Saturdays during the State Fair can get pretty hectic in the neighborhood. There seems to be two completely separate sets of clientele on Saturdays.
The early shift is dominated by minivans and SUVs loaded up with mom, dad, 2.5 kids and strollers that seem to get bigger each year. When they actually park in a yard, it takes 10 minutes for them to coordinate Tom and Mary (sorry, this is 2011... make it Noah and Addison) into the stroller - but only after an application of sunscreen and floppy hats. Then mom needs to find the juice boxes and make sure they are in reach in a hurry. Diaper bag? Check. Change of clothes, moist towellettes, sunglasses? Check, check, check. Meanwhile, dad is standing there, ready to go and tapping his feet as if to say "Dear, if you don't hurry this up, that guy might blog about us being the one who takes 10 minutes to get moving".
Then around 5:00, as the first shift begins to clear out, you get the replacement squad, comprised of a couple of subsets... the car full of young adults that are yelling "Wooo, I LOVE this stuff!" or a couple (husband and wife or BF/GF) in which both are dressed as nicely as they can for an event which includes walking for miles in the humidity and stops at every beer stand (and they certainly aren't wearing Hawai'ian shirts and Bermuda shorts). This entire group of people is there for the party, so paying $10 to park? Insignificant. They park the car, get out as if ejected by the push of a button, and hi-tail it towards the Fair. There is no time to lose, for the Fair might run out of beer. Or worse; time, as the beer still flows but the day ends.
Everyone from the parents with kids to the young adults are there for the fun. They get out of their cars excited for their crack at the cream puffs, or chocolate-wrapped bacon, or the deep fried Snickers Bar. Some come back to the car with a bag full of goodies purchased from vendors (Side note; I have seen very little of that for the first three days. Seems like nobody is buying anything. That, or they are buying big deliverables, like hot tubs, siding and hammocks.) But since 2006 when we started this, I have yet to see anyone come back from the Fair that didn't have a good time.
Well, maybe except for dad, who had to push that huge stroller to, through, and from the park on a hot summer's day and can't wait to sit in the driver's seat and start the air conditioning.
For the day, Ye Olde James Clan parked 21 cars, bringing the tally to 47 for the first three days. This is two cars more than the same period last year, though revenue is about one more group of 22-year olds behind last year.
As I type this, a decent thunderstorm is moving through the area. I hope it clears up and doesn't limit the crowds today. Beginning tomorrow, it should be cooler and less humid (Aleluia!) and will be a great opportunity for everyone to have a great time. Goodness knows my AC could use a break.