I grew up in Indiana. After graduating from college, I spent ten years in Tennessee. I wanted so much to be a bona fide Southerner. Let's face it, being a Southerner is much more exciting than being a Midwesterner. I longed for a Southern drawl as opposed to my flat Midwestern accent. The food was richer, the people were nicer and the weather was to die for. Now that I'm back in Hoosier land once again, I still miss so many things about the South.
But our State Fair? It kicks the Tennessee State Fair's ass.
I remember the first time I went to the Tennessee State Fair. This is what I saw: midway, cotton candy, Nascar souvenirs and thugs. There might have been a pig or a cow, somewhere, but it was probably cowering in a corner, scared for its life. To be fair to my Southern friends, y'all can throw one hell of a county fair. But somewhere between the county and the drive into downtown Nashville it all falls apart.
THIS is what a State Fair should be:
Animals. The stinkier the better. Mike was horrified that I would take a picture of a nursing mother. He should just count his lucky stars I didn't wander across the aisle and take a picture of the World's Largest Pig's balls instead. Psssht. City boy.
Fried Food. If it stands still long enough, it can be fried. I've heard there are healthy options at the fair. I've also heard there's life on Mars.
Tractors. Preferably with grumpy children, tired of having their picture made (look! something Southern stuck!) in 93 degree heat.
Cheese. I prefer mine from the Dairy Barn, in the grilled or fried stick variety, but if you'd rather get a 400 lb block of it and carve it into zombie babies? We're okay with that.
You throw all those things together and you're talking about a good time. And if you've played your cards right, you should leave the fair looking something like this: