Sunday, July 4, 2010

T.I.TDMF. Part Three: On Carnival Swindlers and Letting the Magic Live On

6PM, July 1st, Del Mar, California. The cloud cover was just beginning to break, an hour or two before the sun was due to set. The fair was still in full swing, people arriving as steadily as they had been at one that afternoon. My boyfriend and I were in the Funzone, the area of the park where all of the games and more adult rides were located.

Not the Funzone. You can’t tell, but the entrance of the park is REALLY FAR AWAY.

As I stood next to a carnival basketball game, watching my boyfriend fritter away $20 in a sweet (but ultimately futile) attempt to win me one of these glorious creatures

I realized two things:

--Firstly, those hoops were fucking rigged.
--Secondly, the Del Mar fair is best if consumed no more than once a year.

For all those “but WHYYYYYY?” naysayers out there, hear me out.

I love the Del Mar Fair. It’s a part of my childhood. I’ve been to it more times than I could say, beginning since I was too young to really remember going. As kids my brother and I won prizes for (in retrospect, somewhat skimpy) vegetables we had grown in our garden and arranged, spiffy-like, in wooden baskets. I’ve gone with my family, my friends, and my significant other. I’ve made the transition from Kiddieland to the more adult-centered areas. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

But do it too often and it becomes commonplace. The beauty of the fair is that you wait all year for it, and then when it comes to town, and you finally manage to get off work or out of school to go, you have an absolute blast. You spend the day navigating through the throngs of fairgoers, eating marvelously shitty fair food, and being dazzled by the rides. You let yourself be overwhelmed by the colors, and the sounds, and the smells and tastes, and then later that day, or that night, you go back to your everyday life with pictures and memories and cheap little prizes to show for it. And, until next year, or the year after, or whenever you finally manage to go again, that’s enough to hold you over. If you frequent the fair day after day, you risk weakening the effect. You risk the well running dry.

So if you can, go to the fair, and have that absolute blast. And don’t worry if you’re only there for a day. It’ll be back next year, same place, same time.

Note: all of the pictures in the This. Is. THE DEL MAR FAIR. series are mine, with the exception of the last ferris wheel one, which is courtesy of rockoutkaraoke.

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