Memories of the State Fair
My family goes to the State Fair every year. I may have missed a couple of years here and there, but for the most part I’ve been part of this ritual for all my life, even before I was fully aware of it.
A few of my favorite things to do at the fair:
- Unlimited chocolate milk
Did you know that there is unlimited chocolate milk for $0.25? The first glass is two-bits; the rest is free. I don’t believe this price has gone up in my lifetime. Calder Dairy distributes this fountain of chocolate bliss located near the Michigan Coliseum. If you’re allergic to chocolate (like I used to be) you can yummy whole white milk, too.
- Miracle of Life Exhibit
How often do youget to see live calves being born? I guess for the Michigan State veteranarian students, it’s more common, but for me, this is the only chance I get to witness this sort of thing. Even if you don’t get to see live births (it’s not always exactly a pretty sight) you can see many animals that aren’t even a few hours old. I personally love the little baby chicks.
- The Coliseum
Honey samples, creamy ice cream, gargantuan produce and the butter cow await you in this warehouse sized exhibit. I’ve always liked the prizes for “biggest vegetable” and the scarecrow contest. I also always look for the queen bee amongst the workers in a live, visible hive. The butter cow is amazing but you’re better off seeing it early before it gets all moldy. I think one year they had a Nascar vehicle and even Darth Vader!
You can also see horse riding shows here, which used to be boring but after a long day of walking around, nothing is better than sitting and watching them do all the work.
- Elephant ears and fries
I really only eat these debaucheries once a year. Well – okay, I eat fries more often than that, but these are chunky potato, fried-with-the-skin goodness. I would eat a deep fried twinkie but I don’t think I’ve seen them at the Michigan State Fair (besides, you can get one at the Detroit Brewing Company)
Got a girl you need to impress? Show her how you can toss dimes into goldfish glasses or win her that huge-oversized stuffed animal (just be prepared to carry it around all day). In the past there’s always been some wise-ass on the water-tank dunker seat that is always a joy to watch as he trash talks every contestant into a bitter rage.
- Wildlife Preserve and Art exhibits
I love going to see the art exhibits of crafts, cakes, drawing and photography. I keep meaning to actually enter one of these years. Nearby is also a place to go fishin’, bow huntin’ or b-b gun shootin’. I’m not normally an advocate for hunting, but I’ll shoot a fake arrow at a fake deer – just like you won’t see me with a real gun but I loves me some paintball.
- The Michigan Mart
Admittedly, it’s like one big infomerical under a warehouse roof, but it’s the first thing you see when you walk in through the front gates and it’s always the last thing we see before leaving. You can watch folks demonstrate and try to sell miracle food processors and juice makers (and take bets amongst your friends who will plunk down $29.95 for one of them), SEE! the amazing super-absorbant towel that cleans and washes and comes back for more. Buy fudge from the U.P. and end your day with a basketfull of high fructose corn syrup candies from Lemonheads to licorice. Don’t forget to get a foot or back massage from the available demo chairs, or buy belt buckles and poofy pilllows!