Monday, August 07, 2006

The Ohio State Fair
The Sights, Sounds, and Smells of the Ohio State Fair

Ah, yes, the Fair. A long standing Central Ohio institution that let's face it, is mainly attended by people looking to eat something that just might kill them.

But Chris and I really dig the Fair. Well, we dig parts of the Fair. We avoid the animals and the midway, as neither one of us is fond of smelly animals facing either a blue ribbon or their doom, nor are we big fans of carnival rides or games. If I really wanted an inflateable Spider-Man, I would just buy one. But the prizes at the Fair are a really good way to get an idea of what the kids were into 2 years ago.

We dig the food, the collectibles pavillion, and the Marketplace. This year I was so hungry when I got there that I filled up immediately on a calzone and was too full to indulge in fried cheese on a stick or mini donuts. I think I am probably better off for skipping those, anyway. Chris had his traditional bratwurst, and grabbed a calzone for the way home. An interesting thing about Chris is that he has experienced very little in the way of fair/carnival/festival food. Until he met me, he had never experienced the glory of a lemon shake up. Our first year together was also shockingly the first time he ate a funnel cake. True, he hasn't much of a sweet tooth, but a funnel cake is a must. He still to this day has never eaten a corn dog.

The collectibles pavillion is a weird and wonderful place. There are 2 outdoor pavillions near the 11th Ave. entrance to the fairgrounds, and each year one is chickens and the other is collectibles. There you can find tin signs, movie posters, sports crap, Star Wars figures, trading card sets, and Pez. There is also a dealer who sells nothing but old metal enameled pins. You can find old concert pins, car logos, or Kermit the Frog.

Then there is the Marketplace. Politics, sunrooms, hot tubs, and every product you have ever seen on TV all under one roof. Where else can you enter to win a free sunroom, read anti-death penalty literature, get your signature analyzed and purchase an Oxy Clean Laundry Ball all in the same building? Nowhere but the Fair! While the Marketplace has some dumb stuff (cheap leather purses and anti-choice rhetoric) it also has fun stuff like the latest in massager technology, and it is where I purchased my first pair of Crocs. It also has one of those bulk candy dealers, where you mix and match crazy candy and pay by the pound. I love them because they have a good selection of non-chocolate candies, and they usually have Pez. The Marketplace is also air conditioned, which I swear, saves lives. The only other air conditioned place at the Fair is the dairy display, and it is usually packed with ice cream buyers and people checking out the butter sculpture. Which come to think of it, we missed this year, dammit!

By the way, we just photographed the BatCopter, we didn't ride in it. No way in hell were we paying $30 a person to ride a helicopter at the Fair. No way in hell.

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