I recently learned about a contest sponsored by the N.C. State Fair Press Office. The winner of said contest would get the opportunity to be named “Deep Fried Ambassador” and not only enjoy all things Fair related, but report on them via a blog. Hello, God? It’s me, Laughing Mama. Thank you for answering my prayers. When I first heard about this chance to become Deep Fried Ambassador, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Every part of me starting tingling and I got butterflies in my stomach. On the other hand, it was probably hunger pangs at the thought of enjoying all the delightful things the North Carolina State Fair has to offer. Every time we go of course we have to give in to our favorites- Italian Sausage for me, Elephant Ears for my husband and Cotton Candy for the kids. But, we also like to try at least one new thing. So far, our hands down favorite has been the deep-fried Snickers bar. Oh. My. Goodness. Heaven dipped in batter and fried in a vat of awesome. I remember that day like it was yesterday. My husband and I shared one and he let me have the first bite. There were no words. As the flavors hit our taste buds, our eyes locked and we stood there savoring it in silent euphoria. We understood that it was a special moment. I swear, that fried Snickers bar glowed from the inside much like the treasure in an Indiana Jones movie. To me, the deep-fried Snickers bar is but one of the reasons why the N.C. State Fair is full of win. And it is my deep and abiding love for it and everything else about the Fair that would make me a most excellent and enthusiastic Ambassador.
The N.C. State Fair and I go back a long way. I remember my mom and dad taking me by the hand as we wound our way through the Village of Yesteryear, marveling at the many craftspeople displaying their incredible talent. I remember my eyes growing wide at the sight of the gigantic pumpkins local farmers had grown and longed to win a blue ribbon once in my life. I remember my brothers coming home with tales of which rides they conquered and looking up to their bravery. And I remember my sister walking through our bedroom door with stuffed animals won by boyfriends looking to impress her. She would come in to kiss me goodnight and give me an animal. I would snuggle up with it, the smell of the fair still permeating it’s fur, and go to sleep wishing for the day when I would be old enough to have a boyfriend.
And now here I am, a thirty-something married mother of two and the State Fair is still a wonderland. Only now, I mostly see it through the eyes of my children. We visit the PBS booth, still look at the giant pumpkins, peruse the cattle, ride kid friendly rides (which is fine by me), and play games that are sure to win a prize. Although, in hindsight we should have diverted our son’s attention away from that enormous inflatable baseball bat he eventually chose. My apologies to anyone he might have accidentally whacked in the head last year. Through my children, I’ve reaffirmed that the fair is a place for fun, exploration and learning. All wrapped up and deep-fried in North Carolina goodness.
This year’s theme of “Celebrate What’s Great” would be perfect for my tenure as Deep Fried Ambassador if I am so lucky to be chosen. I LOVE to celebrate and I DO think that North Carolina is great! Not in an exaggerated, over-the-top, “Tony the Tiger” kind of way, but in a way that makes me swell with pride when I think of all the riches our state has to offer. Not only our varied landscape, not only our wonderful agricultural products, but also the people who inhabit this glorious part of the nation. As Deep Fried Ambassador, I would pledge to carry that pride in our Old North State as I roam the vast and brightly lit fairgrounds. I would wear it like a badge. A sash, a tiara if you will. Like last year’s stalwart Ambassador, Suzanne from the Pretty*Swell blog, I would try to perform my duties with dignity and grace. Although if I conquer my fear of rides and test my bravery as my brothers used to do, I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t scream a little. Hopefully I’d keep that fried Snickers bar down, though.
For the occasion, I’ve reworked a classic TV theme song as my ode to the N.C. State Fair.
344 Acres (Sung to the tune of “Green Acres”)
State Fair is the place to be.
Fried Snickers is the treat for me.
Midway spreadin’ out so far and wide.
Keep the Ferris Wheel, just gimme that pecan pie!
If downtown is where you’d rather stay,
Stick with me, we’ll have a tasty day.
I just adore the State Fair view
Darling you’ll love it, did I mention there’s fireworks too?
… The food!
… And hay!
… Fun crafts!
… Can day!
It’s gonna be great!
Livestock you can rate!
NC State Fair I am there!!!