Milking a cow, carnival rides, the biggest pumpkin and funnel cake; these are the things my children – 4 and 7 – live for at the North Carolina State Fair.
We love going every year, and every year, I get more disillusioned. Where is the state in the fair? There aren’t local food trucks; there aren’t local games. I didn’t see Pho Nomenal Dumpling or a Dunk-the-(someone) booth. There’s a plethora of generic fried food trailers, and carnies inviting fair-goers to spend $5 for a chance to win a one-off inflatable Spider-Man.
The carnival rides are expensive – 3-7 tickets, which is $3-$7 – for a ride on a slide or a Ferris wheel.
Even the biggest pumpkin wasn’t local – it was from New York.
Instead of an homage to the people, the food, and the entertainers of North Carolina, the State Fair seems more like a crowded, cheap carnival pedaling poor food and plastic toys, while holding onto a few North Carolina (yesteryear, gardens, livestock) highlights.
Can’t it be better, more local, more authentic, more quality, than this?