Maricopa County Fair brings locals together

With crafts, shows and rides, there was much to see over the weekend.

The Maricopa County Fair took over the Arizona Fairgrounds this weekend, bringing deep-fried foods, fun rides, shows and many animals together in one big place, complete with a small monkey that shook your hand for a dollar.

The carnival greeted fairgoers as they arrived, with two Ferris Wheels and a massive swing that towered over the area. The rides had something for everyone, from mazes for the kids, to all manner of fast and twisting aerial thrillers for the older folks. However, the price of admission for these wasn't cheap if you didn’t splurge for the $30 bracelet. A single ride could run you $5, as the tickets were $1 each.

Next to the carnival, a collection of barns gathered sheep and goats of all sizes for display and competition. Another housed a wider range of farm animals — llamas stared at passerby and tiny baby chicks wandered in and out of a miniature barn house on the show floor. Kids were able to learn some fun facts about the animals as they walked past.

The learning experience continued in the exhibit center, where local science teams showcased their robotics and gave fun lessons to the crowds of youngsters. For those looking for a quick bite, a booth taught kids how to make homemade tortillas that were cooked right away.

Aside from the many vendors and appearances by SpongeBob Squarepants, one side of the exhibit hall was dedicated to arts and crafts. Rows of colorful model rockets filled one booth, while crochet and knitted wares stood next door.

Back outside, there were more than enough shows to keep folks entertained. Near the exhibit hall, BMX riders Superhero Stunt Team performed tricks for the crowds, while a diver swam with nurse sharks next door. The main stage catered to musical and dance acts, while a nearby horse racing track held monster trucks and motocross riders.

It wouldn’t be much of a fair without a smattering of interesting foods to consume. Giant turkey legs, burgers and hot dogs were a given, but attendees could also take part in delicious maple bacon funnel cakes and fried candy bars. One booth even managed to figure out how to fry peaches.

The Maricopa County Fair was a fun time, despite some expensive rides. With food, animals, crafts and shows, there was more than enough happening to keep folks entertained and keep the crowds going over the weekend.

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