State Fair Zen









My friends always seem shocked when I tell them I can count on two fingers the amount of times I’ve been to the Great State Fair of Oklahoma. When I was a kid I would hear rumors about “The Fair” – especially the seedy goings-on on “The Midway”. “The Midway” was where the lights would shine bright, teenagers with homemade tattoos would have their hands casually slipped in each others’ back pockets and don’t you dare look a carnie in the eye.

So, this year when my friend Ashley invited me to go to the fair with her I was up for the adventure. Ashley was the perfect person to go to the fair with. With grace, she moved from the $3 corn dog to jalapeno cheddar poppers to an Indian taco drowned in hot sauce and topped it all off with a 32 oz. jug of root beer. And not once did she threaten to puke. She guided me from the agtropolis building (where we admired goats and butterflies) to the agriculture building (where we said hello to huge horses and baby pigs) to the car building (where I watched men gaze at cars with transparent lust thinly veiled in a I’m-too-cool-for-this-car-anyway demeanor) and finally to The Midway.

Somehow, in the middle of the commotion everything fell silent – just like a scene in a movie. It was just me, flashing lights and the smell of fried food. In the middle of thousands of people I unexpectedly stumbled upon a moment zen. I even made eye contact with a carnie and didn’t lose my soul.

  1. Naurnie

    I LOVE the fair. In fact, the NC State fair is coming up in October and I CANNOT WAIT. Last year I won 5 fish and WILLIAM (SILLY HUSBAND) made me give three away to a small child.

  2. The Texas State Fair starts this week and Chase and I are going on our second annual fried food tour!

    Plus the people watching is the best!

  3. There’s something magical about fairs. Always a little bit of magic in the air… maybe it is all the rumors about the bohemian life of carnies. Here in Florida, we have a few big fairs but the smaller ones are so nice.

    I’m glad you had a great time. The photos are full of life.

  4. Kristen

    That sounds amazing. And I would like to know what “Frosted Flakes Chicken-on-a-Stick” entails.

  5. Ashley

    Yea! Such a good night.

  6. Monica

    You definitely missed out as a teenager. Not only would we make eye contact with the carnies, we would stoop to a little flirting which was always rewarded with all the free rides we wanted. Skeezy for sure, but when I was young, totally worth the free rides. Now, please don’t even make me make eye contact, I can pay for myself thank you very much.

  7. Great snaps. I find the lights and colours at fair grounds really inspiring.

  8. This is a lovely write up! I love the idea zen happens in the middle of the fair chaos.

    True story: In my girlhood (heh) I once submitted some hollowed out eggshells painted to look like farm animals to the Oklahoma State Fair. If I recollect correctly they won second place in whatever category egg art falls in.

    Did you watch the cinnamon roll people put the 16 sticks of butter in?? Oh man, I could go for one of those…

  9. I went to a…fair? when I was in Spain this past may, it was quite a fiesta, but still so similar to every fair i’ve been to in the US. kinda cool to see the similarities and differences.

  10. nicole

    We LOVE the Arkansas State Fair. Jim gets suckered into shooting basketballs, throwing darts, tossing rings… while I stand there and stuff my face with funnel cake. I have a *slight* aversion to rides that spin (like the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Zipper), so I stick to the Ferris wheel and the pirate ship. Good times! I hope we make it to the fair this year; it’s coming up in October. xo.

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