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A Collection of The Worst Attractions Ever Seen at a Low-Budget State Fair

Updated on October 15, 2014
A gorgeous state fair
A gorgeous state fair

Are you interested in state fairs?

At the risk of sounding asinine, as long as there have been states, there has been, at one time or another, state fairs. You are permitted to check my facts if you want, but I am pretty sure that (a) state fair has been a part of the majority of our 50 states as long as I can recall.

I am too young to actually remember being taken to our state fair for the simple reason, we never had a state fair where I lived in Hamilton, Ala., the county seat of Marion County. But take Birmingham, a scant hour and a half drive from my hometown, the folks there have a thing called The Alabama State Fair (see video at bottom) and it is a huge event for young and old alike.

I am now suddenly bothered at why the promoters and founders of The Alabama State Fair never founded this gala yearly-gathering in our state capitol of Montgomery? Maybe one day next week I will go undercover and find out why this just happened without anyone asking why.

Pretty lights
Pretty lights

Watch and please do not gasp in disbelief

Just what is a state fair?

  • A state fair is an annual competitive and recreational gathering of a U.S. state's population, usually held in late summer or early fall. It is a larger version of a county fair, often including only exhibits or competitors that have won in their categories at the more-local county fairs.
  • State fairs began in the nineteenth century for the purpose of promoting state agriculture, through competitive exhibitions of livestock and display of farm products. As the U.S. evolved from a predominantly agrarian to an industrial society in the twentieth century, modern state fairs have expanded to include carnival amusement rides and games, display of industrial products, automobile racing, and entertainment such as musical concerts. Large fairs can admit more than a million visitors over the course of a week or two. The first U.S. state fair was that of New York, held in 1841 in Syracuse, and has been held annually to the present year. The second state fair was in Detroit, Michigan, which ran from 1849 to 2009.

Source: Wikipedia

I was wrong, but not by much

Upon further review, I have now discovered that there is another annual fair that is located at the fairgrounds (Duhhhh!) at Muscle Shoals, Ala. The folks up there call their fair The West Alabama Fair. It is not as involved as The Alabama State Fair in Birmingham, but it makes the city of Muscle Shoals and the promoters a few thousand bucks in its week-long run.

Many years ago, in the late 80’s when I was interested in such things, I remember my wife, our young daughter and I spent a couple of hours at The West Alabama State Fair and man, what a time I did NOT have. Any rube could see that the games were rigged, the rides were just on the line of being safe and truthfully, I was miserable for the entire two hours. But what the heck. This time spent was for the wife and daughter, not me.

But thanks entirely to those two miserable hours, I have found myself a hub (with some considerable research) and now I am going to share it with you. I affectionately-name it . . .

Hordes fill the walkways at our state fairs every year
Hordes fill the walkways at our state fairs every year

More state fair images for you to enjoy

A Collection of The Worst Attractions Ever Seen at a Low-Budget State Fair

Note: mind you, smaller state fair means operating on lower budgets and wit lower budgets means the games and displays are NOT considered top-notch, but barely bearable).

  • The Human Skeleton Display. (Skeletons were accidentally unearthed while a big construction job was going on).
  • Famous Raccoons That Appeared in Silent Films Display.
  • Mutant Farm Animals Expose featuring The Cow with Nine Teats and Calf with No Head.
  • The Personal Diaries of Obscure Gunfighters of The Early West Display featuring the written-feelings of Tom “One Leg Pig” Boone; Jim “April Fool” Tomston and Bill “The Slug” Lee.
  • Fishing For Underwear Game.
  • Spitballs Thrown by Young Politicians, Thomas Dewey, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
  • Guess The Number of Cow Patties Game.
  • The Live Pig Biting You Endurance Contest.
  • Being Hit by a Pumpkin in Your Face Dunking Contest—Win Cash if You Are Not Dunked!
  • The Golf ball Toss With Your Teeth Game.
  • Beat The Quicksand Sucking You Under Challenge.
  • Obscure Pirates of History Display with Actual Front Teeth of Capt. William Hokey, from Portugal.
  • Rocks Touched bv Elvis Presley, Roger Moore, and Gypsy Rose Lee Display.
  • Survive The Rattlesnake Pit Game.
  • Have Your Photo Taken With Elderly Stagehands Attraction.
  • Dodge Being Shot with Muskets Game with The Shooting Talents of Real Pioneer Decendants.
  • The Guess What’s In Your Colon Game.
  • The Wild Hog Calling Contest.
  • Survive The Attack of Wild Chickens For Cash Challenge.
  • Shoes Worn by Unknown Mobsters Display.
  • Animals That Do Movie Star Impressions.
  • Enjoy “Mr. Mouth,” Who Can Predict The Next Words You Will Say.

Coming soon, for Your Pleasure . . .Valid Reasons Why I Need Two Weeks Off of HubPages

" and I just want to say to You, and All of My Cherished Followers . . .

My Sincere Thanks not just for Reading and Commenting on my hubs, but for The Following.

You are appreciated"


Everyone enjoy!


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    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago

      Hi, JamaGenee at 7 p.m., cdst/ Oct. 25

      Wow! I loved your comment. And I happen to agree with every word. You are right. When babies are babies, they are like God, color blind, but at the age when they start knowing things, this is the crucial, fragile age when dark things are taught to them by people who were mistaught themselves and they do not know any different.

      What a sad shape some people are in and do not know it.

      Thank you my Dear Friend for commenting and being a Great Ally.

      I mean it.

      Have a Great night and write when you can.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Yes, anyone who plays the games at a county or state fair is condoning the fleecing of their neighbors, but what can ya do? It's just the nature of the beast, and we know what's going on, but hand over our money anyway.

      As for the drunken clown: babies aren't born racist or knowing how to hate. They have to be taught to be that way, usually by relatives or other authority figures who claims to be "Christian". Seriously?

      Personally, I think every Caucasion American should apologize profusely to every African-American they come across for the way they've been treated since the first slave trader dragged them here against their will 200-some years ago. I mean, think about it. They kidnapped them from their tribal homes in West Africa, plopped them down in an foreign country, treated them worse than dirt for all the decades slavery was legal, then Abe Lincoln frees them, and they're STILL treated like sub-humans! All because of the color of their skin and non-Caucasion physical features.

      In my mind, the bigotry that clown exhibited is coming from the wrong direction. If any ethnic group has a right to hate another, it's blacks. But they DON'T. Hello.

      We should all be ashamed that our racist attitude toward blacks, based on our despicable history of slavery, is unique to the U.S., that nowhere else in the world treated as they are here.

      When are people like that clown going to just accept that EVERY human being is one of God's creatures, that He INTENDED us to be of different colors and cultures, and to follow the Golden Rule?

      What a boring place the world would be if we all looked - and thought - the same! Diversity is what gives texture to the cloth of Life!

      Okay, off the soapbox! ;D

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest JamaGenee,

      You are very cool, my dear friend. I feel like the rube here actually being kind to thieves who rob rural people mostly when they enter their town. I know. They prey on people where I live.

      Hey, three years ago they had a drunken clown named, "Bobo," who tried to guess weight of people, and the alcohol started kicking-in and an African-American lady and children walked up to let him guess their weight and he let go with several racial slurs and she let go with a stream of profanities that caused the crowds to rush in to see HER go at him.

      He was arrested, tossed in jail, and the carney left town early the next day.

      But as much as I care for you, you CANNOT CONVINCE me that you are a rube. Your photo is much in the category of a Vogue model.

      And those, I am sure you know, are classy women.

      And I am sure that you ARE that too. Classy.

      Thanks for your sweet comment.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Kenneth, no apologies necessary! NONE! Rather, I apologize to you for not making it clear that I was only joshing about being nice to carnies. I realized when it was too late to edit the comment that without a "disclaimer", you probably wouldn't take it as a ribbing, so I waited for your response. Again, sorry.

      As for the definition of a "rube", despite your protests to the contrary, I am definitely one when it comes to state OR county fairs! I walk up to a game and plunk my money down despite being forewarned by a carnie friend (R.I.P) that ALL the games are rigged. The "hook" is that a rube has an extremely small chance of winning, but each one believes they could be "the one". For me, the money I've (knowingly) wasted on rigged games is just part of the "entertainment" aspect of a fair. For the record, though, I never waste a dime on the "two-headed" anything exhibits. ;D

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, sweet JamaGenee,

      Okay. I apologize. I will treat carnies with a special respect if I write about theem again. Promise.

      I can see spending $45.00 on a Sink the Inflatable Snake Game and if you win, you carry a $3.00 serving tray home with you.

      Rube? Sweetie, you are NOT a rube. Did you think I would not comment on this?

      Hey, thanks. That is another hub idea! "How Does One Define Being a Rube?"

      Love it. Thanks. Glad to see you always even without the idea.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Hey now, be nice. Carnies have to make a living, too, even if their chosen occupation involves rigging games so we "rubes" rarely (if ever) win, getting us to pay to see "interesting curiosities" that should've been landfill fodder years ago, or selling tickets to an "iffy" ride that could easy crumble on the first spin. lol! ;D

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, vkwok,

      Thank you, but God gets the praise.

      I am sorry for your rainy day darkness. Where I live, we needed rain so much that when God gave us a rain last week, we were so happy.

      Take care.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Your hubs certainly brighten this literally dark, rainy day I'm having.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear sheilamyers,

      You and I have this too, in common. The way the promoters not only lure you to the fair with deceptive ads, but hit your pocket book with "funny" business inside.

      This is why I NEVER attend ANY of them.

      Thanks for your friendship and following. Have a safe weekend.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      no body,

      You hit it on the head.

      I never dreamed that a lot of people might get a life-changing experience by touching a rock that Elvis touched, but what about the tree stump that Adolph Hitler sat on while planning his invasion of Russia? Would that be as equal?

      I guess it depends on the person.

      Nice comment, no body.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, AnnAz2,

      I know right. Oh and this just scratches the surface. There ARE worse out there in our world, but I am not able to travel, so thereby, I am at home. Thank God.

      I appreciate you for being my freind.

      Have yourself a grand weekend.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I have seen worse.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 

      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Some of these are hilarious. I'd have to see them just to witness how bad they actually are! Very amusing read, thank you Kenneth :-)

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      4 years ago from Rochester, New York

      You know there is some person in the world for everything. What fascinates me makes others fall asleep. The rock Elvis touched just doesn't move me at all. Very good, Ken. Bob

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I've never been to a state fair, but we always went to the county fair every year when I was a kid. I never remember seeing of the attractions you mentioned, but most of the things I saw as a kid bored me to death. I enjoy seeing all the handmade things entered into the contests now; however, as a kid it was boring. I agree with you about the games being rigged and the rides right on the edge of being to the point you could die at any moment.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I can't believe some of these actually exist! Thanks for giving me a laugh. The little monkey riding on the dog is actually pretty famous - he's been to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo a time or two, although I'm sure if that team is still around, they are not the original. The trainer I think was one of the clowns that helped out in the bull riding.


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