On Friday, September 13 2013, we were able to go to our first EVER state fair! We had never been to the state fair in Michigan when we lived there. It was over an hour away, and when you figure in the cost of driving there, parking, and everything else, we just never could make it work. And then, “On October 30, 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm cut all funding to the Michigan State fair. Attendance peaked at 1.2 million in 1966. In 2009 the fair attracted 217,000 visitors. The state fair was not held in 2010 & 2011.”.
You can imagine how wonderful it was upon moving here to New Mexico last year to discover that the NM State Fair was not only thriving, but is held right here in Albuquerque, where we live! No long travel! 🙂
Not only that, but the NM State fair has a great program called “School Days @ The Fair“, and home-schools are included! So, I emailed the application, choosing Friday as the day we wanted to go, and earlier last week I received our entrance packet via email. We received free admission, which, as a family of six, with everyone being 12 or older, saved us $60.00, and there was free parking.
We entered at a special gate for the School Days program, where they checked off our names, and had bunches of nice cold packages of McDonald’s Apple Slices for the kids to take, which we stashed into our cooler full of blue ice and water. That’s another cool thing, you are allowed to bring in a cooler with your own stuff, which saves even MORE money! Not that we didn’t buy lunch, we did, which I’ll talk about later, but my goodness, the least expensive bottled water I saw was (I think) around $4.00, and just a cup with ice was $2.00!
Because of the School Days Program, there were tons of booths along Main Street with educational displays, and they all had freebies for the kids. We got pencils, posters (including one of the periodic table of elements that “The Artist” especially wanted), coloring books, just all sorts of things, plus information about and from many places with educational content, like the various museums here, the Open Space Visitor’s Center, etc.
One of the first things we saw along Main Street was “The Procrastinators – Strolling Drum Troup”, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It reminded me of the group “Stomp”, which we saw perform on television many years ago.
I wish I’d been able to get a video of them, but I couldn’t remember how to get to the video function of my camera! Do check out their website though, there are some good videos there!
Next, we saw police officers mounted on horseback, something that again, we’d never seen before. Living in the southwest sure is different! They were kind enough to stop and pose for a picture for us. 🙂
Since we didn’t actually arrive at the fair until after noon, we soon decided it was time for lunch. While my husband was ordering, the kids spotted the Chick-Fil-A cow wandering around, and begged me to see if they could have their picture taken with it. So we went over, and the cow’s escort asked if I wanted to be in the picture as well, and was kind enough to take it with my camera.
At lunch, I had my first ever green chile cheeseburger (well, half of one, you all know I eat small now!), and it was SOOOO good! Now, I NEED to go buy a big thing of green chile while they are in season and the stores are doing free roasting, so I can freeze them in little batches for cooking over the next year! I will warn you, it is expensive to eat at the fair. There are six of us, and we each had a combo meal of either a cheeseburger or hot dog with frilly fries and pink lemonade, and it cost almost $70.00! To be fair, the portions were huge, the hot dogs were footlongs, with either red or green chile, and not one of us could finish the fries, the amount was so much!
After lunch, we went to one of the many (free!) shows, “Professor Gizmo’s Fun & Science Show” . . .
. . . where both “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Artist” were chosen from the audience for two different segments.
Here is Professor Gizmo . . .
Here is “Mr. Loquacious” helping the professor out!
And now, “The Artist”, along with another home-schooler, Isabelle, helping with another segment . . .
Isabelle’s mother was kind enough to give me permission to include the video with her daughter in it for this post, and I really appreciate that! 🙂
Professor Gizmo’s show was very funny, and we loved it! We do disagree with his telling the kids that we humans are animals, though, we do not believe that humans are part of the animal kingdom. We believe what the Bible says about humans having dominion over the animals . . .
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 (KJV)”
We also saw the Cirque Equinox, which was about a half hour of very good performance! There were two aerial acts . . .
A clown . . .
this woman who did amazing stuff with hula hoops . . .
and last but most certainly not least, “The Dancing Gauchos“.
Oh, my, did they put on a wonderful show for us!
Here are some pictures my husband took when he and the boys went through the petting zoo . . . I waited outside because they would not let us bring in the wagon we had rented to haul all of our stuff.
I couldn’t resist taking these pictures of animals in one of the other exhibits . . . it was so cute to see the baby animals with little playground equipment!
We also saw the Yangdong Chinese Acrobats, another awesome performance!
Here are some of the things they did for us . . .
We had a wonderful time at the 2013 NM State Fair, and I strongly encourage all of you home-schoolers who live in or near NM, or who may be traveling here during next year’s State Fair, to apply for the NM State Fair School Days Program. You will not regret it! 🙂
As always, I would just love it if you’d join me on all of “My Journeys”! Just click the “sign me up button at the top right of the blog, enter your email, and you’ll never miss another update! 🙂