Ah, the fair. It's the yearly melting pot that brings Albuquerque and New Mexico together in the name of puke rides and funnel cakes. Horses, cattle, adorable bunny rabbits and artwork are hauled in from across the state. We identify with each other culturally through these things. It's one of the oldest methods of social engagement and definition. It smacks of the childlike excitement at the prospect of cotton candy and mechanical rides; it's tied strongly to ideas of discovery, or observation of others and adaptation of what's cooler, better, cuter. The teenagers engage in complicated, preening social dances. The food reaches out and tempts us.
I learned a lot on my yearly trip to the fair this year. This is Senorita Ruth's Top 5 State Fair Tips:
1. Getting dropped of at the fair was awesome in 7th grade, it continues to be awesome today. No looking for a parking spot, paying for a parking spot or otherwise having to deal with a parking spot. Bonus points if the ride comes from a house in the vicinity of the fair grounds. Fast and easy, personalized service!
2. The train exhibit is the funnest exhibit ever. You will spend far more time at the model railroad exhibit than you ever meant to. I promise.
3. No one leaves the fair without eating something delicious. Just accept it, pick your favorite and go for it. This year, the family pick was the Indian Taco from the Navajo Cafe in the Indian Village. Fresh beans, crisp veggies and warm, soft, perfectly fried frybread and a very strict one-honey packet rule rounded out a delicious dinner. We actually got three packets of honey for one frybread. Yum.
4. Speaking of the Indian Village...
The bathrooms located behind the stage (to the west of the Village) are the best kept secret on the whole fair grounds. Empty, clean & with plenty of soap.
5. Don't pass up an art gallery! From the school children's art exhibitions to the Native American Fine Art Gallery, you're foolish if you don't take the time to stroll and admire - truly admire - the best of what makes Nuevo Mexico great.
Additionally, I'm happy to report that I escaped once again from the clutches of that strangely hypnotizing salesman that tries to sell you a bit of feather fluff on a string that supposedly looks like a caterpillar that follows you around. I've always wanted one of those...