Friday night saw our annual trip to the Oregon State Fair (this year's slogan -- "It's Big!") and oh, what an exciting time was had by all. Here's a quick recap.
- One nice thing about the fair in the last few years -- the parking is now free. However, I think that they've just added that fee into the cost of entry, as it now costs $10 per adult to get in.
The sheer amount of people in the fair is amazing to me at that price, in addition to all the add-ons: A family of two adults/two kids would cost about $30 for entry, $30 for a meal, another $20 for elephant ears/ice cream/etc., $40 for the ability to ride 6 to 8 rides (total, not per person), and $20 to do a few midway games. That's $140 before you even buy any henna tattoos, personalized license plates, old tyme photos, or giant buttons.
- After eating, we made our way to one of the pavilions with all of the exhibits. Our favorites are typically the cakes, table settings, and knitwork (although Kevin and Heather spent quite a long time laughing at the poetry -- how mean!).
I'm just now realizing we missed the Lego exhibition, which is unfortunate. They did have Pee Wee's bike from Pee Wee's Big Adventure, though (sans lion's head bell).
- Next, we made our way to Cascade Hall and wandered through all of the sales booths. It didn't seem as full as last year and I never really felt like we were being accosted by the pitchmen as they tried to get us to sample their wares -- no one tried to force us to get our jewelry cleaned or our shoes shined. Oh, and then Denessa had to go pick up her fetus action figure. She has issues.
Most exciting, though, was our time at the ShamWow booth. It was the exact same pitchman as last year, using the exact same shtick (of course, why would he ever change it), beginning with the great line, "even a retired person could use it" with the joke being that "retired" in his New Yawk accent, sounded like "retarded." Hardy har har. Another issue -- these were most certainly NOT ShamWow's, but equivalent knockoffs, regardless of what the booth's signage showed or what the pitchman claimed. That bothered me for some reason.
Anyways, after our whole group gathered around to listen to him (with Heather being chastised for talking too much) the moment of truth came and he offered us two "rolls" of the chamois for $20. Now, ever since last year, Tricia had wanted to buy them, but of course, me being the cheap person I am, decided it wasn't worth it. However, Brandon, being the nice person he is, pulled out a twenty dollar bill and bought them, with us agreeing to split the cost amongst us. So, we each got a "roll" of them for $10...hooray!
- We then moved on to the Gossamer Magic Show, which Tieryn had been looking forward to all day. Seriously, she couldn't stop talking about it...she must really love magicians. Well, magician Peter and assistant Carol did not disappoint in making us laugh, although we may have been laughing at the cornball nature of the jokes (really, much of it was geared towards kids, so no surprise there) and doing our typical peanut gallery/MST3k responses more than anything. I'm sorry if we annoyed anyone while we were there :)
And regardless of how many times I've seen World's Greatest Magic Secrets Revealed and the Masked Magician, I couldn't quite tell how they were doing a few of the illusions, so good on them for at least getting me to think.
- Next up, the Dairy Women's ice cream booth. Only $2.50 for a soft serve cone and $3.50 for a milkshake. Pretty much the best deal at the fair and another place we are sure to hit every year.
- As we started rounding things up, we made sure to see the animals, though we really only looked at the goats and llamas, since they were all in the same section.
The most interesting thing we noticed was that they burn the horns off of the goats. It's a process called debudding and is apparently done in order to keep people/other goats from getting injured should the goat become aggressive (thanks, Google!). It was also at this time that one of the goats sneezed and I exclaimed a very Wall-E-esque "woah," eliciting laughter from Heather and Tricia. Glad I can entertain.
- Finally, we made our way to the rides section, Tricia and myself via the chair lift (we received a free one-way ticket).
Of course, we all went straight to our favorite ride, Sinbad. We refuse to pay money to actually ride one of the rides (it's about $4 per ride), so we stand directly under the Sinbad ride and watch as it looks like the "boat" is going to fall directly on top of us. This is probably not too far removed from what a group of stoners would do to entertain themselves, but we never claimed to be extremely sophisticated.
On a whim, we then wandered through the kiddie ride section. After chatting it up with one of the carnies, he thought it would be hilarious if Brandon and JP were to ride one of the rides, so he let them on for free. After cramming themselves into the little cars, the operator started the ride and let it go for quite some time. He thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened in his life (it was very, very funny) and we were quite sure that if Brandon didn't request for him to stop, he would have let the ride go on indefinitely.
- And thus, the clock struck 11 and the fair was over.