hangout. However, it might be the little things that you don’t want to miss. Here’s my list on all you need to know about the fair this summer.
- Be Entertained
Summer concerts are so much fun. This year, there are definitely some headliners to go see at the county fair, that’s why checking your local listing for the acts playing near you is a good idea. But, equally fun is also taking time to see local talent. Appreciate the diversity and check out a Polynesian dance team or stick around for live swing dance. Hey, you might even want to join the fun on the dance floor! You never know.
- Be Educated
Fairs are a great place to find and support small businesses, non profits, and also get educated on important issues. Find something new or something you are passionate about, have some conversations and be enlightened.
- Be Selective
I’ve found some of the best deals are at the fair. Look for the discounts on something you might not find elsewhere. Also find things that are unique like hand-crafted beauty bars or specialized lotions. Find specialty foods or 2 for 1 deals. Those beloved kitchen gadgets you saw at a demo or something handy for the house. The key is to look for something you can only get there, even if it’s discounted sandals.
- Be Adventurous
Fairs are about fun. Period. So try something new! Go on a roller coaster. Sample fair food. Ride an elephant. Have fun!
- Be Eco-Friendly
Take a visit to the local farm. Looking at the animals can fill you with wonder and awe. The kids also love the petting zoo. Check out the garden and maybe even pick up some local produce or succulents. Take a tour and admire all of God’s creation. Maybe even use it as a summer field trip!
- Be Old-School
Get your yesteryear on by seeing a pig race. Pick up some salt water taffy or share a funnel cake. Play some carnival games, join in a pie eating contest, or enter your cake for a possible blue ribbon. Get your face painted. Try a photo booth or an old western photo with friends. Think about what your favorite thing was as a kid and do it. I know you really want to go on that really really long slide –C’mon, it’ll be fun!
- Be Artsy
One of the things that is a rare gem at the fair are their art galleries. Browse local art with photography and fine art paintings and drawings. Viewing the crafts and collections is also a creative wonderland for anyone who appreciates DIY projects or wants to simply be inspired.
- Be a Foodie
I confess this is my favorite one (lol). The fair has some of the best homemade comfort foods and desserts around. So, you might want to opt for the things you get yearly like Orange Julius or BBQ. You try something international or grab a roasted corn on the cob. Trying something deep fried is also an experience. However, take a lesson from Charlotte Webb’s Templeton the rat who went a little overboard at the fair with cotton candy, hot dogs, and melted ice cream. Don’t go too crazy. A word to the wise: butter was never to be made to eat on a stick and cookies were never meant to be fries. Just saying.
- Be Safe
Night time is not always the right time to be alone at the fair. Usually the dynamics change and there is a totally different vibe. Be safe. Don’t want that negative attention? Then don’t wear what would call that type of attention. Walk to your car in groups. Use wisdom in all you do and make wise choices that you won’t regret. Going in groups is always good.
- Be Prepared
Everyone knows the horrible feeling of forgetting something. No one wants to be out on a hot day without water or sunscreen. Freezing at night without a jacket or squinting because those sunglasses are at home. You can avoid your kids screaming or that unwanted fight with your boyfriend because you got hangry when you prepare ahead. The important thing is to pack. Outside food and beverages are permitted if stored in factory-sealed plastic receptables. Save money and time by reviewing your county fair’s guest services online. Remember what you put in your bag will be checked and you will also be magnetically wanded, so don’t bring what you shouldn’t. Spend some time online beforehand to find out about discount days, special events, lockers, or rentals. Thinking about what you will wear is also beneficial. Yeah heels may make you look cute, but girlfriend, your calves and feet won’t be thanking you later. Prepare for lots of walking and dress accordingly.