As a rule I avoid crowds and big venues but I make an exception for Canton Trade Days and the State Fair of Texas. Usually I go prepared for large events, but I flubbed this time and learned a lesson about winging it. (Don’t.)
The State Fair of Texas has come and gone. They say it’s the biggest fair in the US. Over two million people attended this year despite a couple of weeks of heavy rains.
Thanks to a dear friend who gave us tickets, we went twice. 🙂
After our first visit, I realized that we were ill prepared, so we upped our game and planned ahead for our second visit.
Here are six tips that really helped us stay safe.
- Carry pre-moistened towelettes. We didn’t have any the first time and we had to find a bathroom before eating our turkey legs so we could wash our hands. They were handy for after the turkey leg too.
- Mark your position on your cell phone’s GPS map. The fairgrounds for the Fair are HUGE. Beyond huge. The fairgrounds itself is 277 acres, but getting to the parking area is probably twice that if you didn’t get a good parking spot. We got lost the first time because we thought we would remember our parking lot. We didn’t. It took us 45 minutes to find our car.
- Carry a bottle of water. Some places don’t allow you to carry food or drink, but the fair did. Once our water was gone, I kept the bottle for a while and refilled it at a drinking fountain.
- Know your spending limits. We got free tickets to enter, but everything else costs an arm and a leg.
- Get a map of the layout of the venue. If there are no maps, give yourself some landmarks so you can get back to familiar ground. Can’t remember your landmarks? Take a picture.
- Wear comfortable shoes. I cannot stress this enough. Back when I used to go to writing or book conferences, I wore gym shoes regardless of what else I was wearing. Sure, the women in heels looked stylish, but I’ll bet they were grumbling about their feet at the end of the day.
It doesn’t matter if the event is a conference, a flea market, a fair, or a concert. If you’re in an area that covers a lot of ground, stay hydrated and keep your hands clean to avoid illness.
We had a wonderful time at the fair. It’s always great fun. For the first time, we went up on the Top o’ Texas Tower, 500 feet in the air. It gives you a 360 degree view of Dallas. Greg loved it, but I had butterflies in my stomach to be up so high.
Another neat attraction was the Midway Barker. You can’t imagine all the things that went through my head when I saw him. I had to Google him, and no, he’s not half a man. It’s all an optical illusion and a darn good one.
How often do you deal with crowds? Have you gone to any big events this year?
Have you ever lost your car in a parking lot?