Thursday, August 28, 2014

NY State Fair 2014

It's that time summer sets on upstate NY and we all prepared for another school year we are blessed with the great NY State Fair.

Since the NY state fair has been a big part of my existence for most of my life, each stage of my development has been identified and symbolized by my take on attendance.

As a young child with my parents it was about the animals, some of the not so threatening rides and of course, those amazing fair food treats that I was never allowed to eat at home.
Middle school aged screamed thrill rides, Freebee's, a few hours free of parental guardianship and wearing your new school sneakers even though mom said NO despite always getting filthy.
By high school, we brought ourselves to the fair. We went primarily for the concerts. I saw some of my favorite acts at the NY State fair in those years. Loverboy, Aerosmith, Bryan Adams,...there were so many more too.
My college years and BC (before children) I went for the wine tents, and the parties that would flower out into the free concert area. The freebee's were just starting to be music I actually enjoyed. I remember one of my favorite being KC and the Sunshine Band.  
By the time I returned to upstate NY and my older two children were little one's themselves, once again the fair took on a new meaning. Things like the 4-h building and the fire safety exhibit (it has been there since the 60's I swear) were FUN. I remember my little guy Nick driving a tiny car and getting a not so official document of good driving, and my tiny daughter's thrill of speaking with the automatic Police DARE dog or seeing one of her favorite cartoon characters.
My thirties at the fair, were spent clogged in the buildings seeking out the best new products, or the FREE pens. I just had to get myself a potato at the potato booth, view the butter sculpture, admire the sand art and those Fair like traditions became the most important part of my visit.
Now, as I return from the fair after one more year, I am reflective of all the fun times I have had over the many years. My awareness of what has changed and what has stayed the same appreciated.
We went yesterday. Me, Mark and the boys.
I worked the first four hours at the Vera House booth, with the outrageous idea that somehow we would all be thrilled to stay past 8pm and watch Joan Jett at the free stage. I did not make it.. WOW am I old.
I might not have made it to Joan Jett and I didn't wear my new school sneakers, but I did make sure we hit up all of the Fair favorites and here the day's trip unfolds.
My start of the day...
Pat, my Vera House partner for the morning shift is actually one of my friends from my neighborhood growing up, mother. Rob, Sean and Dawn Pat's children all grew up down the street from me and we all played as kids. Funny how small the world is sometimes isn't it.
I also got to visit with Dale. She was at a booth close to ours with ACR. I worked with her years ago at Crouse Hospital. She convinced her sister to join her this year. Such a warm wonderfully sweet lady.

 I worked the Vera House booth last year and Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare booth the years before. It's always fun and hey...I got free admission. FREE is always good. I am not sure what I will do next year.
I digress...
My family spent the time on the rides and at the mid-way while I worked and once my shift was over at 1pm we headed out for FUN.
 First we took a look at the WILD animals..

 Then we entered into the Arts and Crafts building where we saw these amazing miniatures. These were a pretty great find as we were searching for the restrooms and $1.00 Pepsi's promised on the third floor.

The Pepsi find....I bet this baby was here when I started coming to the NY State fair. Totally cool!

Onward to lunch...but first a quick stop at the NY State parks booth, where I pick up some information on camping and glance at the NY State park at the fair...(we were walking right through it)

I regret that I didn't have the opportunity to spend more time in many of the areas and I have decided that next year I may have to take a day and come ALONE!
Speaking of alone.....not one of my current party would join me in this bee cut out.....BUZZ....

Lunch was in the International building. We all had different idea about what to eat. I had an amazing chicken wrap, Mark had some Greek food, Ben had pizza and all Gavin wanted was some fried dough.....Pizze Frittes! One of the many MUST's at the fair.

We were Stuffed by the time we finished and on our way back to the Mid-way. I had purchased all day ride tickets for the boys and we were off to more rides...
We stop along the way to take our turn at the Bingo style "I got it" game.

No winners in my crew unfortunately.
This year the fair is working with a new company for it's rides. I was quite impressed. After so many years of the same things it was nice to see a little change. I think the all day ride passes were great too. Some of these rides were top notch. Definitely NOT what you think to see at a Fair.
  I wish I took more pictures of these GREAT rides.

Ben took a turn at this GIGANTIC slide.

 Then they were both on to a few fun houses...


 ( Since Mark was not wearing his Motely Crue T-shirt, we got him standing next to the Crue album cover)

before one of the MAIN events BULL-RIDING.
I believe this is new to the fair, and FYI- the same ride if $5- at this end of the fair grounds and $7- closer to the main entrance. Save yourself the $2-...
Regardless I would have paid the $7- just to see the boys faces on these was awesome.
They made me promise no video, but it didn't stop me from taking a ton of HOLD ON!

and now Gavin....

What FUN. I rode one many years ago at a bar in Buffalo NY. I was slightly intoxicated. I don't think I could handle such a ride today. It is definitely one of those things you have to try at least once in your life. So glad the boys got the chance.
A few more rides.

We decided to let the boys stay at the mid-way, while Mark and I made our way back up to the buildings. There are just a few Fair traditions I had to complete before we headed out earlier then I had planned, so Mark and I did the world wind tour.....
I had to see some of the animals like when I was a little kid..

No rides this time, and my new sneakers are NOT white, so no dirt is shown.Although I didn't get free of parental responsibilities...Mark and I broke free of the kids for some adult time at the fair.
I missed the concert, (we were all pretty beat) but I did grab a few pictures of the roadies setting up the stage..

I had to have my wine slushie like when I was a Young Adult and BC.

and it was soooooo good..
Although my daughter wasn't with me I did see the DARE police dog and I even saw a cartoon character.....a minion from Despicable Me.  I didn't dance though.

We got a glimpse of the butter sculpture...

 and I yearned for some cold milk from the Milk bar (but I was drinking a wine slushie and the two simply do not mix)

we made our way to the Sand art...and it was one of my all time FAVORITE authors Dr. Seuss.

We looked at the line for the potato and decided I would have to skip it this year, but I did catch this cool guy made of canned goods...
 An ice sculptured humming bird.
 Two of our local TV news personal.

an exhibit on ship wrecks in NY State ( I grabbed some information on Scuba diving too)

 and these adorable baby shirts...

and a baby wolf...


before we met back up with the boys.
Does it seem like a lot?....because it didn't end there.

 I even got to spend some time in the 4-H building, got some free pens and carry on with the fair tradition.
 It was an amazing day. I cannot wait for next years trip to the great NY State Fair!