I don't believe that I have posted about the Altamont Fair in quite some years (at least since 2008). The Missus and I went last year on an awfully hot day (she was weeks away from giving birth to Mr. Dave Jr. at the time) and we only made it to the midway before having to turn back for the car. Luckily this Sunday was mild and breezy and could not have been a nicer day for the fair.
This year the fair (the Altamont Fair is pretty much the "fair" for the Capital Region, we don't have County Fairs) was a flat 15 bucks for parking/rides/entry. Gone are the pay for parking and then buy tickets for rides deal of the past. I was OK with this but I overheard some general griping about the cost among the crowd.
Immediately upon exiting my vehicle I was greeted by a smooshed fried something-on-a-stick. Upon close inspection my verdict was Reeses peanut butter cup but it very well could have been a fried Oreo. In any event I took it as an omen of good things to come.
We entered through one of the back gates over by the ominously clanking farm machinery exhibit. We took a stroll through the Carriage display and spied an old Freihofer's wagon. Delivered thusly were the baked goods of our Capital Region forefathers.
They had a new "Circus" area this time wherein the main attraction seemed to be a giraffe named Twiggy. I tried to feed him a carrot but I think he was already stuffed with carrots so I contributed to some tasty future-bacon by giving it to this guy.
The knife toss is still present at the fair. I actually won a knife one year and it is one of the highlights of my life as it is nearly impossible to get those little rings around the blades. I always found this game a little funny... What says family fun like trying to win a nice little weapon? Perfect for a post fair parking lot shanking...
After taking the intrepid young (now 40" tall, I know that because they measured her at the gate) Giblet on a bunch of rides, getting hustled out of some loot by a carny or two, and shooting 6 arrows for a buck at some balloons, I started to think about a bit of fair food. Lo and behold I spied this sign.
Usually I think a lot of fried stuff-on-a-stick type items are sort of gimmicky and usually not that tasty. For some reason a deep fried pop tart sounded like it might actually work. I plunked down my 5 dollars and observed as the lovely proprietor attended to my sizzling tart in the oil. In case you are wondering -that garish red stuff in the foreground is "fried kool-aid."
Here she is folks. A strawberry pop-tart all battered up, fried, and dusted with powdered sugar. I shared this among a quartet of people and the verdict was unanimously positive. The strawberry filling starts to flow a little bit and the whole thing assumes a fried pie kind of feel. It is cloyingly sweet as you may have guessed but not in a very disgusting sort of way. Also, I purchased this fried tart fairly early in the day so the oil didn't yet taste like someone had fried a plateful of assholes in it. I would have this again next year.
Something that made me chuckle heartily was when I thought I spied a "Kentucky Fresh Chicken" sign. I got excited for some sort of fried chicken stand but my hopes were crushed when I got closer. Turns out it was a sideshow entitled "Kentucky Freak Chicken" wherein the attraction was a 4 legged/4 winged bird. The tagline "one chicken makes a whole bucket" made me laugh like a child. I didn't pay to go in as some years ago at the fair I paid 75 cents to look at the "world's smallest women" and something about gawking at that wee lady depressed me for several days. I have foresworn sideshow attractions ever since.
I saw an attractive (also thoroughly unsanitary) pile of beef at the "London Broil" sandwich stand. So I thought I would punish my gastrointestinal tract and give one a whirl.
This was a throughly disappointing sandwich. Sad, dry, gray slices of "London broil" in a hoagie bun with some insipid peppers and onions. I had to hose the thing down with the sugary BBQ sauce they offered to even choke down a half of the thing before giving up. A very poor investment of 8.50$ worth of fair eating funds. I should have stayed away from items that approximated actual food and gone with the red velvet funnel cake for my second purchase. No matter. There is always next year.
I find comfort in the perpetually classy signs in the bathrooms.
The Altamont Fair is pretty much the same as it has always been. That is to say a weird mishmash of the rural/farm history of the area with the current suburban invasion. I love seeing the farming set in their jeans, buckles, and plaid short sleeve shirts rubbing elbos with Clifton Park shitheels.
The only thing I bemoan is that most of the concessions are either travelling carny types peddling what has become a very standard list of "fair foods," or locally run stands of the burger/fries/lemonade sort. You see some local flavor in the out of season cider donuts and apple fritters but that is about it. I would like to see deep fried cheese curds from a NY dairy or Hot Dog Charlies selling dinky dogs... You know, stuff like that.
On a final note -- there seems to be a lot less drunk people then I remember from my teen years. I did notice precious few vendors peddling oat sodas. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. It ain't a fair without seeing someone make a drunken idiot out of themselves in my humble opinion.