When the love of your life tells you they’ve never been to a state fair before, you simply MUST take them. I wasn’t sure how long the fair was going on (as it started before we got back from our trip to the Caribbean), but when we looked it up and saw it was running through the next weekend, we had to go.
It was an overcast day, but still warm. This was actually nice because it meant our (read: Paul’s) chance of getting sunburned was relatively low.
We went and did all the fair-type activities: we visited the animals, looked at all the arts and crafts in the pavilion (where we watched the young 4-H kids battle robots), won prizes, went to what Paul goes the “infomercial” area where people were selling all sorts of things, watched bad shows, and caught the last song of a pretty good band.
But like all things we do, the main event was the food. Fair food is in its own little world of nostalgia. The things you eat are typically fun, but tend to leave you with an upset stomach (and this is before you get on a ride…). However, I’m happy to say that even though we ate our fair share of sweets and fats, we actually felt really good, and I think this is because we both didn’t eat too much and also what we ate was all local and real, even though it was less than healthy.
Idahoans take their potatoes very seriously and there was everything from potato-looking (but delicious tasting) desserts to people serving potatoes in almost all of their possible forms. The above picture is one potato, spiraled like an apple and then fried. It was crisp and chewy and awesome. They called it a tortatoe (as in tornado of potato).
We also had corn dogs that were hand dipped in freshly made with local ingredient batter with local hot dogs that were brushed with mustard, fresh squeezed lemonade, and cotton candy (because I had to have some).
The only thing we didn’t really do was ride many rides. We chose one ride only because bracelets were $30 a person and that was way more than we had to spend. Our one ride cost us $5. They have one day at the fair where you can get admission and a ride bracelet for $25, and that’s clearly the day to go, although the lines would be so long… But if you had the whole day off, it might be worth it.
I think it’s safe to say that I converted Paul into a fair lover. There really are few experiences like it that take you right back to the first half of the twentieth century, but there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about it. I watched the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical recently and I couldn’t believe how little has changed over the years.
What’s your favorite thing to do/eat at the State Fair? Let me know in the comments.