Let me just start by saying that I absolutely **HEART** the Indiana State Fair.
Seriously, what's not to love about a place that has fried Oreos? Not to mention adorable animals, fun 4-H displays, fried Oreos, biodisel trains, fried Oreos, music and dance, truly awesome people watching, fried Oreos, lumberjack shows, and all the knockoff sunglasses you ever could have dreamed of?
Did I mention fried Oreos? Oh I did. Thanks.
Growing up in another Midwestern, farm-filled state, I had been to State Fairs before, but nothing like this. Back then, you picked a weekend date you wanted to go, weeks in advance. On the morning of the fair you woke up early and packed a bag with a sweatshirt in case it got cold, a T-shirt in case it got hot, a rain slicker in case it rained, and an assortment of other items. Then you got in the car and drove for an hour or two or ten million (hey, I was a kid). Then you finally parked the car in the middle of a field somewhere, shielded your eyes to the horizon, located the mirage that was the Fair and started walking. Approximately ten days later when you finally arrived, you saw some animals, rode the burlap-sack-mega-slide, ate some corn and an Elephant Ear, and called it a day - and man, it was a GREAT day, too.
Then I moved to Indianapolis. Where the State Fair is. Which means that if I happened to have another craving for fried Oreos in the middle of this posting, I could save it, drive over there, buy some, and drive back before they got cold.
This, friends, is FANTASTIC.
The second best part of the Indiana State Fair is the people-watching. Especially if, like me, you write a blog that sometimes centers around the silly things people do or say.
Last weekend Cute Boy and I went to the Fair for a couple hours to eat yummy food, check out the animals and just kind of walk around. During the course of this walking we passed an outdoor amphitheatre.
Now, I'm willing to concede that outdoor amphitheatres can be used for a variety of things.
This one was set up with a big stage with the Stihl logo plastered everywhere. And two of those posts that lumberjacks climb with those spiked shoes. And lots of logs strewn about. And lots of big, old-fashioned lumberjack saws on posts.
"Oh, hey!" a woman behind us announced to her friends. "Do you think this is where the lumberjack show is?"
Back to the food part.
For you Fair newbies, I have three rules for the Fair and they are Pacing, Sharing, and Don't Waste Your Taste Buds.
Pacing means just that. Seriously, the Fair goes for two weeks. Even if you're only going to attend once, don't eat everything in the first minute/hour/day/trip. I've seen this rule be violated and it's not pretty. Cute Boy and I did well this year- pineapple whip, curly potato, and Hot Wisconsin Cheese during our first trip, and corn dogs, chocolate-covered bacon (this was actually kind of gross but the guys liked it) and fried Oreos on the second trip with friends.
Sharing is another pretty self-explanatory one. One fried Oreo is great. Two is yummy. Three is heartburn. Four is vomiticious. Therefore, naturally, one serving is four Oreos. Note: Sharing must also be combined with Pacing. For example, even if you are getting ready to call it a day, you and your friend should not order both the fried Oreos and the fried Pepsi at the same time and split them. Trust me, this Does. Not. End. Well.
Finally, Don't Waste Your Taste Buds. The State Fair is the one time each year that I allow myself to eat complete junk, repeatedly, without guilt or any attempt at balance (though not without heartburn). This is just not the kind of splurging that you want to waste on, say, a hot dog.
Sometimes you can combine the two best parts of the State Fair into one experience- like the people wearing the COPS shirts that sat at our table over by the curly potato booth.
COPS, as in, C.O.P.S., as in, Christians Obediently Preaching Salvation. The shirt posed the question, "Wha'cha Gonna Do When HE Comes for You?" which is, apparently, from Ephesians....though I can't say I remember the Bible using too much hip slang like that.
Yes, I totally snuck a photo while pretending to shoot Cute Boy with our curly potato, which probably means the answer to that question is some variation of going to hell. Regardless, whatever I do, I hope it involves fried Oreos.
All in all, it was a great year for the State Fair- I'm already looking forward to the next one!!