WRAL.com at the State Fair

Midway Prizes

Posted October 21, 2007

Now, it might be because I'm getting old. But it seems to me that the midway prizes this year were all over the map. It has seemed to me that in the past the prizes were mostly around a couple of franchises -- Warner Brothers, for example, or sports mascots. But this year it seemed like there were characters from EVERYWHERE being offered as prizes.

On soggy Friday I walked around and counted. Here's just a partial list of the characters I noticed (and I'm sure I didn't recognize all of them, getting old and all.)

Care Bears * Stitch (from "Lilo and Stitch") * UNC Mascot (looking just as depressed as it did last year) * NC State Mascot * Shrek * Barney * The Simpsons (mostly Bart) * Spiderman (lots and lots of Spiderman) * Smurfs (except they had white skin and blue clothes, instead of vice-versa) * Hot Stuff the Little Devil (who hasn't had a Harvey Comics title since 1982 -- I'm a little puzzled as to him being a prize on the midway) * Family Guy (mostly Stewie) * Sonic the Hedgehog * Elmo (of course) * Hello Kitty * The "Target" Dog * Chicken Little * Texas Longhorns mascot (confused about that one too) * Wizard of Oz (lots of characters) * Dora the Explorer * Batman * Sesame Street (lots of Bert, and SUPER GROVER!) * SpongeBob SquarePants (SpongeBob retains amazing popularity) * Cindy Lou Who (from Grinch Who Stole Christmas) * Muppets (or at least Animal) * Scooby Doo

I'm sure there's a bunch more I missed. That doesn't even include the bicycles that were prizes in one booth this year, or the guitars, video games, and iPods. A five-year study of popular toy trends at the Fair would make a great sociology/anthropology thesis...

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  • Brian Shrader Oct 22, 2007

    The Fair is always an interesting trip through pop culture -- from the odd mix of midway prizes to the weird selection of songs on the rides. Some of those songs definitely were exhumed from the Grooveyard.