2023 Kay County Fair Survival Guide: 5 Simple Rules

by Charles Gerian

It’s that time of year.

The Fair.

The Kay County Free Fair is a century-old tradition that is on par with Blackwell’s Homecoming and the resurrection of Jesus Christ himself in terms of honored and sacred staples of life.

In 2021, I published a very popular “Kay County Free Fair Survival Guide” here in the Blackwell Journal-Tribune, and this year I’m bringing the updated and definite list to help YOU and your loved ones prepare for one of our area’s most iconic events.

1. Don’t try to park on east Ferguson.

Every year east Ferguson off of B Street is clogged by at least 50 or 60 cars parked along both sides of the road. The road, by the way, is generously big enough for two cars to pass by eachother on a good day when the fair ISN’T in town.

Every year someone gets dinged or a group of barefoot children sprint out of their cars into the middle of the already clogged road. It’s an incredibly tight and annoying place to navigate, so just park somewhere else. And no, you can’t parallel park. We both know you can’t. So don’t try to squeeze your rusty ****-box truck between the two already beat up cars that have ducttaped windows and missing side mirrors.

2. Take a shower

As someone who spends two weekends of the year at anime conventions surrounded by thousands of people in costumes sweating through their Naruto headbands, capes, armor, and wigs, I know a thing or two about hygiene and the people that lack it. And these are INSIDE events.

The fair is hot now, it has been for years. No one wants to be stuck in a line waiting for their double-deep-fried snickers hamburger chili dog and have to smell you, your cousin, your cousin’s sister, your sister, and your wife baking in the summer heat in your Tweety Bird sweatpants and cut-off shirt that you’ve worn since high school 20 years ago.

Take a shower. Please. For everyone’s sake. Then go buy a stick of deodorant.

3. There are things called garbage cans, please take note.

Your front yard at your house might be a fine area for you to toss your Sonic cups, Braum’s bags, and old clothes but the fairgrounds is (or should be) a different story.

There’s like, a hundred trash cans around the fair’s midway and throughout the ride area as well as several inside the Event Center. I promise it won’t kill you and your 7 screaming children to simply take your garbage and dispose of it in a properly marked area.

4. The teenage kids working the concession stands are doing their best- be nice.

The pre-teen kid making your 44 oz cherry limeade caramel pickle float is doing their best to work in a tight space and get you your garbage on time.

They don’t need to be yelled at because they forgot the cheeto-dust drizzle on your double quarter-pound sausage bbq slushie. They’re probably volunteering their time for a fundraiser or local organization, and you’re just making their life even harder by being an a-hole.

5. Support local!

The fair is always a great time to see literally everyone in town, including people you try to avoid constantly but end up running into and having to carry on an awkward conversation while you’re looking for any available “out” you can find.

It’s also a great time to see local vendors peddling their wares like jewlery, t-shirts, trinkets, and other items. Please make sure to stop by and support them- they’re probably sweaty and miserable, but they’re out there for what could be the difference in a successful career or a financial loss.

Also, be sure to stop by the Event Center and check out the art and science projects that local people in the area have submitted, including students!

And your 4-H and FFA kids work their asses off all year to show their animals during livestock season, they’d appreciate some kind words of encouragement in the Livestock Barn, as well!