New Mexico State Fair
September 11 through 27, 2009
Our State’s Fair is in September every year and will be starting its 2009 run this Friday, September 11. I have not been the biggest fan of state fairs in the past. I never went to the state fair when I lived in NJ, and although my good friend Toni Maglione’s family business, Maglione’s Italian Ice, always had a concession there, I some how escaped ever having to make the ride down to Trenton with Toni for the fair. I don’t know why, but maybe my creepy fascination with “carni” people was overcome by my healthy fear of them. Toni said I was right to feel this way. She wasn’t entirely please with “state fair duty”. (Fair was in Trenton 30+ years ago.)
My very first state fair experience was in my new home, New Mexico, and I must say that while I no longer feel that state fairs are all shady carnivals, I still don’t make the trip every year. I have a few really fond memories of the New Mexico State Fair though, and I will hold on to them.
One thing that is a “must do” for many fair goers is chowing down on a smoked turkey leg, and this is a great memory for me. At the time of this first visit, I didn’t know it was a given – go to the fair – have a turkey leg, but the lure of the magnificent odor coming from Powdrell’s BBQ concession was more than I could walk away from. My husband went in a different direction – probably headed toward funnel cakes, so I got my smoked turkey leg and a few napkins and headed toward some picnic tables. This was right around dusk, and most of the fair action was happening over on the midway with the rides, music and young people hooking up. The concessions were getting ready to close and there was only one other person sitting at the tables. I sat at the table across from him, said hi, and laid into my turkey leg, just as my neighbor was doing. Then I looked up and saw that it was our then Governor, Bruce King, all by himself with his teeth sunk into a Powdrell’s smoked turkey leg – just like me. We had a bonding moment, to say the least. We didn’t have to say much more. We looked at each other with ecstasy in our eyes, enjoying this culinary delight.
Being a semi-city girl, I also got big thrills going through the exhibits of champion fruits, veggies and the awesome displays put out by various farms from all over the state. I loved the 4H competitions. Then, I had to head over to the livestock to see just what champion cows, pigs, horses and roosters looked like. I WAS in hog heaven. In fact, I didn’t know hogs grew that big. Incredible!
One year I took my children to the fair for the afternoon. Each school in the city has a get-out-early State Fair Day, so off we went. While standing in line to enter, I lost my wallet. I was fairly depressed, but the friend that went with us loaned us enough money to have a “fairly” good time. A week or so later I received a package in the mail – my wallet – with a note that said that this person from San Diego saw me drop my wallet and some unsavory thugs were going after it . This person stepped on my wallet to stop them and after they picked it up they couldn’t find me. They mailed it to me when they got home. All that was missing was the postage used to mail it back to me. Wow. How lucky is that? My faith in human kind was renewed.
My last fond memory of the New Mexico State is seeing my friend Sarita’s son, Santo, perform traditional Spanish dances at the Spanish Village. They were all in full costume – males in black suits with short waist jackets, and gals in colorful, ruffled, flowing dresses. It was a type of dance I was unfamiliar with. Lots stomping and flair. I nearly cried it was so much fun to watch.
I am sure that the Fair is many thing to many people, but these are my best memories. Everyone should take a trip or two to the State fair and get some memories. Here is what the New Mexico State Fair offers this year. By the way…most of the pictures here are of my grandson, who had a fantastic first timer experience last year. Fun for kids, young and old!
New Mexico State Fair, September 11-27, 2009
Adults (ages 13-61) $7
Senior Citizens (ages 62+) $5
Children (ages 6-12) $5
Children (ages 0-5) FREE
Parking – $5.00
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Daily
Noon-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday
Noon-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday
Carnival – (midway)
Opens at 1 p.m. Monday-Thursday
Opens at 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday
The Sate Fair celebrates Theme Days, such as Science & Technology Day, Native American Day, Firefighters Day, Hispanic Heritage Day, Environment Appreciation Day, Smokey the Bear Day, Women’s Day and many more.
Rodeo and Concerts at Tingley Coliseum, at the State Fairgrounds, ( aka ExpoNM)
My husband took me to a concert held during State Fair. The concert started right after the rodeo, and the dirt floor of the arena transforming into a stage for the concert was a spectacle in itself. I was mesmerized.
New Mexico State Fair Rodeo – The New Mexico State Fair Rodeo is the 11th stop on the Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour, the PRCA’s premier 12-city series of rodeos that culminates in the Wrangler Summer Tour Finale. Our State Fair’s Rodeo is home to rodeo events like: bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
Concerts during State Fair are held at Tingley Coliseum, one of the largest entertainment facilities in the state, with a seating capacity at about 12,000. 2009 State Fair Concerts are:
Huey Lewis & The News
For all the info you could ever need about the 2009 New Mexico State Fair, and much you don’t, visit the ExpoNM website.
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