I love the Oklahoma State Fair. We never missed it growing up, and I belong to a family that goes to eat our way through like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In fact, we rarely ride rides or play the impossible to win games. We are on a mission. Time is spent walking through buildings and watching shows primarily to work up an appetite for the next taste sensation.
Sadly, for the last seven years I've been too many states away to be home for the OK State Fair. So, I had to do a little song and dance when my mom brought to my attention that I would be home for the festivities this year. I was beyond excited; I shared my big news with everyone I saw for the next month. September 16th finally arrived and we were at the gates on opening day. Which also happens to be Dollar Day for tickets. What more could we ask for? More money to spend on food.
It was comforting to discover the fair had changed very little in my absence. Even better, the state fair far surpasses any airport in terms of good people watching. Especially on a sticky, hot afternoon in Oklahoma. Wow.
Here's a general breakdown of our schedule in the 6 hours we frolicked around. Well, I mostly hobbled thanks to my bunion surgery, but that wasn't going to stop me on this day.
3:00 pm- Buy $1 tickets, walk in, feign interest in hot tub display to stand in shade of their tent.
3:05 pm- Eat a freshly battered and fried corn dog adorned simply with a squiggle of mustard. Crispy outer crust, salty and juicy, these are the only corn dogs I have interest in eating.
3:15 pm- Wander slowly admiring the sensory overload with freshly-squeezed lemonade in hand: brightly painted signs, glittery, shiny booths beckoning fair-goers in, puffs of smoke billowing from the turkey leg and BBQ vendors, children squealing as they carry gi
ant stuffed animals, clownish carnival music chiming in the background.
3:20 pm- Wait patiently for an Italian sausage and pepper grinder. The meat and grease have to properly soak the bun. Truly delightful.
3:30 pm- Walk through one building for “Shopping of All Kinds.” I didn't have the slightest interest in purchasing the sequined clothing, As Seen On TV cleaning products, or various home goods, but I like looking just the same.
4:00 pm- Watch a magic show consisting of three tricks and 20 minutes of bad ventriloquism.
4:30 pm- Tour the Agtropolis building geared for childhood learning, full of live animals: baby chicks, sheep, goats, cows, pigs, butterflies, and honeybees. I was in awe of the giant, 4 year old rabbits.
5:30 pm- Dan's Famous Indian Tacos. Like a taco salad but on top of puffy, chewy Indian fry bread instead of a crunchy tortilla shell. I have been truly craving one for the past seven years, and everyone should have the pleasure of enjoying this culinary delight. We also ate a cheese strudel at this stop, but that was somehow devoured too quickly for me to take a picture.
6:00 pm- Walk through the Made in Oklahoma building to check out all the prize winning fair entries while gulping down more lemonade. I still wish I understood the distinction between the 1st and 4th place yellow onion winners.
7:00 pm- Walk through the automotive building to sit in the gleaming new model cars.
8:00 pm- Felt famished after two whole hours without a food pit stop. Time for corn dog #2 and only moments later, a buttery roasted corn
on the cob, sprinkled generously with salt and pepper.
8:45 pm- Last stop of the night was for a Philly cheesesteak folded into flatbread. It was drippy, sloppy and irresistible. Along with a couple plates of fried to order chips for the table, no one was leaving this fair hungry.