On October 22, 2016 I went ahead and did it. Decided to not be cheap this time around and go to the Texas State Fair! I had a free ticket. Last year I didn't go. My stupid employer last year did not grant us teachers a fair day, a day off. Also, the fair ticket they had for me was delivered to the wrong campus. I was not sure how much a ticket was, but I was sure that I was not going to pay for it. In 2014, I went to the fair with my mom. I had a different employer at the time and my entrance was free. I really don't remember how it went that year and I have no pics of the adventure, but I know I did not ride any rides. I usually just go for the food and sightseeing. I also like the car show. In 2013, I remember, for the first time I went to the fair with a date. He was a very handsome guy from OK. We had a great time. No rides, just exploring the exhibits and eating the wonderful gut busters. This year was the same. All I wanted was a turkey leg. I try to budget as tight as possible because money runs away from me most days. I did not want to spend anymore than $80 for the whole experience, so I was a little on edge. First, as I approached South Dallas, the traffic was crazy.
As I drove around, with my daughter in the backseat of my jeep, I ran out of gas. All of the gas stations were being used as paid parking lots. It was hard to find one with pumps actually operating. When I finally did, I pumped my gas then asked the attendant, a young Hispanic guy, how much was it to park there. I could see the Fair entry gate directly across the street. The guy looked at me and said, "It's $25." Twenty five dollars? "That is too much. Yall crazy." I complained, then quickly jumped back into my SUV and hauled behind out of there. Right behind that station there was another lot. A Black teenage attendant told me it was $15 to park there. I waved the white flag and went ahead and gave him the money. It was a $10 savings. That's a lot. He also sold me a fair ticket for $10 which was good; a $4 savings. I needed that one for my daughter. Paying $20 for gas, $15 for parking and $10 for the ticket I was already down $45 before I even entered the dang place! However, my determination to enjoy my day and create fair park memories made me march on.
Okay, so after fighting through the crowds, I found my favorite place; the food pavilion.:) It was shoulder to shoulder traffic in there. My daughter said she wanted nachos. Man, that line was a mile long. All I wanted was a turkey leg. I looked at the sign. The turkey legs cost 24 tickets! The tickets were $10 for 20 and 50 cents each. That's highway robbery. I was so mad at that. The nachos cost 15 tickets. Drinks were 8 tickets. I was being played like a sucker, me and all the rest of the attendees. How in the h%$# are you going to charge that much for one entree? That is insane. Inflation is real around these parts. OMG!
We reluctantly bought the nachos and turkey leg. I was like, "Might as well. We are here now." They tasted the same as they always do; good. Nothing special, not $30 worth of yummy greatness, but good enough. I was eating and at the same time thinking, "They wont see me again." It is not just the prices, It's the principles of the matter. They are taking advantage of people who just want to have a little fun. In a big boring city like Dallas, Texas this fair thing is crucial. People look forward to it all year, and each year it gets more and more expensive. They have good marketing though and curiosity will always bring people back. It is a huge event. If I ever go again, I am taking the train and bringing my own drinks. They don't check bags. They won't see my tea and sodas at the bottom of my Coach. Might even bring a cooler. That's if I ever return, which the chances are slim to none.