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Day at the Fair

3:00pm - The arrival. Swarms and swarms of people. Unfortunately, no mullets in sight. We bust out our map and try to find the bicycle stunt race. It never happens-we are sucked into the abyss of carnival carnage.

3:15pm - The games. After walking past 64 Fool the Guesser booths, we decide to test our luck. With a bouncing ponytail and lots of lip gloss, Beth asks Jimmy, the vendor from London (small hands), to guess her age. Good news: She wins. Bad news: She wins because Jimmy guesses she's 17. Beth, a young-looking 21, chooses a very mature framed N'Sync poster as her prize. It's now located in the Recess office.

3:30pm - The refreshments: Round One. It was a hot autumn afternoon, requiring a combination of sno cones and caramel apples. While the sno cone is best described as "luscious" and "yummy," the caramel apple was somewhat hard to eat while walking.

3:40pm - The petting zoo. (No, it's not an evil petting zoo.) The dozens of goats, rams, and sheep-all freely roaming about-are relatively calm and pettable. But a number of other petting zoos at the fair have larger animals, most notably camels and zebras, in smaller, more contained spaces. Possibly a little upsetting to animal lovers, but PETA is nowhere in sight.

3:50pm - The flower and garden show. With this exhibit, we officially venture into "the Village of Yesteryear." Unless you are 75 or are extremely excited about gourd-growing seminars, you might want to avoid the geriatric journey through this section of the fairgrounds.

4:00pm - The shoot out. We duck at the sound of gunfire, only to realize it's "Turkey Target Practice." Mind you, they ARE using real guns, though-welcome to the midway, North Carolina style.

4:10pm - The rides: Round One. With roller coasters, spinning rides and the ferris wheel looming, it's ticket time! We buy a block of tickets and head to the sky gondolas to scope out our riding prospects-initially, the Zipper looks great, but the idea of flipping aimlessly in cages around a ferris-wheel-type apparatus seems a bit unwieldy.

4:15pm - The rides: Round Two. So, what to do? We hit the Remix, the "new state-of-the-art" thrill ride that turns its riders upside-down in a "dual circular motion." Gee, not like the Zipper at all. With Limp Bizkit blasting and neon air-brushed porn stars gracing the walls, the Remix ride-master also performs his best Fred Durst while strapping us in. Let's be honest: It's five minutes of the worst hangover ever-25 feet off the ground.

4:25pm - The rides: Round Three. Slightly dazed, we immediately jump on the Cliff-hanger, a lie-on-your-stomach hang-glide ride. It kinda feels like you're flying, but mostly it feels like you are spinning around in a large plastic harness. But then again, so do most of these rides.

4:40pm - The freak show. It's low point of the day, as we are suckered into the "Believe it, you're nuts!" freak show tent. We should've been tipped off by the vendor who adamantly declared we could not ask for a refund, but no, we went. Basically, it's pictures of freaky sideshow people and poorly crafted statues of them. Don't be fooled-if you spend the dough to see this, believe it-you ARE nuts.

5:00pm - The hog races. After the previously described time vacuum, we are late to the pig races! Huffing and puffing, we make it just in time to the Hogway Speedway-the race course stands are packed with lively youngsters, all hoping to urge a pig to victory. We stand on the nearest generator for an up-close view of the potbellied pig and geese races.

5:20pm - The refreshments: Round Two. Exhausted, we stop for some fresh lemonade and ribbon fries, thin circular layers of deep-fried potato. Both are delightful, but after being thrown around by both the Remix and the Cliff-hanger, nausea sets in.

5:30 pm - The departure. We leave the fair after a full day packed into under two and a half hours.

Best in Show

Recess renders its verdicts. And the winners are...

Blue Ribbon: Dennis, the race-caller at the Hogway Speedway

Red Ribbon: Ribbon Fries

White Ribbon: Fool the Guesser booths

Award of Merit: The Fred Durst impersonator on the Remix ride

Award of Distinction: The ear-less goat and sheep in the petting zoo

The Price is Right

The only other place prices are this over-inflated is right here at Duke. Use our tab as a point of reference:

Entrance Fees: $12 ($6/person)

Tickets for Rides: $.75/ticket (but most rides are

4-6 tickets apiece). They're

sold in packs of 40 for $30,

which isn't actually a deal but is a time-saver.

Midway Games: $2/game (ducks, fool the

guesser, target practice)

Elephant or

Camel Rides: $4

Fries and 2

Lemonades: $8

SnoCone: $2

Caramel Apple: $2


Grand Total: $61

Warning: The State Fair doesn't accept FLEX.

Weekend at Carnie's...

Upcoming Weekend Events

The Great Lakes Lumberjack Show - daily at 2, 4, and 6pm (Saturday at noon)

Demolition Derby - Friday 7pm, Saturday 2 and 7pm, Sunday 2pm

The Village People (free concert!) - Sunday at 7pm (doors open at 6pm)

Hogway Speedway - daily at 1, 3, 5 and 7pm

The Keith King Bicycle Stunt Show - Saturday and Sunday at noon, 2, 5 and 7pm

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