Going to the Indiana State Fair brings some excitement in me every time it gets closer to the start date.
As a kid, I knew that school was about to start and summer was coming to an end, but that didn’t matter because all I could think about was going to the fair.
We had to go at least once, but I always begged to go a couple more times. My parents wouldn’t usually take my brother and I back, so we would go with friends or our cousins. I was so happy I got to spend another day or two at the fair.
But would I ever in my life think I would be at the fair every single day it was open? It sounded like a cool idea, but I doubted it would happen. Little did I know, though, that I would make that idea into a reality.
Really excited about taking the BSU Journalism at the Fair course, I was ready for the great experience I was about to have writing stories in a completely different way than I’m use to. But I was willing to accept the challenge. It was fun, then it would be challenging, then I would be happy, and then I would be worn out. Those indecisive, unpredictable days made me wonder every morning I came back to the fair, “What am I getting myself into today?”
Being at the fair every day also has its challenges outside of trying to find stories to write—like the food. Now how can you come to the fair every day, and not have something sweet or delicious? I sure can’t … but I really tried to not give in when I really didn’t want to spend the money. Trying to trick yourself into not buying food at the state fair by bringing your own lunch and snacks from home—it doesn’t work. I gave in to the curly cheese fries, the Dairy Bar frozen custard and the tasty catfish that I shouldn’t be eating since it’s not good for you. Honestly, though, who cares? Indulging in fried foods and sweets is just what you do at the fair—I just don’t think all 17 days.
Trailer life in the fair Grandstand track was quite interesting. Our group we had down at the fair worked quite well together. There were so many days we would goof off and share a lot of laughs. Oh, and there was a lot of punning going on too. Trying to intentionally come up with puns to incorporate in our stories was just hilarious to me because they sometimes got super out of control.
Though we all became quite acquainted in the small trailer for 17 days, there were times that weren’t so good. Me being an awkward person, I can’t be around any arguing and hostility to save my life. When things went terribly wrong in the trailer, I would try and crawl in the corner and slowly sink in my seat to try and disappear.
Apparently I could still see and hear what was going on, so I would escape outside. I would try to peek in the door to see if it was safe, but quickly found myself right back outside. Needless to say, the issues were solved, but what is the working world of journalism like without drama?
Early mornings and sometimes even long nights, the total number hours put into this experience I can’t even count on my fingers and toes. But being able to experience things I never knew existed at the Indiana State Fair has opened up my eyes as a city girl. I got to see a pig showmanship 4-H show, I got to see hot air balloons come to life as they took off into the sunrise, and I got to experience my first rooster-crowing contest. Who in the world comes up with these ideas?!
Whether accidentally or intentionally stumbling upon these unique and amazing exhibits and shows, I have learned a lot. I was able to take those new experiences and turn them into writing pieces not only for my teacher, our website and other media outlets, but for myself. I have memories written in type that I can look back on and share.
So was it what I thought it would be to spend every day at the state fair? No, not at all … but I’m glad I didn’t know because otherwise I wouldn’t have had the time of my life.