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No, not the Faire

The Woodstock Fair is officially underway, not to be confused with King Richard's Faire (and no, I'm not the King). My Pop is there as he is every year manning the Amateur Radio booth.

Before there was Foxwoods, before there was Interstate 395, heck... even before there were cars, septic systems and regulated electricity, the Woodstock Fair was there.

I decided several years ago to stop going to the Fair. From a very early age I realized...

This sucks!!

Before I get into why it sucks, the reason I even went to the Fair with the family in the first place was because my sister used to be a competing English Saddle Seat horse rider - not to be confused with Western riders. You can tell the English riders from other classes because they wear suits. No jeans, no cowboy hats.

Small note about cowboy hats: If there is a mixed-class event with Western riders and English Saddle Seat riders and the judge was wearing a cowboy hat - the English riders would never take first prize - ever. Very biased. I saw it happen many times. It was very common to hear "Don't trust a judge in a cowboy hat" because you'd always lose if you were an English rider, guaranteed.

The Fair is the Cadillac of riding events around these parts. My sister had many grand prize horse riding ribbons to her credit, so every year I was lumped along into going.

I said the Fair sucks. Here's why:

1. The human car wash

Yes, it's disgusting as it sounds. Hordes of people all over the place drowning in sweat. No room to move so you're always bumping elbows. It's bad enough when you sweat. It's positively disgusting when you encounter other people's sweat.

2. It stinks

Everyone stinks (K-PAX, anyone?), and most places reek of sweat, fried onions, polish sausage, bad french fries, "doughboys", corn dogs and cow crap. Lovely.

3. Hay, hay, hay!

There's hay everywhere on the ground. In some places there's a little. In others there's a lot. Yes, I know the Fair is an agricultural event (said loosely) but sheesh... would it kill someone to sweep the ground every three hours or so?

4. Nothing is cheap

It used to be that shopping at the Fair was a good deal where you could get things for reasonable prices - not so any longer and hasn't been for some time. Every vendor is out there to rape you for every dollar you have. Common response from vendors: "Hey, gotta make a living." Yeah, you go do that - but not on my dime.

5. Technology is a joke

They have this building called the "Technology Building" at the Fair that they put in a few years ago. It sucks. It's always sucked. There's nothing in there worth looking at. All you see are crappy ISP's hocking their wares. Maybe if they had an arcade game or two it would be slightly interesting. No such luck.

6. Dirt

You want dirt? You've found the mother lode. Dirt is everywhere. Right around noon time there is a fog of dirt that hovers like a cloud of doom over the entire grounds until around dusk. The staff try (and fail) every year to keep the dust in the air to a minimum... but this is agriculture, and ya caint have agricull-chuh wid-out sum dirt, Martha!


Whereever there's a place with more people than you can shake a stick at, you're gonna have some noise. Add to that all the vendors, some of which have LOUDSPEAKERS at their booths so you can hear them, and the noise is damn near deafening.


So we've got a dust-filled, hay-strewn, overpriced, ear splitting bucket of stink, sweat and crap, and it costs you five bucks to park.

Sounds great! Where do I sign up?


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