Thursday, October 16, 2008

State Fair Friday on Thursday

I've been posting about the great State Fair of Texas on Fridays throughout its run, but tomorrow I have another very important post to run that must run tomorrow, no exceptions. So, today, we'll pretend its State Fair Friday.

On Tuesday, I went to the fair twice. Yes, I did. I went in the afternoon with my work colleagues for some very important team building and bonding. And, then S got away from work early enough for us to go the fair at night as well. So, I was at the fair on Tuesday for at least six hours. I took lots of photos, which will take me some time to cull through, but I'm throwing up a few SOOC (straight out of the camera) shots to get a timely post in the hopper.

During the day, it was overcast and it rained on us for a bit. We entered the fair through gate 9, which put us right at one end of the Texas Skyway. We decided to jump on and ride it into the center of the action.

Aboard the Texas Skyway

Cloudy Dallas skyline from the Skyway

A View of the Midway - and the slide - from the Skyway

I decided I wanted to ride that slide later in the day, and talked S into going on it with me at night. Let's just say, this body can get a lot more forward motion going than those light little whippersnappers riding all around us. We won.

A close up of the Texas Star from the Skyway with clouds

Pulled back of the same view.

After the ride to the center of the fair and a few photos of Big Tex (not seen here - I decided none of them were really that compelling since I've already posted lots of him here) we headed indoors to the food building to eat.

Interior of the Texas Chili Parlor

I had eaten lunch before we arrived, so I just got a drink from the ol' Texas Chili Parlor and visited with my colleagues while they took in lunch. I did have dessert though - fried peach cobbler on a stick. It was OK. Not much on the peach - heavy on the cobbler, I guess. Then, we headed out to see the sights.

One of many large carved pumpkins.

A sand sculpture with the same Tut theme we saw at other places in the fair on the last visit.

Me, near a garden exhibit with my camera backpack on.

For those of you scoring at home, yes, that shirt IS orange. Bright orange, apparently!

We headed soon after to the Creative Arts Building on the other side of the Cotton Bowl.

A creative sign in the Creative Arts building.

The Creative Arts building houses the butter sculpture, as well as all the quilts, photographs, embroidered pillows, antiques, cross stitch, dresses, etc. It also has a large test kitchen where demonstrations are given. And, it houses...

...winning jam, jellies, preserves and canned goods.

Here would be a good place to talk about what constitutes the difference between a jam and a jelly, and perhaps a preserve. Anyone?

Then we moved on to the dog show. It was twenty minutes long, and well attended. And, I must say, more interesting than the dancing dogs we took in last year. I always like the stunt dog show, because often the dogs are the same breed or similar breeds to my dogs, Ellie and Echo. In fact, had we known there are all sorts of dog clubs around that do Frisbee and other competitions with these dogs locally, we probably would have gotten Ellie involved. She would have been great at it - she can catch a mean Frisbee now, but in her youth, she wouldn't ever miss. She would have enjoyed it very much. But, we were new pet parents and didn't know our options.

At this show, there were mainly three tricks - some with the handler and the Frisbees, one with a dog jumping great lengths into a pool of water, and then the one where the dogs run through the poles. I took a ton of shots at the dog show, mainly just playing with and learning to better use my telephoto lens in low light and fast action. Lots of them are blurry, and one is spot on in focus, but the dog jumped so high I cut off her head! But, here are some that tell the tale.

First dog out of the gate was Chuy, clearly akin to Echo.

Chuy was two, and was incidentally the dog that jumped so high she went out of the frame.

She did great at high jumps right in the center of the field. She missed some of the long distance throws, but she tried very hard.

Then there was this red heeler that was rescued from a Las Vegas animal shelter.

People, please go rescue good dogs from animal shelters. There are so many good dogs looking for good homes. They're just waiting for you to come rescue them!

The red heeler, who's name I've forgotten but I think began with an "S", also never missed a Frisbee, no matter where he threw it, even when he threw 14 Frisbees in succession. She was good.

Then came the water sport. For this, they used two labs who were SO excited to do anything he asked.

One of the labs catching the Frisbee and landing in the pool.

Same lab upon return from the pool.

And, right after that last shot was taken, he did this.

How many of you have ever gotten a shower from that move? I certainly have. After the water tricks, it was on to the relay between the poles. They pitted either side against one another to root for either the "red" or the "blue" dog. There was an Echo dog in this race too, but also a lab and two beautiful collie/shepherds, close cousins to the Heelers.

The red team heeler going through the paces.

One of the collie/shepherds - this dog was F-A-S-T.

After the excitement of the dog show, we headed out to the Midway. After much deliberation about which games would be best to try, Karen and Melissa decided upon a basket toss (no photos - the action was too intense for me to take photos at that moment), a duck pond, and of course, skeeball.

The unending, mesmerizing prizes hung throughout the Midway.

I was quickly mesmerized at the photo opportunities in the duck pond. I have WAY MORE photos of these cute little ducks with their swimming goggles on, and their friends. I might do a whole other post on that. I mean, they were sooooo photogenic.

And, Melissa chose carefully.

Then, it was on to skeeball.

Karen was giddy to begin her game! She is a skeeball champ.

Soon after, the festivities came to an end and we headed out. But, it was a lovely afternoon.

Me, Melissa, Karen and Mark

Less than two hours later, S and I arrived back at the fair. I am a good wife, no? We took in some of the same sights, but a few new ones as well.

One of the beautiful water features at the fair.

And this beautiful fountain, outside the Music Hall, built in 1916.

And, of course, the manufactured home.

I LOVE going through the manufactured home. It just amazes me how nice the model is when you visit it. I mean, I'd live there - its like no manufactured home I've ever seen. Until the next year, of course. Last year, the manufactured home was not at the fair. I was heartbroken. How dare they leave out one of my favorite parts!!! S hates the manufactured home. He was so glad it was back.

Also at the fair - all sorts of vendors selling all sorts of snake oils and's a good example:

Teeth whitening!!!

Now, who would just sidle up to this booth to get their teeth whitened? Who? I'll tell you who - TONS of people - this booth was PACKED. Not me, sister. Uh-uh. Oh no. That's just too wierd.

Then, S and I took a ride on the Skyway in the other direction, and after dark. It was fun.

The Midway after dark from the Skyway.

A photo of the slide we rode, from the Skyway after dark.

I SO wish we had had someone with us who could have photographed our big ride down the big slide. It was a blast. And, I'm sure we looked like complete idiots, which I would have enjoyed capturing on film. Oh well.

S was tired, and well, so was I, so we headed home after that.

The midway sign, the Texas Star and Skyway on our way out.

It was a nice day to spend 6 hours at the fair.


  1. This was a great blog, especially for someone who didn't have a chance to get to the fair AT ALL! G (no need to tell you who that is), is such a fuddy duddy! I told him that he doesn't have a choice in the coming years because he has a two year old that will require attending the Fair EVERY year until she's about 40. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Now the only thing missing is my candle apple (caramel and candied), my corny dog, fried whatever, cotton candy and turkey leg - yes, all on the same day.


  2. You'll have to go with us next year, Errika - leave G at home. No room for fuddy duddies at the GREAT STATE FAIR OF TEXAS!


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