You can say whatever you want about the deep-fried, spandex-clad, and mobile scooter-filled haven that is our fair, but it’s one of my favorite things about San Diego. Every summer I go crazy and spend too much of my hard-earned money on temporary pleasures such as giant funnel cakes and $2.00 rings that turn my fingers green. Over the years, I believe I have become an expert on how to have a great time there. I have broken up my activities into categories…
The rides might just be my favorite aspect of the fair. I love love love love the rides! Are they reliable? No. Do I trust my life in the hands of the people operating these rides? Absolutely not. Do these attractions fold back up onto the trucks they came from? Yes, they do.
Many sane people ask me why on earth I would ever risk my life by going on these death traps. My response? It’s because they’re euphoric. You feel like you’re flying through the sky, while being upside down and screaming at the top of your lungs. I don’t care what type of alcohol or drug you try- nothing gives you the same adrenaline rush as amusement park rides.
My one piece of advice is to not chew gum while riding. I accidentally screamed on one of those upside-down circular rides last year and my gum flew out of my mouth and hit a poor innocent girl in the face. Luckily she didn’t know it was mine, but I felt terrible. I laughed a lot about it, but I still felt terrible.
Hands down- the food is amazing. To attend the fair in a correct fashion, leave all of your diets behind. The only “healthy” thing you can even find there is the giant roasted corn and I’m honestly not sure if it’s really corn. My favorites are the cinnamon rolls (with ALL of the toppings) and the Australian potatoes (again, with ALL of the toppings). If you need more protein, may I suggest the prehistoric giant barbequed turkey legs. Now in recent years, it has become a tradition to stop by Chicken Charlie’s. Chicken Charlie’s is an artery-clogging establishment that deep fries EVERYTHING. I even had deep-fried Kool-Aid. Yes, people have asked me how is it possible to deep-fry Kool-Aid and honestly… I still don’t even know.
THE HOME SHOWS
These are perfect for when you need to digest your food. The home shows combine every cheap device, “As Seen on TV” product and unnecessary piece of home furniture under one roof. This is where I learned the meaning of the age 25. Most of the vendors of big-ticket items like to filter out people by seeing if they’re 25 years or older. When it comes to time shares- you say you are under 25 years old! I don’t care if you look like Larry King, say you’re under 25 and run! The time share booth will not leave you alone any other way. On the other hand, when you get to the massage chairs you say you’re over 25 or they won’t let you try them out. I’m only 22 at the moment, but I’ve learned the tricks of the home show market.
Also, be strong when you go in there! One time this man, who looked eerily similar to the Sham-Wow guy, kept telling me through his 90s popstar microphone that I NEEDED new kitchen knives. I almost believed him until I realized that I don’t even have my own kitchen to put the knives in.
Who doesn’t love animals? Ever since I was a little kid I have loved pigs. They’re cute, smart, pale and like to eat a lot. Long story short, I feel like I might have been a pig in a past life. There are other cute animals such as bunnies, cows, goats, sheep, chickens and ponies- but I go for the pigs. AND there are piglet races- yes, you heard me correctly- PIGLET RACES!
The only thing that makes me angry about the animal exhibits are the awkward brochures that teach you about what makes a good cut of meat. That’s when you realize you’re not at a cute little zoo, but that it’s basically the equivalence of looking at the lobster tank at Red Lobster- and it makes me very sad. I just like to believe that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are going to adopt all the pigs and cows and they’ll all live happily ever after in the Hollywood Hills.
THE CONCERTS & SHOWS
Honestly I don’t think they’re worth it. When it comes to the local band and beer garden section, I say skip it unless you have the time and energy at the end of the day. I live in San Diego, which means I can drink craft beer and listen to local music almost any weekend I want. When it comes to the bigger concerts, they’re super overpriced. Unless it’s an artist you really like, it’s probably not worth it. Even then, you can get a completely free back-end view of the stage if you walk over to the kid section of the fair and stand in the area with the hay bundles. My boyfriend and I saw an hour-long Kendrick Lamar concert 3 years ago and we didn’t spend a single penny. Of course we only saw his back during “Swimming Pools” and “Money Trees”, but it was worth it.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What is your favorite thing about your hometown’s fair?