My Fair Lady

Summer in Central New York.

Ohhhhhh Lordy, that's quite a special phrase. My fellow 315-ers know that this sought after 7-syllable serenade is a holy grail of sorts. We nutsos around here keep rockin' and rollin' during 2-ish months of fall, give or take 6.5 long weeks of winter and half a month of spring just so we can soak up that sparse June through August sweet Syracuse sunshine. {Math is not my strong point, but yep, you heard me right - it can even snow in MAY around here, loves. #Jeallie?}

It's hit or miss when that big ball 'o yellow gives us flirty eyes, but when she's here, we totally wink right back. Our area is a happy haven to "good weather" festivals - many of which are culturally centered. {Greek, Bavarian, Polish, Macedonian...just to name a fabulous few.} Friends and family you haven't seen for MONTHS will all jump out from their marvelously melted igloos to gather for food and fun.

But, one event holds THE title for the BEST in my opinion. In fact, she deserves her own line in this original ode...

{The Great New York State Fair}

Aug. 27 - Sept. 7, 2015
{Click this pic to view the official website!}

{DISCLAIMER: If you're not a fan of this fantastic fete, please stop reading today. I'll fully understand that we have to go our separate ways on this one, darlin. No hard feelings! Truly. Join me back here soon, ok? Capiche?} 

{Growing Up GREAT}

Ok. So for all of those who stayed...let's just share one big fat collective EEEEEEE!!!!!!!! {Gosh, that felt great!} The countdown is ON to our 2-weeks of wonder. We've sat back patiently long enough. Our beauty is almost back and it's smooth sailing from here, mateys!

You may be sitting here wondering, what's this girl's deal? {No one ever really knows.} Is she cray? {Don't answer that.} Is she carnie? {Pretty sure.} Who did this to her? {Please thank my fam.}

{Race Ya To The Gates}

Ever since I was a young loon, my family went to the Fair. All of 'em. Every single one. Our friends were there too. The sights! The sounds! The smells! {#AlliterationForDays} It's down right enchanting. As with all of my favorite things, I go overboard on my love for the Fair. I can fondly remember an annual tradition - my Papa {Grandpa} Mike would load us all up in his wood-sided station wagon {oh heck yes, holla!!!!!} and we'd take off toward the Orange Lot. He'd make a U-turn near the front entrance and drop us all off so we wouldn't have to walk too far {the man was a true gentleman, God rest his soul}.

Don't hate. You know you specifically remember riding
in the back of one of these! And, you know you waived to strangers too.

{Get Lost}

We'd RACE through the gates so we could fill out a Lost Kid Tag. We'd never stray from the group, but it was sort of like the "thing" to do when you arrive. Peeps of all ages like to rock 'em. Next stop? Taking a pic behind one of those "painted scenes" - you know the kind - you can be a family of cows or a bunch of corn, etc. {It never gets old!}

{Chevy Court}

If my Grandparents took us during the day, we'd meet up with my mom and dad around dinner time. Chevy Court was the meeting spot - the mecca, for sure! That musical stage has been named many things over the years, but to us, it'll always be Chevy and it'll always hold memories. I remember being pulled up on stage by my "Uncle" Otis Day {Yep... #Shout!} when I was 7 years old, seeing Boyz II Men reunite in early Y2K, sitting in the seats allllll day {alternating with my sister} so we could catch a glimpse of whoever was performing that night.

{Familiar Foodies}

There are food tables right behind the seating area - strategically placed next to Dinosaur BBQ. I'd stand in that line for 6 hours if ya made me. Even if I can drive downtown to order it any time I want, seeing that overflowing platter of goodness is just indescribable. Just like my adoration for...

Tully's. My extreme love for this restaurant goes back to my jr./high school days, when after football and basketball games, my school would overtake the entire back room. Our purple pride would paint the whole place from top to bottom, and my gold pom poms always had a head seat at the table. 6 bucks for a few tenders and fries? Sure. Toss me a cold water, and I'll see ya again in 2 days. Just like how long it takes for you to get to the front of the line at...

Villa. I'm not saying anything else about this legendary stop. The name speaks for itself. Who am I kidding? OF COURSE I'm going to profess my heart. The iconic, fresh, piping HOT bag of fried dough sprinkled in sparkly sugar is a damn near Heavenly experience. Lines practically stretch to the front gates, and there's good reason. Who cares how long you wait? There's enough "people watching" to pass the time, and the Lemonade Stand directly to the right of it will wet your whistle while ya chill, It's one of my first stops, and one of my last stops each day. I don't even acknowledge the price. Nope. They could charge me 50 bucks a rope and I'd call it a deal. Just like....

The Dollar Baked Potato. It's my own version of the Loch Ness Monster. I love it and all, but have only been graced by its actual presence ONE time. Yep - ONCE. It was topped with Heluva Good French Onion Dip. {#WHAT?!} And, it was a Beauty AND a Beast all at the same time. It was a beauty to see, but a beast to stand through that long line. It's one of the only things that make me squirm at the Fair. My #hangry-ness takes over and I pout. So....

Then I run over to get Twin Trees Pizza. Another one of those things I could buy during non-Fair time, but it's cut into a square at the Fair. Gotta have it. Just because squares are cool...

And, so is King David's, says The Hubs. That's his jam. Every year. Never fails. The tzatzkiki is off the chain...and so are the flavors of this perfectly packed pita.

{Tricky Treats}

OH STOP IT. Yes, I'm yelling. Just try it. {#YOLObaby} I've tried many a bonker of a bite over the years...deep fried Twinkies, Oreos, mac 'n cheese, PB&J...but one sweetheart reigns supreme...the deep fried PEANUT BUTTER CUP! {I'll keep on stalkin' the buffalo chicken wing dip. Stay tuned.}

I took a pic of the stand, but the evidence was camera shy.
Or...in our bellies. One of the two.


Yeah, all this talk about food is making me thirsty. Growing up, we always knew the "Colonnade" to be THE spot for the cool crowd. Wine Slushies? I toasted to my 21st with one of these gorgeously grape goodies. It was a rite of passage, and I continue to love seeing friends and fam as I walk through those columns while making my way to...

{Life is...Grand}

The Grandstand. It was an outdoor concert hub that is now rumored to be torn down. {I'm not dealing well with this.} The floor seats were ground level or on risers. The stands were sentimentally shaky. If it rained, no dice. You had to wait it out until no lightning was in sight. I have a big special memory of the Demolition Derby - at which, one of my "Uncles" who was driving proposed to my "Aunt," with a big sign, and made the news. {Sooooo swoon-worthy!!!!!!} Another supercool mem? CoCo and I met Reba. That lady is a dream. Just purely graceful and golden-hearted. I won tix for Mama C in an essay contest about mothers...and my campaign for Daughter of the Year in 2013 was doing mighty well at that point, haha! {Sorry sister SheShe!} Can't forget going to Pitbull with some of my chicas and moving down toward a better view...like bosses! And, rounding out my absolute favorite moment from that hot spot? I met lifetime friends while trying to win tickets to see Luke Bryan. Never did get to see 'ol dude, but I did get to see a friendship blossom into family-level.

{Inside joke: Is the record button on?!!!!}

Thanks Luke!

Miss Reba herself!

{It's Game Time}

And, speaking about levels - how much skill does it take to actually win some of the games? LeBron, if you read this, I'm sending you a personal invite to step up to the paint in front of a strategically bent hoop with me! I'll buy you a Red Velvet Funnel Cake if you can win me the 10-ft. unicorn. Deal?!!! Ok, back to reality. We know Bron's not reading this...but ya know what I like to read? The smiles across the Twinados' faces when they win something. Many years ago, I said I'd go to the ends of the Earth to win my kiddos a prize when I become a Mama. Well, I trekked to the ends of that world, and ya know what I found? GOLDFISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think we paid $35 to win Mr. State and Mrs. Farrah, but ya know what? We supported the Fair. {Hah!} And, we spent a terrific 2 days with these giddy goldies. {Womp, womp} Going back this year to buy their offspring.

It's o-FISH-al.
We'll buy them whatever they want!

{Along For The Ride}

Know what else we're going to buy? Ride tickets for the chicks. Because the sound of "wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!! again, again!!!" never gets old. When they're 70, I fully expect them to still ask us to take them on these Kid Midway rides, because if they don't, my Old Motherly nagging will eventually drag...on.

See what I did there? The whole dragon connection?

{Front and Center}

Ya know, after a good day of Midway mania, our clothes sometime need a little TLC - so we head over to the Center of Progress Building to stock up on Grandmother's Laundry Soap. A good family friend of ours gave us a mason several years ago, and WE SWEAR BY THIS STUFF. It gets out every accidental sangria spot, every whoopsie daisy pen mark and even every uh-oh Spaghetti-O droplet. If you don't see them at a booth this year, check out their website and order a jar of your own. {DO IT! You know you wanna!} After we buy our supply, we head on down the line with an empty bag to stock up on freebies and hear pitches for As-Seen-On-TV products. No matter how many days we go to the Fair, we always make a few visits to the Sand Sculptures just to admire the magical sight.

Whoever "Grandmother" is...she's a flippin genius.
Click the pic to buy some!

{P is for Popular}

And, speaking of sights - let's give a proper shout out to a bit of pop culture. Where else can you sit in on a Q&A with Real Housewives cast members, get your name on a Coke bottle or see the infamous Weinermobile all in one day? {Hint: THE FAIR!!!!!!!!!}

Yours truly. Posing like a hot dog.

{Who hearts the Fair? I ... Do}

Ok, sorry about this long-winded lullaby. I'm rambling like an excited bride with sunshine on her wedding day or something. Oh, wait! That lady in lace really IS me! Believe it or not, if my heart couldn't beam any brighter with pride for this place, check out where me and The Hubs spent the rest of our big day 10 years ago with our loved ones! {No, no, it wasn't in August. We wanted the whole dang place all to ourselves in May, baby!}

Jump if you like the Fair!
{Stand still if you're ready for cake.}

{Very Honorable Mentions}

I'd be remiss if I didn't spotlight some other Fair Faves: the maple candy, the salt water taffy, caricatures, the animals, horse shows, Jones I Got It, the Rainbow Milk Bar, theme days {Beef Day!}, piglet races, candy apples {East Coast, baby!}, take-away roasted corn on the cob, putt putt near the pond, and the trooper show (Oh, hey, Michelle D.! That one was just for you, lovey!}.

25-cents for an ice cold glass of sass.

For the love of God - these pigs were named
 Kevin Bacon and Britney Spareribs.
{Gimme more. More!!!!}

{Tick Tock, Tick Tock...Free Tickets Really Rock}

If you haven't picked up your tickets yet, whatcha waiting for, honey?! You still have time to head to CNY-area supermarkets to pick some up at dashingly discounted prices....or guess what?!!! YOU CAN WIN THEM ON THE {CoCo's Daughter} FACIE PAGE! I'm proud to THANK the Great New York State Fair for sponsoring 2 free tickets and 1 free parking pass to 1 lucky CoCo-Nut. Head over and enter by Friday, 8/21. All you need to do is be a fan of the CoCo's Daughter Facebook page {click like if ya like!} and leave a comment about your favorite Fair thing. Classtools.net will randomly choose a winner for us.

Let's be clear though...whoever wins, 
you're ALL winners in my book!

Chuckle, chuckle...

{Side note: I am not affiliated with the Great New York State Fair. No compensation was received for this review. Not one single shiny penny! Even if I was, I'd give it right back. These are my own superridiculouslylooooonnnnngggg views for my beloved, and I'll shout my 100% genuine appreciation for it for as long as I live.}

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