Monster Trucks, Freaks, Creationists and Other Things You Don’t Usually See in New Jersey

New Jersey State FairWhen you think of state fairs, New Jersey is hardly the first place that comes to mind. But we have at least two of the them.

There is a so-called New Jersey State Fair that takes places for a couple weeks around July 4 in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium. This one is really just a big carnival. They could park those trucks anywhere and it would be the same.

But the other one is the real thing. The event used to be called the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show. I like to think of it as spending a day in the midwest without actually having to leave New Jersey.

Sussex County is in the northwest corner of the state. It is too far away to be considered a suburb of New York or of Philadelphia. And it’s nowhere near the ocean. So it doesn’t have the things that you usually think of when you think of New Jersey, whether that’s beautiful beaches, urban blight or Superfund sites.

New Jersey State Fair

Trailer-top biking

Trailer-top biking

New Jersey State Fair

A John Deere powered ice cream maker

Singing, dancing mechanical veggies. Wow!

Singing, dancing mechanical veggies. Wow!

New Jersey State Fair

Keeping a wary eye on fairgoers

 

 

and another.

and another

A poultry contest entrant

A poultry content entrant

The hen house shows its colors

The hen house shows its colors

 

A goat toddler

A goat toddler

ou could pick up a new chicken coop

You could pick up a new chicken coop

Usually were more of an evolution state.

Usually we are more of an evolution state.

The monster truck ride

The monster truck ride

 

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28 Responses to Monster Trucks, Freaks, Creationists and Other Things You Don’t Usually See in New Jersey

  1. Lenie says:

    Hi John – thanks for this write-up. It’s unfortunate that so many of the ‘farm-type’ fairs are disappearing. I live in rural Ontario and we still have a number of small fall fairs, nothing on the scale you write out – and a couple of bigger ones, but these fairs are so important to keep people connected to their roots. I love the John Deere ice-cream maker. will have to tell my husband about that – he has a John Deere tractor (and of course, the hat to match).
    Lenie

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  2. jankedonna says:

    Enjoyed seeing the John Deere ice cream maker. It reminded me of my father. He would have gotten a real kick out of that.

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  3. We love the Fair. We’re going Friday night.

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  4. jacquiegum says:

    This looks like such good wholesome fun! Who knew it could be in New Jersey! That John Deere Ice cream maker is a complete hoot! Gotta love that:)

    Like

  5. First off, I do not agree with this statement: Monster Trucks, Freaks, Creationists and Other Things You Don’t Usually See in New Jersey. That is a joke by the way.
    I like summer because of the fairs. I go to everyone that is nearby. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. I love these kinds of fairs. I just went to one not far from where I live. It had a antique tracker parade ( with John Deer Trackers) that was very cool. I do find it unfortunate that so many of these types of fairs are disappearing. The good news is there are still quite a few still left in my area. We go to support them whenever we can. I so prefer them to the bigger ones. 🙂

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  7. Tim says:

    This looks like a real throw-back to another time Ken. I have never been to a fair like this but was fortunate enough once to visit the pumpkin festival in Illinois and it was similar; no emu though.

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  8. maxwell ivey says:

    hi ken; it sounds like you had fun. 🙂 you are right th one at the medal ands could be any parking lot in america. worst thing to ever happen to the amusement industry. they can make more money but it deleted and devalued the country fairs. maybe i’ll get there next year, max

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  9. Ken Dowell says:

    Would love to have you there Max.

    Like

  10. I love going to the Western Idaho Fair every year. As you can probably guess, fairs are still a pretty big deal in my home state. When I was teaching, it was a given that 70-80% of my students were involved in 4-H or FFA (Future Farmers of America.)

    Like

    • Ken Dowell says:

      Would love to go to a fair in Idaho. That’s probably what we are trying to emulate. Was in Idaho for the first time earlier this year driving through from Jackson to Salt Lake City. Totally enjoyed my 1-2 hour stopover in Pocatello where I lunched at the Pontneuf Brewery than went to the clean Museum..

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  11. Duke Stewart says:

    This looks like such a hodgepodge of greatness lumped together. There’s a farm-themed parade in my Mom-in-law’s neck of the woods in West Virginia but I don’t think it’s as cool as this. Really cool!

    Like

  12. Mina Joshi says:

    We have fairs in UK but on a smaller scale to what you have written about. Here we have tractor rides or toy train rides. I would have loved to ride in the monster truck!!

    Like

  13. Beth Niebuhr says:

    What a fun post. I loved the state fair in Iowa when I was growing up. It’s still going strong. Great pictures.

    Like

  14. Arleen says:

    Thanks for sharing the fairs in New Jersey. My husband loves monster trucks. New Jersey gets a bad rap but there is a lot of good in this state. We were watching a program recently on TV which will be here again next from July 24-26th in Readington, NJ. We plan to go.

    Like

  15. Glad you enjoyed it. Seems I’m the only one who doesn’t enjoy fairs. Good photos though.

    Like

  16. TheRecipeHunter says:

    What fun! I grew up always attending the State Fair of Texas which, is quite large! But I’ve always enjoyed smaller county fairs as well and it looks like this one in New Jersey would’ve been a great way to spend a day! Not sure about that Spidora tho….I don’t need her talking to me! LOL!

    Like

  17. michelelobosco says:

    Looks like so much fun, Ken! We had street fairs in Brooklyn, no farm animals but plenty of zeppole and pizza (it was a predominantly Italian community, what can I tell ya?). There’s something so wholesome and fun about fairs though…I always get a kick out of them!
    Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for the post. Beautiful pictures. Never been to a fair like this one.

    Like

  19. Hi Ken,
    I like the rural sense and feel to fairs, the mingling of crowds, the sights and sounds.
    Perhaps it comes from nostalgia of the one trip to Coney Island as a child or the carnival atmosphere in Venice Beach.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill

    Like

  20. Erica says:

    This looks like fun. I lived in New Jersey for a short time but I never heard of either fairs. I once found a small section of Jersey that had a lot of farmland and a rural feel, but mostly you don’t experience anything like this in Jersey.

    Like

  21. Christina says:

    So fun to see! I grew up in 4-H and worked for them for seven years so am a big fan and supporter of county and state fairs. I’ll be visiting our county fair tomorrow and look forward to the Washington State Fair (formerly Puyallup Fair) that runs for nearly the entire month of September.

    Like

  22. Kate F Eaton says:

    Definitely tugged at my farm girl from Kansas heart. Our State Fair is still well-attended, as are the county 4H fairs. Thanks for bringing a smile with your photos and words.

    Like

  23. jbutler1914 says:

    Very interesting looking fair. The fair in Atlanta doesn’t look look that.

    Like

  24. Pingback: 10 Most Viewed Off the Leash Blog Posts in 2014 | off the leash

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