My wife hates my pessimistic attitude when it comes to outings involving large crowds. Yesterday 22 local school districts had the day off and all students plus teachers had a free ticket for the state fair. I ventured off with my family about 10 am. All told we spent at least 3 1/2 hours riding in our car, much of it in traffic. We also spent about an hour walking to and from the parking lot to the fair. Almost 1/2 of our "fairtime" was spent in our car or on the parking lot. We spent about 5 actual hours galavanting around the fairgrounds.
Pros of the state fair:
1. FREE, they even let my wife in on a student ticket
2. FOOD, lots of it EVERWHERE
3. KIDS, the kids got to explore. They seemed more interested in leaves and sticks than anything else.
4. BIRD SHOW-excellent upclose show about hawks, owls and other birds
5. AUTOSHOW-we spent about 20 minutes checking out mainly the new Jeeps-The concept truck for Jeep is called Gladiator. AWESOME!
6. A/C-many indoor exhibits had air condition
7. The Lion King-we saved about $20 buying our Lion King tickets at the actual box office. Service charges were $6.75 online.
Cons of the state fair:
1. FREE DAY-too many people
2. TRAFFIC-exits were closed and no clear communication on where to go. We were also funneled around to ONE entrance.
3. PARKING-$10 to park WAY AWAY. Picture the Griswolds at Wally World. They did have a shuttle servie. SEE #4.
4. SHUTTLE SERVICE-there was no clear system on who got to go first. People who were waiting often got shafted and had to wait while those who just walked up got a ride. AND, at 5pm there was about a 30-45 minute wait to get a ride back to the car. We WALKED IT.
5. HEAT-October 8th and it was over 90 degrees with HIGH humidity.
6. TICKETS-cash is rarely used. Ticket vouchers were needed and some of the ticket booths had lines that people would stand in for over an hour. PLUS, we didn't use $7 worth since I couldn't find the funnel cake stand.
7. RIDES-$5 for one ride. This makes Six Flags look like a deal.
8. MAP-the map didn't really clearly define what was what so we often guessed on where we were going.
9. LINES-just about EVERYTHING had long lines. Except the Cotton Candy line.
10. INEXPERIENCE-I now know to get a Fletchers corn dog instead of a generic one
I do understand that the fair normally isn't THAT crazy. Maybe I'll find out next Tuesday when we go to see The Lion King musical inside the fair. Our ticket lets us in to the state fair at no charge. I just worry about where to park. Next year maybe I'll take a "sick" day and go on a day when few people are there.