A Day at the OC Fair

Saturday C, T, and I braved the OC Fair for the first time together! And I mean braved. See, crowds really aren’t our thing. At all. Nor is taking out a small FHA loan for a few hours of fun a fun idea to us either. But we decided that with T being the older boy that he is now that he could really get into it this year and semi-appreciate it. And guess what? We were right!

The line to enter the OC Fair on Saturday. The only reason for the back-up was that everyone gets there for the early bird special of $3 admission (vs. $11), but the line goes very quickly once the gates open, promise!

The line to enter the OC Fair on Saturday. The only reason for the back-up was that everyone gets there for the “Rise and Shine” early bird special of $3 admission (vs. $11). But don’t worry, the line goes very quickly once the gates open, promise!

T with the OC Orange and Corn at the entrance to the OC Fair. So corny, T!

T with the OC Fair Orange and Corn mascots at the entrance to the OC Fair. You’re so corny, T!

We arrived Saturday just before the gates opened and got in for $3 each; T was free as are all kids under six anytime. FYI on Saturdays and Sundays, if you enter between 10-11 a.m. admission is just $3 per person (versus $11 general admission). Not bad at all, the best deal we got all day actually! You can go here for other daily deals through the end of the run (which ends Sunday August 11).

So let’s review, what did we do at the fair? Well, probably what a lot of folks do at the county fair…

Free veggie burger samples for all thanks to the kind folks from MorningStar Farms. Not bad at all!

Free veggie burger samples for all thanks to the kind folks from MorningStar Farms. Not bad at all!

C chose the smoked turkey leg, a county fair classic.

C chose the smoked turkey leg, a county fair classic.

Giant corn dog, FTW. I agreed with T, so I got one, too.

We ate…

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T went on rides (and C got to go on one, too)…

This game was free to play thanks to the folks at Morningstar Farms.

This game was free to play thanks to the folks at MorningStar Farms. Winners got coupons for free veggie burgers – score!

So close, boys!

So close, boys!

T shoots off his first BB gun ever. Why not? It's the fair and he's with Dad.

T shoots off his first BB gun ever. Why not? It’s the fair and he’s with Dad.

So close, boys! Wait, didn't I just say that?! Darn those carnies!

So close, boys! Wait, didn’t I just say that?! Darn those carnies!

The boys played carnival games together on the Midway…

Cool sand castle. Sure it's an advertisement, but it's still pretty awesome.

Cool sand castle. Sure it’s an advertisement, but it’s still pretty awesome.

Award-winning goats need their alfalfa, right RMT'ers?

Award-winning brews. Cheers!

Award-winning brews. Cheers!

We checked out some award-winning animals, foods, and arts and crafts…

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We watched some really dorky demo’s in the product halls…

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C and I drank beer at 10 a.m. in the morning (by the way, get those age-checks done early and often, RMT’ers)…

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T lapped up a *lot* of lemonade…

All-Alaskan Pig Racers brought their little piggies named "Darth Small," "Chew-Bacon," and "Yukon."

All-Alaskan Pig Racers brought their little piggies named “Darth Small,” “Chew-Bacon,” and “Yukon” (among others) to race at the OC Fair this season.

Hurdling pigs. Not flying, but close!

Hurdling pigs. Not flying, but close!

And we watched pig races. Yes, pig races. Pigs that jumped over hurdles actually. This is the OC Fair, y’all… these pigs needed to take it up a notch (literally).

The Bubble Rollers inflate T's hamster ball at the OC Fair.

The Bubble Rollers inflate T’s hamster ball at the OC Fair.

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Hmm, what else did we see and do? Oh yes, T tried to walk on water in a hamster ball. Twice. Hard to believe Dad anted up for this one times two, but T LOVED it and has loved these hamster ball things ever since his school carnival (though that was just the land version). He also was extremely entertaining to watch. Some memories are worth the price, RMT’ers.

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The fair folks are more than happy to point out in their pre-calculated signage that you won’t get a price-break on the ride and game tickets. Please look closely at the photo; that’s right, no deal, RMT’ers. So don’t kick yourself about going back for more tickets later (because you will) because it’s not as if you would have gotten a deal anyway. Glad I could help. Now, go have fun!

Oh, speaking of prices, I won’t lie to you: The county fair isn’t cheap (um, duh?!). I don’t care about anyone who brags about getting in for free because you do not get out for anywhere close to that, ever (and if you have or do, then you are not doing it right, sorry!). But this is the saying we kept repeating to ourselves throughout the day as we came up against our next bout of sticker-shock: You don’t go to the fair (or to any amusement park, on a vacation, etc.) to save money. And just think of the memories we’re making with and for T… the at-the-time-gosh-awful-expensive-but-over-time-priceless memories.

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Having said all that though, please save up whatever you can and take the family to the Fair this summer, even if it is just for a few hours. On our first outing together as a family, we lasted close to five hours (about how long we had planned to stay), spent around $150 on parking ($10), admission ($6), rides and games ($50), drinks (including a couple of beers) ($25), lunch ($25), Scooby-Doo ($10), and a new American flag ($20), which was about what we thought we’d spend, including buying the new flag that we needed. In the end, it was totally worth it; if there’s any doubt, please just look at T’s happy face (yep, worth it!).  Plus, the weather was perfect, none of us totally over-indulged (shocking really!), and our feet were the right amount of sore by the time we left. I’d say that’s more than a fair day at the Fair, wouldn’t you?

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