… I still call it the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show, though. That’s what it was called throughout my entire childhood.

My favorite things about this fair that everyone must do/experience:

1. The Demolition Derby.

I attend the first Monday of August at 7:30pm, every year. Loud crashes and the sound of car fluids spraying everywhere, mud flinging into the stands, the occasional car fire, and my favorite part: the crowd. Everyone gets so into it, screaming for their favorite cars that are smashed from previous events, decorated in colorful spray paint with drawings of flames or skulls or patterns and the occasional (and adorable) drawings from the drivers kids and often times phrases like, “I love my hot wife”. Each car also has its own name and number. This years names ranged from ‘Green Machine’ to ‘Wild Child’ to ‘Hot Rod’ and in years past my all-time-favorite derby car name is ‘The Thrillbilly’.

The Demo Derby has always been my favorite past time and the main reason I go back to the fair each and every year. It’s a family event and it’s always so much fun to watch!

2. Butcher Boys Cheese Steaks.

I could very easily be a vegetarian. I am extremely picky with meat and will never eat meat at a restaurant that I think is processed or bad quality. I won’t eat a frozen hamburger and I’ll never eat a hotdog. All of this background information could lead you to believe I have no clue about what a good burger or a good cheese steak would taste like, but let me tell you – these cheese steaks are the greatest cheese steaks of all time. Philly’s got nothing on these ‘butcher boys’! They are excellent quality, extremely fresh and taste delicious. Definitely have your dinner at Butcher Boys!

3. This year there was a new food stand – The Apple Crisp stand.

It’s new and it’s already been bumped up into my top 3 reasons why you should attend the SCF&HS. As we were leaving the Demo Derby heading towards our car we got a whiff of this apple crisp and all three of us stopped in our tracks, looked at each other with wide eyes and then immediately got in line. It smelled SOOOO GOOOOOD! I can’t even explain it. $5.00 later I had a huge apple crisp covered in vanilla ice cream and crunchy topping and for .50 cents extra I added caramel! I have never tasted anything so delicious in my life.

I was going to write about how you have to get the fried pierogies and how you can’t go to a fair without getting a funnel cake, but these favorite treats of mine are no more. Apple Crisps are the new thing and therefore my list just got a little smaller.

4. The animals.

The Sussex County Farm and Horse Show is FILLED with adorable prize winning animals. I love to spend time in the barns looking at all of the animals, gawking at the chickens with the funky feathers, dreaming of taking a baby chick or duck home, petting the cows and feeling the softest thing in the world – horse noses. There are also pigs, goats, sheep and bunnies and they’re all as adorable as the next!

5. The people.

Yes, people watching. If you think NYC benches are good places to people watch, you’ve got to come to the SCF&HS. It’ll cost you as much to enter the fair as it does in tolls to get into the city – and the parking is FREE!

Seriously though… Here’s an example of a person I met at the fair this year:

We were at the chicken coop looking at the just-hatched, baby chicks as a man and his wife come up to and look at the same babies. He loudly proclaims, “I used to eat these in college!” and laughs at himself. I gasped. Loudly, apparently. He looks at me with a strange look and the awkward glare we were sharing with each other made me blurt out, “you used to eat these??”

He said, “Yea, whole. We would just pop em in our mouths, just like that! We would see who could eat the most!”

I could sense he was just trying to make a scene with the absurdity and loudness of the conversation so I began photographing the chicks as he stood there looking at them. He then came closer and told me to photograph his one gold tooth. So I did. It was a pretty awesome gold tooth.

I had tunnel vision and focused on his mouth only, a minute later to get yelled at by my friend who told me I should have taken a wider photograph because he was giving me a thumbs up. Oh well!

…so if you want awesome experiences with exceptional people you may never meet anywhere else in the world, the NJ State Fair is the place for you!


Here are some photographs from our day at the fair.

The first one is of the gorgeous clouds that were in the sky as we pulled up. (As I was photographing them I met a girl about my age named Donna who is a MUA specializing in making up faces like sugar skulls!! I hope she contacts me because I would love to collaborate on a fashion shoot with her!)

Notice how these gorgeous clouds turn into the fabulous sunset over the demolition derby later in the night. Also look for the golden tooth! : ) Enjoy!