The Arlington County Fair is over for 2023 but some of the participants are still dizzy from The Brute or the Rock Star or the Super Shot. Long lines formed for the most popular rides although some disappointed little ones were turned away to wait until next year when they have reached the yellow 48-inch mark for eligibility to ride.
One 11-year-old who had just been to the Montgomery County Fair the night before kept asking for his wrist band which allowed him to ride as many rides as many times as he wanted instead of the tickets required at Arlington. “It’s not fair. Your tickets are gone before you know it. It costs a lot more money.”
The budding bronco tosses off riders onto a soft balloon floor (it’s bucking’ fun) while the Super Shot slowly rises into the air with anticipation and then instantly plunges to the ground with shrieks blasting through the air. Fists pumped in the air to the familiar music of the Teriyaki Boyz as the passengers whirled around in cars, slowly at first and then speeding up and then whipping backwards.
Tiny arms could barely reach the balloons with darts but were handed a tiny green dragon as a prize anyway (instead of the very large stuffed dragon that tantalized contestants of all ages). Close by is an adult trying over and over to toss a ring around a bottle and set it upright.
The familiar funnel cakes offer strawberry and red velvet versions this year in addition to the regular powdered sugar standard. Candy cotton comes in rainbow colors, and “the green really tastes like lime and the colors all taste different.” Large plastic cups of frozen lemonade pucker the mouth but are just right on a hot day.
The Fair offered everyone’s favorite magician, Drew Blue Kids, for kids as well as the free Kids Court activities and stage performances in the Entertainment Tent by local and regional artists throughout the day. You could find everything from a Beer Garden to a Family Dance party.
Uber drivers pulled up in front of the entrance to the Fair and large families spilled out and headed in all directions. “Since the parking is very limited I’ve been doing this all day — back and forth from all over Arlington to the fairgrounds,” commented one driver.
Saturday at noon featured a pie eating contest in the Thomas Jefferson Community Center where contestants were divided into age groups beginning with the 6-10 year old age group. All lined up the table with a multi-berry slice of pie from Living’ the Pie Life on a plate in front of them. Only rule — no hands. The fifth place contestant comments, “My friend came in fourth. She just sucked in the piece and it was gone just like that.”