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505 Circles of Hell

Circle One: The State Fair

And don't forget the delicious Fair food!
And don't forget the delicious Fair food!

It’s that time of year again: Traffic! Heat! Obligatory family time! Oh, and the cost! You know what I’m talking about, the New Mexico State Fair.

The idea is great; a day with the family celebrating New Mexican culture. Once you act on it, though, you realize the grievous error you’ve inflicted on yourself and those you choose to go with.

The traffic that surrounds the area for blocks creates a vehicular circle of hell. You could use ABQ Ride, but this is Albuquerque! We drive everywhere, under all conditions. Unless you pay for parking (to add to the increasing debt you’ll owe to a fast cash loan service to afford this trip) you have to fight for a too-small parking spot that takes nearly 20 minutes to find after a 30 minute wait in traffic. I can’t imagine how the folks who live in the surrounding area deal with the animosity of these drivers.

After an hour or so once you’re on the Fair Grounds, you get a New Mexican sweat; the sweat that pours from every crevice on your body. Theoretically this cools the body, but personally, it just makes me damp and irritated. Add this to forced family time and you’ll see the result: red-faced parents, screaming kids, uninterested teens and the slowing elderly.

The Fair is also incredibly expensive for most families. The parking is $10 (and $20? Can you be more specific, New Mexico State Fair Facebook page?), entry is another $10 if you’re 12-64, $7 if you’re 6-11 or 65 and older, and free for kiddos 5 and under.

So already, for an average family of four, this is around $40 without preferred parking. Plus paying for food and tickets for rides, you're looking at at least just under $100 and that’s not even counting the total cost of gas, either.

In addition to all of this I hate long lines, line-cutters, the idea of the baby animals being required to sit in the same spot all day so screaming families can view them for two minutes (once I did see some llamas chasing a baby giraffe, or was that a dream?), the creepy carnies, creepy dudes in general, running into people I haven’t seen since high school, and the amount of smoke from the meat food places.

But I’m pretty excited for Balloon Fiesta.