Crazy ass shit you saw at the fair when the fair was THE FAIR!

(I think this is probably the right place for this topic.)

So me and my dad went in like 1975 I think it was. First the rides were sketchy as hell. We rode this Octopus Thing. But either the bar didn’t work or there was none cause he literally had to hold onto me to keep me from flying out to my doom. And afterwards you’d see a bunch of men wandering around getting their wallets and sunglasses that had flown out.

ALSO…they had babies. In jars. Babies in jars. Various babies from from different points in the pregnancy term in jars. Four months, five months…etc…

Well, there were the Giant Sewer Rats From Paris. I wanted to see those but mom wouldn’t let me. I did see a huge cow, reputed to be THE LARGEST EVER, and a humongous alligator. If someone payed extra they’d open his mouth and you could see the humongous teeth.

I ate a discomfiting and horridly bright yellow soup, allegedly from the Netherlands. I’m not sure if it was at the 1964 world’s fair in New York or the HemisFair '68 fair in San Antonio; my parents took me to both when I was small. I remember the frightening soup, not the year.

About 10 years ago, I lived in a rural area, and their county fair not only had the Ferris wheel from “Neverland” (nothing to write home about; it was rusty and there was no way I was personally going to ride it), it had displays of award-winning 4H projects. One had an accompanying essay that included the line “Mares may produce semen…”

:smack:

One time at the Tom Green County Fair I saw a calf with five legs.

The fifth one was kind of limp and shapeless and just hanging off the calf’s shoulder, but I still felt like I got my money’s worth.

By the way, Roger Miller was right: The Tom Green County Fair’s got one fine rodeo!

Sounds like some farmboy was trying to explain how that semen got in there.

I saw a 2 headed snake once. I was freaked out about that for many years. I rode these swings that went round and round, while your feet dangled. It died, we were all hanging about 15 feet from the ground. Not that far, but as a 7yo it was high. My oldest brother was supposed to be minding us, but no, he was chasing around after girls. He just kept feeding us tickets and we just kept riding. When they finally got everyone off the swing ride my brother was frantic because he couldn’t find me. I milked that secret for many months.

A local fire department had a big fair to raise funds every year when I was a kid. They still have it but I imagine it’s a lot tamer.

They had the usual rides that were sketchy safety-wise. They had a fun house that was actually just a few trailers that you rode through that had some flashing lights and screaming dummies. One year some people got electrocuted to death in it.

They had the usual rigged carnival games where even if you did win all you got was some worthless piece of junk.

I remember one game where you threw ping pong balls at a collection of small fish bowls each containing a live gold fish… well at least some of them were alive. If you managed to land one in a bowl (they usually bounced off) then you won the bowl and the fish which, if it was alive to start with, was usually dead by the next morning. If you landed a ball in a bowl with a dead fish they’d tell you that you killed it.

They also had what appeared to be real old fashioned sideshows with things like wolf boys and snake ladies, etc. Unfortunately my parents wouldn’t take us in those.

They also had “girly shows”, usually with an unattractive woman in a bikini dancing in front to attract customers. I was too young to be let in those but I heard stories from some lecherous old guys about women shooting eggs and ping pong balls (if you get my drift).

Wow. I used to love going to that fair, but reading what I just wrote I have to wonder why!

I was on our county Fair board for awhile. I finally decided it was just too depressing. And I couldn’t figure out who really benefitted from the fair, the fair board? The county? I decided my volunteer hours could be put to better uses, and I moved on. Every time I’ve been to the fair in the last few years it just sadder and sadder. The good old fair days are gone. IMO.

I saw a snake woman. Human from head to hips, snake bottom part. She sang a love song, I think.

Seeing two guys get out of “The Zipper” with puke all over them, and retching.

Worth the price of admission.

Back in the late '70s the County Fair had the usual “Human Oddities” and animals with birth defects typical of the time. But the one thing I remember was that “bulldozer” machine that you put tokens into where the tokens would land toward the back and the machine would push them - along with prizes on top of the coins - to the front to drop out. There was once a pack of “nudie” playing cards that I spent every dime I had trying to get while my father wasn’t looking. Ah, good times.

There was a fair that came to Anchorage when I was a kid. I remember a ride that was sort of like a Ferris wheel, but people were in an enclosed cage. The cages didn’t rotate, but instead turned the riders upside down. When they were loading and unloading passengers, the people at the top hung upside down while all their change rained down out of their pockets. I remember there was a guy down below with a rake, who would collect all the bounty.

They also had a full-sized stuffed moose. I have a photo of me, my brother and my stepfather sitting on it. I’ve convinced many people in my life that we had a pet moose.

I saw the Flying Indians at the World’s Fair in 68 and then saw them again at a county fair here in PA around 1971. They were all impressed as hell (in Spanish) at seeing one of their programs pop up for autographs. They were odd in a cultural fashion and the fact that they basically made a career out of what had (at first) been basically a one-event shot was cool.

In the more normal form of crazy ---- a lot of freak shows/stunt shows and some displays of things that just could have been real.

Several “fun houses” would feature on the front of the ride huge paintings of curvaceous next-to-nude women wearing only see through lingerie running away from something in terror. One might be headless and another with a missing limb or a knife in her back. Circa: 1975.

Nothing to add, but great thread title.

Any self-respecting fair would have either ‘Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car’ or ‘Hitler’s custom built Mercedes’. Both if you were lucky.

We have plenty of fairs here but the only one I go to is the state fair. It is truly an agricultural fair with 4H and FFA exhibits and exhibit barns for about every farm-type animal. I don’t ever recall anything highly unusual though.

Our fire department had a “block party” to raise money. Mostly they consisted of small booths where they spun a wheel; if your number came up, you won a prize.

There were other tests of “skill” – throwing balls at a target, etc. The rides were unimpressive; I barely remember they had them.

Another booth involved punch cards. They consisted of a 3/4-in thick block of cardboard, with a bunch of depressions on them. You’d pay your money, choose one of the spots and pushed into it with a bit of thick wire. A small slip of paper came out, saying that you lost.

But not always. In my case, I won a toaster. I gave it to my grandmother (I was around 10) and she used it the rest of her life.

Years later, I started going to local county fairs.

I have a vivid memory of going to a fair in Hawaii in the 60s and seeing a hammerhead shark and a manta ray being displayed in large above-ground pools.