North Carolina State Fair 2016

I had never been to a state fair before until this year. To many this has been a shocking revelation.  But rest assure, the situation has been rectified as of yesterday when we made our way to what I can describe as the craziest place I have ever been to in a while – The North Carolina State Fair 2016.We got there around 5:00pm after picking up the kids from school.  As soon as we entered the gates, I got the same feeling as when I had seen New York’s Time Square for the first time.  There was so much happening all around me, that I didn’t know where to look.  And if I felt so over stimulated, I could only imagine what was going through Asha and Arjun’s mind.  For the first few minutes neither wanted to get out of the stroller because they probably assumed we were on planet Mars or something.

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The air was thick with the smell of fried food as happy people milled about. Stuffed toys were all over the place, and the further we went, the bigger they got.  I saw quite a few people walking around with them which tells me they had some skills in winning games which in my opinion seem so rigged! For instance, we tried the ring toss and despite of our best efforts not a single landed on the bottle.  I asked the guy if it ever works, he said and I quote, “well, one guy won today”.  Go figure!

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Food wise it was absolutely impossible to decide what we wanted to eat. I was torn between trying the exotic (fried Oreos, red velvet funnel cake, friend mac and cheese, etc) and keeping my children from a sugar high.  In the end we didn’t go too crazy and stuck with ribbon fries, buttered corn, grilled chicken pita, and chocolate milk. I’ll be braver next time.

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The other thing absolutely crazy about the fair were the rides.  Everything was designed to throw people around at incredibly high speed.  It was a miracle that I didn’t see puddles of vomit all over.  The kids and I looked in disbelief as people got on and off these rides in one piece. We stuck with a safer bet and chose the carousel.  But the whole thing had me thinking back to my formative years when I was a season pass holder at Carowinds and rode all the death defying rides without any fear.  These days I am pretty sure I will never again get on a rollercoaster by choice.

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We also visited the expo center which had livestock and prize winning produce.  The kids loved the cows, the horses, the pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep.  Arjun pretty much couldn’t believe that such a place existed and was giddy with happiness.

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By the time we left, the sun had set and colorful lights illuminated the sky.  It felt like Vegas.  I turned around for a final look when we were walking back to the car, and in that moment understood exactly why people thought I was crazy for never having experienced this.  North Carolina State Fair goes on till October 23rd.  And I agree, Nothing could be finer!

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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