I have fond memories of the Alabama State Fair. I used to love to go as a kid. However, I haven't been in many years. My children didn't have the opportunity to experience going to the the fair because it became too dangerous to take them. Then, Birmingham just stopped having it altogether. A few years ago, the Verizon Center (formerly known as Oak Mountain Amphitheater) decided to take on the task as host. We decided to take the boys this weekend, Sunday in fact. I was very disappointed to say the least. It was very small, more like a TG&Y parking lot carnival than a State Fair.
Where were the booths and tents that housed the side shows, you know like the bearded lady, the fat woman and the turtle boy? Where was the man who swallowed swords and fire? Where were the prized cows, hogs, pigs, quilts and pies? Where was the World Famous BBQ? Where was the man on stilts walking through the crowd? Where were the popular DJs handing out bumper stickers? And the food? What happened to the miles of endless grease stands? Sure, there were a few, but there weren't as many as before and the greasy offerings were minimal. The carnies working their booths didn't even try to tempt me with guessing my weight! And what is up with "everyone wins a prize"? No they don't!!! You SHOULD have to exhibit your special skills to shoot the eyes out of ducks from 100 paces with warped BBs to win a prize! But to give you one just because you showed up...pure blasphemy!! Where is the fun in that??!! Not to mention you ruin the carnie reputation of ripping people off when you give them things!! I would have thought that no self-respecting fair goer would even think of taking a free prize, but alas, I was wrong. There were many walking around with their inflatable arrows and guitars.
Needless to say, we won't be returning to any "fair" held in Birmingham. I suppose I will just clutch my memories of the past tightly and stare blindly at the inflatable guitar tacked to the wall!
I'm just sayin',