Sunday, October 19

Two Fairs

No Big Tex Fire this Year
This year, I was fortunate enough to go to two different state fairs. First, we went to the “Washington State Fair.” In past years, this fair was officially known as the “Western Washington State Fair,” but most often people called it the Puyallup Fair. I’m not sure why they felt it necessary to change the name, but they did. More recently I went to the much larger “State Fair of Texas.” Both fairs are big shindigs, but they differ in many ways as well. Notable for the Texas fair is the presence of “Big Tex.” Despite the clothing logos on his outfit, Big Tex is somewhat a relic of a less commercial and elaborate past of the fair. I think that is part of his appeal. The fair itself seems to largely revolve around the large number of fried food vendors, commercial outlets, and major sponsors. As it turns out, Chevrolet is the official car of this year’s fair and Bud Light is the official beer. This is combined with elaborate show halls that date back to the depression era. Art deco is all around you.


Beer Sponsor at a Family Park in Dallas?
Typical Vendors in a Big Hall

Statue Watches from the Dallas Animal Hall
Still, there ARE other things that harken back to an earlier era. There were cultural dances, such as the Irish dancing my daughter participated in. In addition, if you looked long and hard enough, there were arts and crafts and animal exhibits. I never got the feeling that these were a major fair focus anymore, but they’re there.

Irish Dancers Outside the "Hall of State" at State Fair of Texas
 
Proof there are Arts and Crafts at the Texas State Fair

Texas Farm Humor at State Fair of Texas
The Washington fair, while it’s also gotten FAR more commercial over the years, has a lot more exhibits and displays that are clearly homegrown. I don’t think you’d find a hand-painted poster at the Texas fair warning about danger to your dog’s feet from hot asphalt. Nor would you find the Puyallup Mineral Club talking to passersby about their hobby.
 
Of Course, 87F Would be a Good Mid Morning Temperature around DFW, but THIS Sign was in Puyallup

These Guys Loved Answering Questions and Even Smiled for the Camera
While I think I prefer the smaller Washington Fair over its slicker and far larger Texas cousin. It may well be that we’ll get to go to the Gray’s Harbor County Fair and get to see the organic produce display that was grown by the “Hoquiam High School Grizzlies.”

Cow Milking at the Puyallup Fair (NOT a Competitive Sport!)

Lighthouse Collection on Display in Puyallup. I Saw NO Lighthouses in Dallas

5 comments:

Chandra said...

Steve,
The info on the air temp and asphalt temp is a very useful one.
I will show it to Shaggy & Chaka.

Peace :)

Durango said...

Does The Puyallup still accept American currency? Or has it become like the Texas State Fair where one must convert American currency into coupons worth 50 cents each? My reaction to the two fairs was the same as yours. Washington's is far more varied, way more to see, agricultural displays, art, floral, and the scones. But smaller. Better food too. And fun entertainment. My favorite, ironically, was always a group from Dallas called The Shoppe.

Steve A said...

Durango, the Puyallup PROUDLY accepts American currency, and Fisher scones are still a favorite for a buck. OTOH, most food favorites at the Dallas fair are fried. A corny dog is $5 (10 coupons). I didn't check on how much the deep fried butter or deep fried bacon cost.

cafiend said...

But I heard the deep fried butter and deep fried bacon are to die for.

Steve A said...

Cafiend - literally!

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