I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. I've never lived in a state that actually produced produce or had a use for ginormous tractors before. Who needs thrill rides when you can climb up and get your picture taken in the cab of a John Deere combine?
In Arizona, the fair is where you go to dodge gang-bangers and hear concerts on the cheap. For the price of admission, you can hear a variety of country music stars, aging rock bands and occasionally someone really cool ... like the year I got a third row seat to hear James Taylor for three bucks, because none of my friends wanted to go so I only needed one seat.
Of course, no fair is complete without the food. I try to plan my food intake so that it looks roughly like real eating ... something from the meat-on-a-skewer group, something from the deep-fried vegetable group, something from the sugar-on-a-stick group, something from the sugar-on-a-slab-of-waxed-paper group and plenty of fluids to maintain homeostasis and prevent heat prostration. I'm on a personal quest for the best lemon shake-up in Southern Illinois ... tart, not too sweet, and plenty of shaved ice. I haven't actually tried a fried Twinkie -- I'm traditionally a cotton candy and funnel cake girl -- but this just might be the year I throw caution to the wind.
You never can tell what you'll find in the commercial exhibit. Among the treasures I've taken home from fairs past are a set of Ginsu knives, a Shiatsu massager, an assortment of pet hair removers that look like sticky pink paint rollers, a bendable telescoping ceiling fan duster, my name on a grain of rice and a zillion dollar set of non-stick cookware with lids that stay on when you hang them from a pot rack. I still have the Ginsu knives.