I love the New Mexico state fair. I've gone every year I've lived here. It's pretty much the same every year, but in a way that's comforting. There's the African American area, the Native American area, the Hispanic Arts building, the Fine Arts building, and all the old-fashioned 4-H and traditional state fair exhibits of animals and crops. In the animal building is a vendor that sells the absolute best cotton candy - one of my favorite things, that now you can only rarely get fresh. That drek in the bags isn't worth eating. This place, you pay for a small, medium, or large, and get a ticket to take to the man making it. He rolls it onto the paper cone and hands it to you, warm and fragrant. I always get the medium. It's bigger than my head and darn near as big as my torso, and takes an entire half an hour to eat, slowly. Best stuff on the planet. When I was a little girl I'd pretend I was eating a cloud.
The other traditional must-eat is a corn dog. This year I tried the spiral fries, which weren't as good as I thought - kind of like potato chips. Not bad, though. I also love funnel cakes, with only powdered sugar and cinnamon on them. In the Native American area you can get a delicious, enormous Navajo Taco. I didn't get one this year. We didn't have much money, and I don't have enough appetite to eat all that.
We did go through the huge indoor sales area. This has vendors from everywhere, and people doing demonstrations of household gadgets like on informercials. Most of these, when you get them home, don't work very well. Exceptions were the sushi-roll molds and the salsa chopper, both of which we bought in the past. And yes, we eat a lot of sushi and salsa. Not together. I lusted after a cheese grater that would even grate hard-boiled eggs, but no money. All I bought were six finger puppets for $5, made in Peru. There were some clothes I wanted, but couldn't afford. Maybe next year.
As the sun goes down and the vendor/animal/assorted cultures parts close, the lights come on at the Midway. A lot of Albuquerqueans won't go there, especially at night, because in the past there's been problems with gangs. I haven't been bothered at all in the years I've gone. There are a LOT of cops walking around, and such people who looked rather gangy were with their families, and didn't look like they wanted to make trouble. I'm wussy about the rides. I can't take being whirled around in circles too fast, and have no desire whatsoever to be shot from a giant slingshot or dangled upside down. There's a hang-glider ride I like, and the ferris wheel, and a roller coaster if there is one. There wasn't this year. I like the scary-house rides, too. But as Dear Husband has a handicap and can't go on any of them, and it's no fun to go alone, we just looked. Believe me, watching people get cranked up a 20-story pole and then dropped is much more fun to watch than to experience. We didn't try any games this time because of lack of funds, but I usually will try a couple. Never win anything larger than the small prize.
Every year there's one stuffed animal at the games I fall in love with, and I never get it. This year it was the dragons.
The bumper cars always make me think of my Dad, who passed in 1983. Once when I was little, he took me on the bumper cars, laughing his head off. Someone hit us from behind, and his false teeth flew out and (fortunately) landed on the floor of our car! He loved a joke on himself as much as anyone and we both laughed our heads off.
We listened to parts of a couple of concerts, and watched one animal act with bears, and considered the day enough. They have these foot massaging machines all over, that cost a quarter. I used three of them during the day. When it starts, it tickles mercilessly, but then it really does stop your foot from hurting for a long time. We just plain wore ourselves out, but it was worth every minute. I don't have pictures, because our blasted cheap camera decided to die on us.
Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~~G.B. Stern