The Greatest State Fair in the World starts on Thursday. I love love love the State Fair. And it’s not just me – the Iowa State Fair is on the list of 100 Things You Have To Do In Your Life.
It’s an amazing 10 days. I would go every day, all day, if I could. And I have done just that over the years. My dad worked at the fair for several years when I was in junior high (which, by the way, no one calls Junior High any more – it’s MIDDLE SCHOOL. I prefer Junior High). We camped at the fair and I went every.single.day. There’s rarely a year that I don’t make it at least 4 days – usually 5 or 6. I’ve been there pregnant and lactating – neither of which I recommend.
The husband and I have a tradition of going on the first Friday. This year will be our 30th first Friday at the Fair anniversary. We get there early – before 7:30 a.m. and leave late. Our record is 17 ½ hours. Some years have been considerably less, most hover around 12-14 hours. The first Friday night is formally designated as EastSider Night. It gets pretty raucous. And crowded. WAY crowded – like over 100k people go to the fair that day.
There are considerable benefits for getting there really early. They are – in no particular order:
• Good parking spot – close to the gates so we can go back to the car for dinner and supper, change shirts if we get too sweaty, drop off all the freebies we pick up and/or stuff we buy
• Tour the livestock barns before it gets too warm (i.e. too fragrant). Not that it bothers me, the farm girl that I am, but fewer bodies in the barns is a good thing.
• All the vendors still have plenty of freebies to give away!
• All the vendors and employees are fresh and not crabby, grumpy or rude.
I can’t wait!!!! Come on, Friday!