Trading Cash for Experience: New Jersey State Fair

DenaAugust 11, 2010

Fun Slide

Preface: I’m not a fan of money, spending money, or obtaining material possessions. In my life, I practice minimalism whenever possible.

My opinions about money & possessions are largely shaped by my financial history. Despite the facts that I am frugal & that money is not my favourite thing, there is one thing that I am willing to spend my money on and that is: experience.

I absolutely love to experience new places & things—exotic locations, adventures, art, culture, delicious foods: YES PLEASE! The reality about these things is that (in most cases) they cost money. But I’m okay with that. I’m happy to trade my hard-earned dollars for beautiful experiences.

This series—Trading Cash for Experience—features a few of the occasions where I decide to trade my $ for experience. Enjoy!

On Sunday, I attended the New Jersey State Fair / Sussex County Farm & Horse Show with my family. Talk about a perfect summer day! It was hot, the sun was shining, the skies were infinitely blue, and fluffy white clouds floated around like cotton candy.

Candy Apples

I’ve been attending this fair with my family for ages. It is a beautiful mix of country-living, carnival-esque attractions, and conservation education. My favourite things to do at the fair in no particular order:

  • Visit with the animals. Farmers around New Jersey bring in their livestock for competition & display. At the fair you can see every species of chicken & rooster imaginable & new-born baby chicks; cattle, cows, baby cows(!); sheep; goats (Nigerian Dwarf Goats!); pigs; bunny rabbits; and more! It is an animal-lover’s paradise.
  • Eat the delicious fair foods. This can be dangerous because there is just so much scrumptious food to choose from. My all-time favourites include more heart-attack-inducing treats than I’d like to admit, including: ribbon cut fries topped with cheese, sour cream, & bacon; the blooming onion; zeppoles; and old-fashioned ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.
  • Check out the exhibitors & advocacy groups. There are all kinds of exhibitors at the fair with conservation as a main focus. I always stop by the green-initiative tents. This year I spent a large chuck of time at the Bear Group tent. A few weeks ago, I found out that New Jersey has agreed to re-instate the bear hunt. This breaks my heart because it takes place in my backyard. Unless we can stop it, the hunt will take place from December 6 – 12, just when the mother bears are pregnant and about to give birth (in January).
  • And finally there are all of the games; rides; shopping to your hearts content (or browsing in my case); side-shows like the snake woman, the world’s largest pig, and so on; and of course the general carnival atmosphere!

Happy Baby

Enjoy my photographs—the adorable little boy is my nephew. If you are ever in Northern New Jersey in August, the State Fair is a must-do! If you’re not in the area check out the local county or state fair near you. Remember to wear comfortable shoes & dress cool. 😉

Nigerian Dwarf Goats
How sweet are these dwarf goats!

Baby Chick
My nephew loved the baby chicks.


Beer Tent
That's me enjoying a cold beer & the shade of the beer tent.

Stuffed Animals

Rubber Duckies

Rubber Duckies

Tractor Races
Tractor races... YEEHAW!

P.S. I am headed to Los Angeles, California August 21st—25th. If you are in the area & want to meet up, or if you have recommendations about what I should do while I’m there, let me know!

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