Ridin' Dirty at the Ulster County Fair

Our Danish intern visits her first county fair — and takes a bite out of American culture (and a corndog)

American fairs embody everything that I love all in one: wild rides, cute farm animals, and of course — fried foods.

This weekend I had the pleasure of experiencing all of it and much more at the annual Ulster County Fair in my American hometown, New Paltz.

The fair has been a part of Ulster County history for over 100 years, ever since a few men from Ellenville started the construction of a small festival at the Ellenville Driving Park in 1869. Today, the fair is the ultimate family fun destination with over 20 rides, exhibits, a pig race, petting zoo, live entertainment, food vendors, and carnival games.

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carnival rides stiltwalker

Carnival rides and stiltwalkers

The weather was perfect for some fair fun with friends — it wasn’t too hot, the sun was up, and the sky was crystal clear.

My friends and I took the short 10-minute drive from our house to the fairgrounds. When we arrived, we were greeted by the crowds of buzzing fairgoers and the unavoidable smell from the racing horses.

The fair was everything I expected: crowded and full of sinfully good fried foods. I indulged in the classic American munchies: a giant corndog and a fried Oreo, which was perfectly moist and sweet (and a calorie bomb only to be indulged at carnival season if you wish to keep your svelte figure)!

corndog deep fried oreos

My first corndog and deep-fried Oreos

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What I loved the most about the fair is that it reflects a part of American culture that I find interesting and that I miss about my own culture: the melting pot.

At the fair there is room for everyone, and fairgoers all come with the same goal in mind: to have a good time. Even the wide range of foods, from Jamaican to Greek, is an evident proof of the melting pot that is part of American identity, as we know it today. It’s like tasting a part of a new culture every single time!

Have any questions or recommendations for Anemone? Suggest them as a comment below!

pig races ferris wheel

Pig races and the ferris wheel

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