Fair Fair

Mini Horse Makes Friends

Every year but one since the mid-1990’s I’ve gone to the New Mexico State Fair.  (The exception, of course, was 2020, when the Fair didn’t happen.)  It’s changed a lot over the years, but most of the things I enjoy have continued to thrive.  This year saw more changes than most, but we still had fun.

Even though we went on a Saturday, mid-day, crowds were definitely reduced, and a lot of our favorites, such as the School Arts building and many of the livestock events, were either closed or very sparsely attended.  However, our long-time favorite Sheep to Shawl was present, demonstrating every step from shearing to weaving (with carding, dying, spinning in the middle) all represented.  Their gift shop was well-stocked.

Although the critters were fewer, there were still some—such as the adorable miniature horse in the photo—to see.  And elsewhere there was still a lot to see and do.  The walls in the Fine Arts, Indian Arts, and Hispanic Arts buildings were covered with an incredible variety of beautiful paintings, mosaics, and mixed media arts.

Floral Arts was in a new location, directly off the Lujan Building, and was, as usual, a delight.

In the hobby building (officially known as the Creative Arts Building) there were fewer displays and demonstrations than in past years, but the coin collectors, beaders, quilters, knitters, wood workers, and all the rest had definitely done their part.  Oddly enough, the photo show, which normally has almost more submissions than one can usually take in, was one of the few areas that was visibly under-represented.

We had a great time watching Chef Ray demonstrate how half a potato can be transformed into a very convincing rose bud­—complete with scent.

There were fewer food vendors than in many years, but all the classic “Fair foods” were well-represented: funnel cake, fried cheese curds, turkey legs, and corndogs could all be found.  Asbury Pies was open and doing brisk business.  If you’re into unique foods, be sure to pick up the free full-color magazine which lists (on page 27) the winners of various competitions, including where you can try a Cotton Candy Ice Cream Cone or a Green Chile Pancake Burger.

The Manuel Lujan building had many fewer vendors but, as a bonus, especially given the heat and wildfire smoke, there was a terrific indoor play area for the kids.

Main Street featured an amazing array of automobiles, from the outlandish to the expensive to a nice array of firetrucks.

Due to the higher than usual temperatures and our companions tuckering out, we didn’t make it down to the Indian Village but, from the program, it looks as if they’re really expanding their offerings under the guidance of the folks who run the Gathering of Nations Powwow every year.  We also didn’t make it Villa Hispana, Midway, or many of the other shows, so I can’t report on those.

Overall, much as I enjoyed myself, I need to be honest and say this was only a “fair” State Fair.  Nonetheless, it was certainly worth a visit and maybe, depending on your interests, two or three.

I came away feeling inspired to pursue my own creative endeavors, though, and, in fact, that’s what I’m going to do right now…

3 Responses to “Fair Fair”

  1. James Mendur Says:

    Speaking of photos, a few months ago you had us vote on which photo Jim should submit to a contest. Whatever happened to that?

    • janelindskold Says:

      He didn’t win, but we think he “placed” because his photo was stil lin the case when he went to pick it up. Vote was for After the Dustbath, and now we have a large print of it, which is all good. Thanks for asking.

  2. Dawn Barela Says:

    I went to the Fair on Sunday the last day with my cousin Kristy. We got to the Fairgrounds at 10:15. I was surprised how few people were there! Usually it’s bustling from when the gates open! The first thing we did was go to the Indian Village for fried bread. Our receipts were #’s 1 and 2!! The folks were just setting up for the day when we got there!! There was only about half of the vendor spaces in use. The only lines were at the food vendors. Not even at the restrooms. We used to do the old time photos every year since 1986!!The last one was in 2019, there was a few years that we missed in between. they told us that they were retiring after that year. They weren’t there this year. But I took a photo with Zoe the Sea Lion instead! It was fun.

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