MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fried Foods, Huge Veggies, Rides and New Kids = Delaware State Fair

It has been a few years since I have been to a state fair. In fact, the last one that I remember attending was the Alaska State Fair about 4 or 5 years ago. And it left quite the impression – how could it not with cabbages larger than a pre-teen? (Not kidding – I saw one that weighed in at 136 lbs) I have to say that the Delaware State Fair wasn’t even on my radar until the New Kids on the Block announced a stop there… and while it did not make sense to me at the time, I had to take it. Fair equal summer fun and everyone knows I love a good New Kids show!

Off I headed to Harrington, Delaware and its State Fair Grounds… in fact, this place looked oddly similar to the Pumpkin Chuckin location when I went to go see giant gourds flung through the air via air cannons and catapults. * Cue the jokes on Delaware being so small* (Poor DE)

As with any state fair, there is much to see and do. There were quite a few barns to house the animals – it is a requirement for any state fair to have cows, horses, ponies and other assorted domesticated farm animal on hand. And if we did not see them in the barns resting, we saw they in the arena show (horses), or at the races (hello, pig races). Straight out of a FX television show, there were side-freak shows – see the smallest horse on Earth, see the 2 headed lamb, and see the reptile woman (does that qualify as a human or animal?) Had to skip the bearded ladies, the tiny ladies, the snake ladies (wait, why were all these ladies?)

When you think of state fairs, you think of food… right? I think state fairs are synonymous with some of the worst sounding artery-clogging concoctions every dreamt up. I could never wrap my head about the fried stick of butter! I still refuse to try fried Twinkies. I have relented on fried pickles, only because I lived in the South for a very short while and I think I wasn’t allowed out without saying I liked them! Here, I stared at a sign for fried lemonade and ran… why, oh why, in the extreme heat of the day are you going to fry lemonade AND how does that work? In reality the only fried fair food I want is a funnel cake (or some Zeppolis). That funnel cake was fantastic, perfect to share and just enough. The entire day, we tried to make the best fair food choices we could. Barbeque, roasted corn, a roasted turkey leg, sausage sandwich , a fruit smoothie, plain iced teas… lots of tea. Did I say it was HOT? It was a scorcher. And soda was not going to quench our thirsts. Its not easy to avoid the corn dogs, fried gator, the fried Reeces, fried everything really…

You can’t eat all that and go on rides. And I wanted to ride some thrill rides. I was always the thrill seeker as a child; the crazier the ride the better it was. As I have grown up, I may not frequent Six Flags, the Boardwalk, fairs or other parks as often as I used to, but damn if I don’t go straight for them when there are in front of me! So after a sweet ride on the big ferris wheel, it was up the “Freefall” like attraction that dropped you ten stories. My evil laugh came out in full force as we fell; I think my date’s stomach is still up there somewhere! There was a boardwalk style rollercoaster that jerked you around in lady bug carts… a horrible horror house… some swings … and this contraption called the Scorpion that left even me dizzy (after this, my date was out)… spinning in three directions, I could not even “spot” to keep my head on straight. This ride is not for the weak! No more partner in crime after I climbed my way through a Grease style fun house singing “You’re the One That I Want” (you have to sing that as you work the moving stairs), nor when I rode yet another spinner! I can't get enough.

After all that twisting and turning, we headed towards the veggie houses to get out of the sun and into some AC. While there were no huge cabbages, we did see large watermelons, big eggplants and garlics that I would love to have in my kitchen. There were tables that looked like vitamin rainbows. Plates arranged in rows filled with green beans (yum), peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes stretched in rows at least 30 feet long. I was drawn to the beets that remind me of my nana, her garden and her wish for us to like them (I do now Nana, I swear). There was a cannery section where judges taste-tested so many jams, marmalades and gooey goops I am sure they didn’t need to eat for days. The flower sections were just as colorful full of beauty in sight and glorious scents. My eyes, nose, heart, mind (and skin) enjoyed the show and the much needed break from the sun.

The main event of the fair was the concert, held at the race track. I never tire of seeing these guys. And the show that night was no exception. It was the first time I ever had a date to a New Kids show. There is a first time for everything and this was honestly a blast. It was a concert, it was a party, it rained confetti. We danced, we laughed, we sang. How could this not be fun? And I got to watch a newbie marvel at the show, the sound, the energy … and to have someone that had rolled their eyes at your “favorite group” admit that they are amazing live and they had a great time– HA! I win! I never understand why this is a surprise to people. They are still putting out music and honestly, as adults, would I be subjecting myself to something bad and wasting my money? Please – New Kids rule! I made them a new fan – I deserve a hug, a #twug and maybe a dance… man, am I getting greedy!

All in all it was a fabulous day at the fair. Cows, Rides, Funnel Cakes and New Kids, oh my!

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