This review was originally posted on the blog Kidding Around Austin back in Marh of 2011. It was written mostly as a casual blog piece and is both obnoxious and potty-mouthed (my humor trademarks). Just a warning!
Yesterday I went to the Four Seasons for a brunch held by the super awesome folks at PBSKids (more on this later in the week) and got smacked in the face by the SXSW crowds. Once I was able to get out of downtown (which, believe me, was no small feat), I went home, picked up my boys, and spent the rest of the afternoon at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo.
It was kind of like spending the morning on one planet, hopping a spaceship flight and spending the rest of the day on a completely different rock. I started my day on Planet Skinny Jeans, and ended it on Planet Wrangler.
SXSW is about technology. And celebrity. And being hip.
The rodeo? Totally not about any of that stuff.
The rodeo’s all about cowboys.
And I don’t actually know what these things are, but it’s about these things.
It’s also a GIANT rip-off. The big butt-screw started before we ever even got into the park – ten dollars for decidedly NON-rock star parking.
Once you finally make it to the gates, it’s another $7 per adult ($4 for kids 3-12) to get into the fairgrounds. A grand total of $18 for the three of us to get into the park so we could spend a whole lot more on overpriced food and carny rides. Before we ever even walked in, we were nearly 30 bucks lighter. And our feet were already sore.
They make you pay for everything with tokens. Probably hoping those shiny gold coins will distract you from the fact that you’re handing someone nine dollars for a piece of pizza on a stick.
The only part of the fairgrounds that didn’t seem to cost the price of a small child was Kidstown — but that section was so smelly and depressing (with all those poor, miserable petting zoo animals and tired ponies) that I would have gladly paid someone to make it all just go away.
Here are the pluses.
My boy LOVES a carnival.
The rides were fun and the kids had a blast.
And the people watching? Well, that just doesn’t get any better anywhere else than the rodeo, folks. And that’s the god’s honest truth. Some of the people we saw were worth the price of admission alone.
Could we have gone to a regular old carny – the Thomas carnival that just happens to be going on over at the Dell Diamond right now, perhaps – for less money, better parking, and similar entertainment? Well, sure we could.
But we would have missed this:
And that would have just been unacceptable.