Friday, August 26, 2016

A Trip To The Fair

We went to the Western Idaho Fair on Monday.  Going to the fair is definitely not a thrifty endeavor, but I got paid for house sitting for a friend this summer and it was more money than I was expecting.  I planned to put it all in savings, but decided instead to use it to take the girls to the fair.  Mainly because they had never been and we had not done any type of family vacation or road trip this summer.

I took off work at noon as Monday was family day, so if you wanted to buy a wristband for $29 you got in and could ride all the rides.  It was the best deal but to pay $87 for the three of us just to get in the gate nearly killed me.  I was doubting the wisdom in this but the girls rode enough rides to more than pay for our wristbands and I even went on some too!  Boy did I feel that the next day.  They had a blast.

We started out with rides.  Then a lunch of Pronto Pups, cotton candy and kettle corn (ugh).

Next we hit all the exhibits and I mean all of them.  We started with the animals then moved on to art and photography, baked goods, canned goods, home grown fruits and vegetables, quilts, homemade clothing, crafts, miniatures, you name it.  We saw it.

My oldest holding a hen for one of the 4-H kids
getting ready to show his chickens

We took in the all the vendors, the end of a juggling act, a singing sisters duo, more rides, the Olate Dogs from America's got talent, dinner (I don't even want to think about how much we spent on food), more rides and finished up with the petting zoo.

We left at 11:00 p.m. exhausted but despite how much it cost I was happy.  Because my girls had the best time and seeing their faces on those rides and hearing them say how much fun they were having was worth every penny.  That day I was super mom and if felt really good.

It is unfortunate that they have literally priced going to the fair out of reach for most families.  I had expected a lot more people to be there.  Longer lines for rides and food, but I imagine it is just too expensive for a lot of people.

Not so long ago it wasn't so expensive and you could pack a picnic lunch and bring water bottles or soda, a small cooler even.  Not anymore.  They search your bags and backpacks quite thoroughly to make sure you don't bring anything in.  Not even a bottle of water.  It is kind of a shame.

Spending that much is way outside my comfort zone.  I spent almost as much on food and bottled water as I did getting us into the place.  Just two meals and a couple of snacks.  Pretty darned insane.

Next time we decide to go to the fair we'll most likely be heading off to the smaller county fairs and carnivals.  To be honest, I kind of prefer them.  It's a shame though.  I wish our own hometown fair was more affordable so we could go again, but it is just too expensive.

Have you gone to the fair lately?


  1. Proud you splurged and took the kids to the fair. It will be a wonderful memory for you. Things are so expensive, but sometimes we have to just "five in and pay it." ha
    Proud the girls enjoyed it.
    I have not been to the fair in years [no desire,ha].My kids are grown, but we did the fair and carnivals , when they were home.. They loved it , and always looked forward to it.

    1. Frivolous spending is really hard for me, but I am very glad I did it. :)

  2. My husband was entertainment director for the Nevada State Fair for many years. We had a bus that we pulled over and lived in right among the carnies (carnival workers). Dogs and all we just moved life to the fair. It was an amazing experience as we got to see and experience every thing and so many of our entertainer friends were there. The free passes were great but my poor husband worked from dawn to midnight. One year I got to set up a facepainting booth as I had learned to face paint. I made a killing. Mostly 1.00 bills as that's what I charged. Fair food for a week was good but I was glad to be back to normal. In fact at least one meal a day was at our bus and we always had about 20 people so I did cook. Oh, and a cooler full of iced drinks - waters, sodas, teas, juices always sat right out side the bus for friends and family. Good times. Well that's it for my trip down memory lane. Glad your girls had such a great time. It is fun to be super mom once in a while isn't it. lol

    1. Sounds like quite the experience you had. How fun! And yes it is very good to be super mom. It was all worth it.

  3. You are right about fairs being so expensive. I want to go to the Spokane County Fair but don't think we will make it this year. The Latah county fair in Moscow, Idaho is still free to attend and we usually do that one with our family. My husband grew up in that town and I went to college there so we run into old friends. :) They also have free entertainment and the food prices are not too bad. You can also still bring in your own food and drinks.

    1. Given my choices I'd do the Latah County Fair. We usually go to the Canyon County Fair. It is nice and we'll most likely do that one next year. Whichever you chose, have fun!


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