Thursday, October 21, 2010

The State Fair

Each year, a group of us make an extended family pilgrimage to the cradle of increasingly more amazing bad food: the State Fair. We go to eat the latest weird offerings, check out the animals, wander by the giant gourds, and skim the odd crafts.

For me, tonight's feast began with this delightful creation. (Click on any of the pictures to see a much larger image.)

Yes, it's a pretzel dog on a stick. How could anyone resist it? The more traditional pretzel next to it is Sarah's, a salt-and-buttery-topping combination she quite enjoyed.

Next up was the inevitable, something you know I had to try once I became aware of its existence.

Come on: could you resist a Krispy Kreme cheese-and-bacon burger?

Three of us split this extremely sticky sandwich. We all expected it to taste bad but agreed we had to try it. To our surprise, we all liked it--not so much that we wanted another or would order it anywhere on a regular basis, but enough to agree it was tasty.

This next stop on our culinary train to diet hell required six people to finish.

As you can see, a double-bun, one-pound hot dog is a beautiful thing to behold. We were all again pleasantly surprised by its taste: it was a damn fine tube steak, and easily the biggest I've ever seen.

The last item we shared was a traditional one.

That's cherry vanilla from the North Carolina State University dairy. What you see there is what was left after I'd consumed a third of it. For four bucks, this one-gazillion-calorie bowl of creamy goodness is the bargain of the Fair.

The most amazing ride of the Fair award went to this bit of strangeness.

Yes, those are kids in giant gerbil balls in a small pool.

If they had offered grown-ups the chance to get into one, our party would have been there in a heartbeat. Think of the insane game of bumper ball you could have!

While wandering through the crafts, we spotted a familiar piece.

This blue-ribbon-winning beaded TARDIS is the creation of our friend, Merrie, who puts astonishing amounts of time and work into making this unusual art. The picture doesn't do it justice, but we were happy to see her winning this award.

As we were preparing to leave, Sarah spotted the swings she loved, so we detoured so she could ride them.

I couldn't capture her in any of the photos I took, but this one should serve at least to convey some sense of the ride.

I have to say that the look of sheer joy on Sarah's face as she rode round and round was a wonderful thing and a treat for a father to observe.

I wish all of us many, many moments of such pure happiness.


Anonymous said...

Ah, a nice way to settle back home..I'm sure a good time was had by all.....Good luck.....Chris....

Anonymous said...

Dude, you need to write quick. I worry about your arteries--and I'm afraid to even think about the Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger. Also--my daughter loves the swings, too. I would build one in my backyard if I could.--Toni

Mark said...

Thanks, Chris. It was indeed.

Mark said...

Fair points, Toni. I need to exercise a lot and hope for the best on the arteries. Fortunately, I rarely eat like that.

The swings are awesome to watch but too high for me.

Dan Campbell said...

Thanks for the preview and tour! We're going tomorrow - and two of us (my eldest and I) will not be eating the food (she's gluten-free and I'm low sodium). So it is rather enjoyable to partake of it vicariously here. :-)

And I cannot wait to see what my youngest (4) makes of the amphibious gerbil balls...

Mark said...

Sorry you can't eat the food, Dan. I do hope your youngest likes the giant gerbil balls. They look like so much fun!


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