Maybe I’d had too much expectation built in my head. Maybe I’ve spent too much time at quality fair fairgrounds where the experience is intimate and the vendors are knowledgeable and friendly and at this point am jaded. Or maybe it was the experience of being there on the last day when workers were exhausted and wanted to go home…… but the combination of over crowdedness, gimmick items and cheap products you could find in any Dollar Store or Odd Lots being sold at inflated prices by grumpy salespersons was definitely not what I’d expected from this event.
So what did I expect?
I expected to be immersed in agriculture, which was the original intent of the Big E.
To be fair, there was an education building that was tastefully done and offered a fantastic educational experience for visitors, including a incubator that allowed viewers to watch baby chickens hatch from their eggs and another area that let onlookers view baby pigs suckling from their tired mama’s breast. However, there was no one manning these areas to answer questions and explain what was going on. For example. Is it normal for a pig to have a litter of 8? Do baby chics need their mothers when born because there were no adult hens in the incubator area. I overheard dozens of questions in these areas and again, there was no one to offer answers.
There were also several buildings full of livestock ranging from rabbits to alpaca. Unfortunately these and the educational building mentioned above were the least trafficked and hardest to find.
In regard to the food, if you were wanting to try any of the greasy, fried, fattening and unhealthy slop, those lines were and average 30 people deep throughout the day. Good news for healthnuts though! Any vendors with healthier varieties of cuisines were easy to breeze through and so I was able to eat without hassle and satisfy my craving for falafel.
So the big questions are:
Did I buy anything and will I go back?
The answer to the first question is yes. I bought a grooming tool for my dogs. It was the only vendor that was nice an knowledgeable that I spoke to and the tool, despite its higher price tag, WORKS. I used it the moment I got home to comb out the knots from my dogs hair and cannot wait to put it to use on my lab.
You can get one on Amazon.
I also bought something for a friend as I behind to stock up early for Christmas.
Will I go back? Not unless my daughter is participating in a 4H event.
My must attend the Big E bucket list item is checked. The experience was a let down. I’ll be sticking to local, intimate fairs where I’m not lost in a crowd and where the intent of the fair maintains its integrity.