State Fair of Texas 2001

The 2001 Texas State Fair ended this weekend but not before Susan and I spent the day there seeing the sites and eating the usual variety of State Fair Food. I was pleased to see that funnel cakes were still available and selling well in spite of their being covered with mysterious white powder. As usual, anything that can be deep fried and served on a stick was available as a snack.

And bin Laden was there too. Well, not in person but many of the games on the midway had been adapted for current events. You could win cute stuffed animals by throwing darts at bin Laden, shooting bin Laden with paintball guns, BB guns, and assorted other implements of minor destruction. Hopefully the US Special Forces are having as much luck with the real bin Laden over in Afghanistan.

We wandered around the livestock areas looking at cows, sheep, chickens, and other farm animals. We watched a couple of livestock contests but I’m none the wiser as to why one animal wins and another loses. We also watched the Birds of the World show which has been bringing giant Andean Condors and 200mph Peregrine Falcons to the Texas State Fair for quite a few years.

State Fair of Texas 2000

Woohoo! Susan and I took a day off from work and went to the State Fair of Texas this Wednesday. I ate my annual allotment of Corn Dogs and Susan had her much needed Turkey-on-a-stick. The State Fair is a great place to go for anyone who likes food-on-a-stick. Things available on-a-stick include turkey, chicken, steak, fried cheese, fried catfish, sausage, candy-coated apples, fajitas, alligator, and of course, a variety of frozen stuff like ice cream bars.

We road the ferris wheel (yes, it’s the largest in North America – this is the Texas State Fair, after all). Susan took a spin on the merry-go-round. We toured NASA’s International Space Station exhibit which was okay but not great and the Century 21/Comedy Channel sponsored Jetsons House of the Future, which was nothing but a thinly disguised and badly produced animated television commercial for Century 21 Realty shown on a TV inside of a Semi-Trailer whose interior was painted in bright colors and contained plastic props that were supposedly similar to household items from The Jetsons. If you ever get a chance to see this exhibit in your area – don’t bother.

But aside from the lousy Jetsons thing, the rest of the day was great. There are a million things to do and see at a State Fair and very few of them involve computers – so it made a nice change from the last couple of months. One particularly cool event at this year’s fair was the Birds of the World show put on by Natural Encounters to help educate people about endanger species of birds. They brought a variety of rare and interesting birds. All of the birds performed in free flight at very high speeds and just a few inches overhead at times. It’s not every day that birds bigger than I am fly just overhead – a very impressive site. All the birds were unique; the Andean Condor was just plain big, with a wingspan of more than 10′; the Peregrine Falcon could attain flight speeds up to 250 mph, there was an African Pied Crow that could retrieve a dollar bill held up in the audience and stuff it into the trainer’s pocket.