It shouldn’t come to a surprise that the Great New York State Fair has been cancelled this year.  Cmon, people, there’s a pandemic out there, there’s no way they could’ve gotten away with not closing it.  But a lot of people have been saying “it just doesn’t feel like the end of summer without the Fair,” which leaves me asking, “Damn, y’all actually had things left to look forward to?”  

Soul-crushing memes aside, there’s still a way for those who apparently still have some sense of time (or at least in terms of things like “seasons”) to still get their Fair fix.

Orange Lot Madness,” named for the parking lot it’s being held in, is a fairgrounds-adjacent collection of vendors trying to make up for the fact that their biggest source of income has shut down for the first time since 1948, and has apparently been running every weekend from the start of August (oops, I’m 3 weeks late on this) until Labor Day weekend.   

The event was originally organized by Villa Pizze Fritte, a fried dough stand, they have since been joined by Big Kahuna (home of my beloved caramel crack fries), Ashley Lynn Winery (one of many wine slushy stands), and Carnival Eats (which as far as I can gleam from their god-awful website makes… generic carnival food).  The “drive-thru” aspect comes in as cars line up at their vendor of choice, where PPE-clad employees take your order from your window and deliver the food to you when it’s ready.  And since most carnival games and attractions would require levels of constant sanitation that just… don’t happen at fairs, they have decided to provide additional entertainment in the form of drive-in movies.

On the other hand, for those who feel that trying to navigate the fairgrounds’ parking lots is the worst part of the Fair Experience™, has also put together a guide for how to host your own Fair.  Most of it is honestly kinda hokey, like “charge your friends 25 cents for cups of chocolate milk,” “ring toss game with empty beer bottles and shower curtain rings,” and “host a butter sculpting competition, with a grand prize of all those quarters you got from your milk racketeering.”  They also suggest making some fair food at home, but also have the audacity to suggest “baked potato” and “corn on the cob” are fair staples? For those with higher culinary ambitions, they’ve also published recipes for true fair staples like wine slushies, pizze frittes, and “Hot Beef Sundae.” (Man, I need to stop putting sarcastic quotation marks on everything.) But, just like the Fair itself, it may be hokey at times, but the important thing is being able to have a good laugh at it all with your friends.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna grab my blender and do some day drinking. 

One thought on “The Great New York State Fair- Drive-thru Style

  1. RJG says:

    Now that you changed the WordPress theme, you can sling the term “god-awful website” at others from a position of security. 😉

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