A Memo To Me Re: The State Fair

Hey, Jill. I have a little memo for you to read in about a year. Around the time when summer is kicking your ass and you could cry just thinking of a day that doesn’t break 95, when you start to envision fall in north Texas and all that comes with it- temps in the mid 80s (bust out the scarves, get excited!!1),  and the return of Cowboys football (meh), please refer back to this.

You’re going to dream of loading up the car, packing the double stroller and a tub of sunscreen, and emptying your bank account to soon head to the Texas State Fair. Because TRADITION and FRIED BUBBLEGUM WRAPPED IN TURKEY ON A STICK.

And it will sound like a lovely way to waste a lot of money. I mean A LOT of money. The children will get to see all the cute farm animals, the auto show is always a blast for the whole family, the photo opps will be ridiculously cute, and, well, let’s not forget the food! You can’t put a price on any of that. MEMORIES. FRIED CANDY BARS COATED IN MASHED POTATOES.

IMG_6191The kids are unimpressed with the cute farm animals. They see them every time they visit their NaNa. They even get to feed them, and are basically aware at this point that they aren’t so much “cute” as they are a ton of work. Are there any puppies here? What about kittens? Is that baby chicken dead? Why yes, yes it is. Let’s have a circle-of-life talk over a Fletchers Corny Dog.

IMG_6286The photo opportunities only happen as you run crazy with a camera swung around your neck, sweating, trying to avoid bumping into the masses, and begging the kids to sit still for just 2 seconds and  “just LOOK at me!” Oh sure, you may get a few keepers in exchange for your sanity, but it’s possible probable your kids might actually hate you a little by the end of the day. It’s guaranteed your husband will.

IMG_6280It may be “only” 85 degrees, and I know that sounds really cold to you after a summer of 100+ temps, but you won’t fully understand that that’s still hot enough to make everyone miserable, sweaty, cranky, and for that camera to feel like it weighs 20 lbs. You won’t grasp the reality of what 85 degrees actually feels like until you’re there already, sucking down expensive water because the bottles of water you brought with you were sucked dry.

IMG_6201And the little one? He’s going to be a toddling terror next year, Jill. He is going to want to get out and, like, walk places. And then he’s going to fall, possibly in a random pile of horse shit. Remember this, Jill.


You may say, “But what about the cars! They love the auto show!” And I will tell you please pack everyone up in the car, drive straight past the fair entrance and on to the first auto dealership. Then to another, and even another if that’s not enough new car smell for you.

And the food? Remind yourself that the previous year your then 5 year old ate so much cotton candy he oozed sugar for days, and the moment you presented him with a funnel cake, he cried because WHERE IS THE FROSTING THIS IS NOT CAKE.

You tried to enjoy some award-winning fair food yourself. But, the cost, plus the long lines in the heat made the thought of buying your own FryDaddy and DIYing heart-attacks-on-a-stick sound rational. How hard can it be to coat a PopTart in Nerds and drop it in some bacon grease?

There will be time in the future for the state fair, Jill. Now is not the season in life for it. Wait until the children are old enough to pay for their way with their allowance…or just wait until you have grandchildren. For now, family trips to the state fair are the most expensive way to not enjoy the day together.

Those adorable Texas and “Y’ALL” shirts the kids wore were sent to me by Etsy shop MamacasePrints.

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  1. OMG so much yes. I should have listened to you when you told me it was an “ordeal” and realized that meant that it would suck, because it surely did. We planned to stay all day and literally were there less than 3 hours because 85* + crowds for the football game + fair crowds = NOPE.

  2. Thats what parents are for 😉 my folks have taken both my kids to the IL state fair along with a visit to Springfield and New Salem. But one at a time and after they were done with 1st grade…. then its a win-win they get the time wih the kid and I get the time with out the kid

  3. Avery Zollinger Benitez on

    I was so thankful for rain on DD’s fair day. She insisted her teacher told her it was her homework to go to the fair.

  4. I love this post. I’ve had FOMO before it was an expression, thinking I needed to take my kid to every festival on the community schedule. this past Sunday we went to a harvest festival. I sprung it on my husband on the way home from the kindergarten soccer game. he said my middle name is ‘festival’. during the festival I decided my middle name is ‘arts n crafts projects Sherpa.’

    bottom line, I need to BOOKMARK this post and read it every time a festival is coming up on the calendar. sometimes they are actually fun, but I don’t need to take my kid to ALL OF THEM.
    THANKS for this post ! brining the reality to all of it.

  5. This is EXACTLY how I feel about the Houston rodeo, and it happens in March, supposedly before it gets stupidly hot. I’ve lived here eight years, and been to the rodeo once. It was enough.

  6. Ahem. Reading this the night before we plan to go to the county fair. With our three children under 5. So re-thinking the whole deal now…

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