By: Jonathan Baca, Staff Reporter | Photos By: Jonathan Baca, Staff Reporter (top & bottom) & Scott M. Roberts (middle)
The State Fair can be fun, exciting, educational, and expensive. The Chronicle spent a few days roaming the grounds in search of the best ways to have a good time while keeping the costs reasonable.
Parking is free at the State Fair this year, which is already a five dollar savings over last year. Gas is still expensive, so take the city bus. Routes that serve the Fair this year are the 766 Red Line, the 777 Green Line and the 66 Central bus. Cars can be parked at the Uptown Transit Center, and on the west side, the stations at 98th Street and Unser Boulevard and at Coors Bypass and Ellison Road.
For art lovers, all of the art exhibits, including Spanish, Native American, kid’s art and many more are all free. Arrive early in the day to avoid large crowds.
Visit the agricultural exhibits and see all the ribbon-winning fruits and vegetables. The exhibits also include live bees, a room dedicated to beef and a large pile of corn kernels that visitors can climb in.
The blacksmith booth is worth checking out. Learn something new about metal for free. Using centuries-old techniques, volunteers demonstrate to fair-goers the art of crafting metal into useful objects.
Best Deals for Food
Rex’s Hamburgers: $2.50 corn dog, $2.50 french fries
The Cornfield: $3.50 corn on the cob
Bad Boy’s Grill: $3 deep fried bacon
M and M (near Indian Village): $5 fajitas, $4 Polish sausage and footlong hot dog
For The Kids
AgVentureland: Lead your child through a simulated farm, learning to pick vegetables, ride a tractor and even lasso a steer. Free popsicle for every child.
Petting Zoo: Admission is free. Cups of food for the animals can be purchased for $2 each.
Unicorn Theater: Mini-plays performed every two hours. Visit exponm.com for schedules.
New and Interesting
The Combat Booth: Shoot a human target with a paintball gun – $1 a shot or 8 shots for $5.
Fried Beer: Check out That’s Amore Pizzeria to experience fried beer. Deep fried balls of beer batter drenched in Nexus Stout syrup. Non-Alcoholic.
Donut Burger: Exactly what the name says. At Basil’s Home Cooking, get a hamburger with two glazed donuts for a bun.
Sweet Cheeks: Deep fried heaven. Fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried Snickers, fried Fruity Pebbles; you get the idea.
Rock It Up Zip Line: Swing from a harness attached to a cable suspended above the Fairgrounds. Ride the ZipLine once for $7 or twice for $10.