10 Reasons County Fairs are Better than Disneyland


in Frugality

Photo by jcandeli @ Flickr

Photo by jcandeli @ Flickr

There’s a lot of focus these days on staycations and frugal activities with the family. Your in luck it’s County Fair Time! Here’s a little encouragement to bolster the idea that there’s no place like home for some good old fashioned carnival entertainment.  I’ll show you the happiest place on earth. If you are in my neck of the woods you have plenty to choose from like the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe WA, the Puyallup Fair, in Puyallup WA, The King County Fair in Enumclaw WA and The Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden WA.  We don’t have one big state fair, this way you have multiple Corn Dog eating opportunities.  We prefer the Evergreen State Fair as it’s a little less croweded and as one of my Tweeps pointed out there’s a much higher Mullet to Ride ratio.

Alright I present to you the Top 10 reasons why you should save your money and hit the local fair, carnival or festival.

10.  Deep Fried Anything. Where else are you going to find deep fried dough, deep fried funnel cakes, deep fried donuts, deep fried snickers bars, deep fried Crisco sticks?  Top it all off with 2 lbs of curly fries.

9.  Spend a Dollar Win Some Crap! You certainly can’t walk the gauntlet of carnival games at Disneyworld.  Spend $3 to shoot out a tiny red star with a bb gun that’s been sighted in by a punch drunk rodeo clown for a fantastic inflatable ninja sword.

8.  Doodah Birds. What’s a doodah bird you say?  Get to the fair and find out, you can get a custom distorted coke bottle that you can fill with any color sand you want, cap it, glue some googly eyes, some feathers and a funny hat and you’ve got a doodah bird!  Eat that Mickey.

7.  Rides of Terror! That’s right Nancy head on over to Six Flags if you want to ride one of their “safe” and “certified” rides.  If you really want to prove your worth you’ll head on over to the tilt-A-Whirl that’s been travelling from town to town for 2 years without a lick of maintenance.

6.  Livestock. Oh you can be sure that Walt’s not going to let you witness the sights, sounds and smells of genuine cows, pigs, goats, pygmy horses, wallaby’s, and flying squirrels that are on display at the fair.  And who doesn’t love the shining faces of those teenage 4-H kids laying down on a bale of hay behind their llama pen.

5.  Lumberjack Shows. If the words Axe Throwing and Modified Chainsaw Races don’t get your juices going your time may be better spent visiting the worlds largest frying pan.   When you get home your kids will be begging you for their own log rolling spikes.

4.  Butt Rock. If there is ever a venue that will prove to you that 80’s Hair Bands still have a place in this world, walk the fairgrounds.  Guaranteed you’ll hear the likes of Poison, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Whitesnake and for the truly discriminating carnival operation Winger.

3. Obscure Animal Races. Are you going to see potbelly pigs running for all their worth down a figure eight track at the Great Wolf Lodge?  I don’t think so.  Man can those wiener dogs run or what?

2.  The Shamwow. This is one of your few opportunities to see the Shamwow and it’s cousins in their native environment, if your lucky you might even see Vince.  Maybe you need a knife that can cut a hammer and then slice a tomato like butter.  Or perhaps you didn’t even know that you could slice vegetables in the shape of an albatross at the fraction of the time you currently spend with your outmoded paring knife.

And the Top Reason that County Fairs are better than Disneyland:  Carnies. Who is that mystery man behind the control panel of the Gravitron.  Does he really know how to operate the ride?  Is he inebriated?  Would he know what to do if the ride malfunctions?  Would he care?  Has he showered this week?  The enigmatic carnie merely adds that final certain something to complete your carnival experience.

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