Well, I went to the Fair Saturday and it took a while to recover -- I was crushed flat as a flapjack a couple of times along the midway. Later in the evening my husband and I were walking down to The Village of Yesteryear and found that we could not move. We were totally stuck in a crush of people. Part of it was lines at food vendors, part of it was having the "guess your weight" guys and the associated crowds on that same walkway. (Something similar happened at the top of the hill near gate 9, where a squirting-water game faced a dumpster, making a very narrow passageway for walking. In mid-afternoon Saturday, it took me about 20 minutes to walk from gate 9 to the Kerr Scott Building, walking down the main hill near the midway entrance.) There were over 145,000 people at the Fair on Saturday, and sometimes it felt like they were all in the same place I was trying to walk....
I have several things to wrap-up my Fair blogging, but first some general impressions:
1. The Fair employees were friendly and helpful -- score one for Powers. Rides went out now and again, but there weren't massive outages. And aside from the last Saturday the fairgrounds themselves and the little garden seating areas were being kept up and looked very nice.
2. Some of the ride lines were unbelievable, especially on Saturday.
3. Hint: the bathrooms at Village of Yesteryear seem to have constantly-long lines. Meanwhile the bathrooms at the new Exhibition Hall (where the old Red Cross building used to be) had no lines at all.
4. I don't understand how the rides are broken up between the old and new midway. The old midway needs something special to show its "character." What, I have no idea. The Crazy Mouse doesn't hurt.
5. Military Appreciation Day was a little disappointing; the bands did not have a good place to perform since the grandstand was so muddy. Perhaps if they have to perform near Dorton Arena next time, let them move back a little so a) they're not in the sun and b)spectators have a place to sit out of the walkway?
6. Despite some marginal weather, the 2006 NC State Fair still managed to set two attendance records. Awesome. Just 364 days or so until the next one!