If you’re lucky enough to host your state fair in your city, then you know what I’m talking about. I absolutely love everything about the California state fair and I go every year…I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed a year in my 31 years of existence. As a baby, maybe, but I pretend that I didn’t.
I even worked at the fair for about 3 summers. The excruciating hot weather is unbearable, but the camaraderie with the fellow high school/college students and availability of fried food every day is the perfect whirlwind of a summer job!
I seriously love everything about the fair. I love those photo booths where you take old school pics that come four in a row. I love walking around all the stalls with stinky animals, the sheep “baaa-ing” at you, the stinky cows, the smelly goats, everything over there in the ag(riculture) center. I love walking through the midway, although I don’t dare ride the rides, with the exception of the Ferris Wheel! That my absolute favorite ride ever, not including Disneyland rides, of course. I love gawking at all of the food vendors and sitting down every few steps to devour my next food conquest. I love going to the tractor area and hearing them make ridiculous noises. I love walking into the air-conditioned buildings and cooling off while trying to be sold some useless and over priced junk or learning about all the different cities/counties in California via their booths.
After our pictures printed and dried, we sauntered toward the alley of food. Then we finally decided to skip the food and head directly to wine country, home of the wine slushies! These seriously are the best thing at the state fair and I think that everyone should know about them! They are refreshing in the 100-degree weather and they taste just like juice. They offer three flavors – we had two round of slushies, making sure we at least got one of each flavor to share!
After we had a good wine slushy buzz going, we thought it would be best to actually walk around the fair and not just sit and get intoxicated. We were starving by this point and we were instantly intrigued by Mac-n-Cheese Stuffed Cheese Burger. A whole whopping $12 for this little guy. The patty was thick but small. It had good flavor, but the size and wait time would definitely take away from the taste.
At this point, I was having some serious stomach issues. I was sad because I thought we might have to head home. Turns out all the sweetness of the wine slushies wasn’t sitting well and just needed to pass (no, not in the pass in the bano). One of the main reasons we came to the fair was to try the over-hyped Bacon Wrapped Churro. We couldn’t have been more disappointed. After reading mixed reviews, we were originally excited to try it, but once it was in our hands, we were instantly deflated. The actual churro was hard as a rock and not to mention, smaller than imagined. The bacon was okay, it was just minute! I don’t care for whip cream in general, so I could have gone without that. But when did churro’s start being served with a side of syrup? That was really weird too. I guess our expectations were a little too high, The Bacon Habit was a fail!
|Caught in the act!
Since we wanted to cool off and forget we even ate that gross churro, we went through the Halls A-D. This is the best way to cool off since they are air-conditioned. It is literally like walking around “infomercials that come to life”. People trying to coerce you to their booths to spend hundreds on junk. Sadly, my family always falls victim to these sneaky salespeople. I can’t and don’t want to even divulge the stuff they’ve bought and money they’ve spent. I won’t lie, I totally want a Vita-Mix in my life ASAP! Another attraction of these, are the city and county booths. What is this you ask? Any city or county that wants to pay participate can design and display a booth representing their respective area. There is a competition and every year they get a little more elaborate. There are some food vendors that are in here too, more notably is the cinnamon roll people. They make it smell delicious in there! They also have random booths too. This year with the drought being so important, they had a whole section on how to conserve water in your home. They also had a little kiosk to share your picture if you wanted, so DUH, we had to take one:
Again, we decided we needed another adult beverage (again). Good thing wine country was conveniently located right outside of the exhibit halls. Save-Mart not only sells the wine slushies, they also do wine tasting and buying by the glass/bottle. They have BOGO offers and specials, all the tips go to the local children’s hospital and all the staff is volunteers! They let you have 3 tastings for free, then ask you to buy a glass or a bottle. As usual, I’m a sucker for a themed wine glass, so of course, I had to buy ones from the state fair! This is why my kitchen will never have a complete set of wine glasses, because I like to buy the random ones! Here’s what we eventually ended up with:
After the hugest pour ever, we decided we needed more food! Although I can get Hot Dog on a Stick at the mall, it is just a little more delicious, if not more so at the fair. I don’t eat hot dogs, but their cheese on a stick is the business. I love, love, love the cheddar cheese on a stick, even if my stomach doesn’t always agree! They used to sell blueberry lemonade, but they haven’t had it the last couple of years 🙁 When we got close to the window, I saw something NEW. Sounds kinda gross, but the Bestest makes a dip with similar ingredients so I had to try it. Cream cheese on a stick with sweet chili sauce on the side. Before you judge…it was amazing!
While sitting and enjoying this gooey goodness, I happened to look up. I would never try seafood at the fair, that is just asking for stomach issues. I was in awe, ceviche at the fair…gross!
All that salty goodness made us want something sweet. We’d already scoped out the Fried Nutella, so we made our way back to try it! There were tons of options from fried Oreo’s to fried Cheesecake, but we didn’t want those. We wanted to try the Nutella. Sadly, they had tons of stuff pre-made and they were sitting under heat lamps. I really wanted a fresh one, but I didn’t have a choice. It was tasty, but because they weren’t fresh the fried batter was soggy! If it was a little crispier this would have been what Heaven must be like! The add tons of powdered sugar on top and add a stick, so eating this was a funny, mess. We snapped pics of each other trying to eat this without getting messy…unsuccessful!
Although we weren’t full, we decided we’d had enough fair food…and not to mention a huge dent to our bank accounts. This food fare is so pricey. One of my only other requests was to ride the Ferris Wheel. This has to be my second favorite activity at the fair, after the food. I love looking over the entire scene from the top of the ride. They usually have one that is ginormous, but they haven’t had it the last few years 🙁 So I settled on the regular sized one. Geez, this even cost an arm and a leg. It was essentially $5/person to ride this.
After our three revolutions on the Ferris Wheel we continued to walk through the Midway, just people watching. As I was walking I spotted this backpack. I wasn’t sure to be happy or scared…
The only thing we had left to do was check out the Exhibit Halls. These are four buildings that surround a stage, where the famous hypnotist was performing. Each hall has a theme and some vary by year and some are always consistent. There is one with small animals, another with student competitions, and the other two seem to change ththe eme every year. This year, one was all about candy! Candy everything. My work was even present there in the decoration! We were able to snap this cheesy pic, but this was after a kid photo bombed us:
Sadly, they only do fireworks on Friday and Saturday. They used to do them every night of the fair, but haven’t in a few years. It seems like each year they are skimping on something else on the list of goodness that the fair offers!
We were still hungry because we shared all the food we bought. So we were leaving the parking lot, we decided to go and indulge in Carne Asada Fries. We didn’t go to the OG place we prefer and the taste reflected our choice. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t our favorite either…
Although I can’t get enough of everything the fair offers, I’m glad the fair is only once of year. Being this indulgent is not good for anyone one, more than once a year! It was fun to experience the fair with the Boy for the first time! I was able to do everything that I love at the fair! If you ever have the chance to go, put your morals and scale away, and get your ass there – you will NOT regret any decision made under the influence of fried food 🙂
The post fair hangover is REAL!