State Fair Firsttimer

staff writer Mikhail Stephenson

The State Fair is one of the most enjoyable events of the year for many people, 113,291 to be exact.  I was not one those people, sadly. My family and I went at the worst possible time to go to the State Fair, the opening week on a Saturday. The results were being compacted in a bus with people who were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with me. The worst of the bus trip was being forced to stand due to no other seats being available for twenty minutes to get to the fair which was only four miles away.

Those four miles were filled with traffic, people trying to cross the street to get to the fair, and indecisive driving by the bus driver. It felt like I was in the bus for an hour. When we got off the bus and past the fair’s checking station, there were dozens of people who we had to get past to find a ticket booth for the rides. By the time we found a ticket booth, the lines for the tickets and the rides were swamped by people of all ages who were intently focused on getting to the end of the lines which they stood in. My brother and his girlfriend decided it was worth time waiting to enjoy the rides since they had never been to the State Fair and they had purchased wristbands which were seventy dollars together.  

With those two gone, it was just my mother and I. We were left to figure out how to keep afloat amongst the sea of bodies and satisfy our hunger and thirst. My mother suggested that we go to the music center of the fair where there was food and drinks. We pushed our way through the crowd of people and reached the music center. I quickly and found a seat among the audience who were expecting a band called Parmalee to play. As I quickly settled in to the new, peaceful climate, my mother got some food for us to eat as we waited for the other two to finish riding rides. The food was terrible and the lemonade was pathetic. The lemonade aspect of the drink faded after two sips and it just became water. Only the fries were good because, as we all know, fries are always good. Suffice it to say, it was pathetic.

Other people’s experiences weren’t nearly as bad as mine. Bryce Spain, 15, sophomore, had the time of his life, or so he told me. I asked him what made his experience memorable and he said,” The stars, man. The stars, the food, and the rides were fantastic man. The only downside was that my sis-…let me stop myself. All in all, it was great.” I told him about my experience and asked him how I could better my experience of it when I go next year. He smiled and said, “Don’t go to the State Fair with any expectations. Just go and have fun. Ignore how many people there are and try to plan ahead to go on a day which wouldn’t seem to have so many people.”

After I spoke with Bryce and gained his advice, I felt myself wanting to give the State Fair another chance. I researched the history of the State Fair and it goes back to 1853. It had memorable events such as 26th Theodore Roosevelt speak to the fairgoers in 1905 and much more. That’s a history I want to be a part of. I know I’ll probably still deal with people too busy focusing on their conversation to look ahead of themselves, but I now know what to do. I’ll trip them to teach them a lesson to watch where they’re going. The next time the State Fair comes around, I’ll be ready.

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