The UX of the San Mateo County Fair

This weekend is just me and the boys.  It is not terribly hard, but we are watching way more TV than usual.  I am tired and my brain doesn’t work as well.  Katie feels this every day. 🙁

We went to the San Mateo County Fair on Friday.  It was pretty lame.  I remember seeing television shows about County Fairs in the Midwest where everyone in town was there.  There were contests for the biggest pumpkin and the prettiest cow.  There were games and rides and all sort of Americana fun.  I got a very different vibe from this Fair.  It was more like the carny was in town.

The price was pretty steep.  Each ride was 3 tickets and a ticket was about $1 each.  So for a ferris wheel ride, for the four of us, was $12.  The ride lasted about 5 minutes.  Considering we entertained the kids with tennis for 4 hours on $16 shows that the rides were over-priced.  Plus the Ferris wheel sucked.  It was so tiny.  All the rides sucked and the games were expensive too.  Don’t get me started on the food.  A single Popsicle was $4.  What the heck is that about?  The farm area was silly.  There were some animals but they all seemed out of place in San Mateo and malnourished.

At the end of the night, we went to see Weird Al Yankovic.  The auditorium was split into two 50% sections.  The front was $20 each, so it would have been $80 for us to be able to see Al at all.  We took the free route and sat WAY back.  The bleachers were very strange seats.  They faced 90° to the stage so you had to turn directly left to see.  They had video screens, but they didn’t show the video of the band.

Both Jared and Matthew were excited to watch Weird Al, but the minute the music started, they said “It’s too loud!” (It was actually WAY TOO LOUD!) and promptly (within 15 minutes) fell asleep on me.  They literally were shocked into sleep by the noise.  Insane isnt it?

Ethan and I watched and sort of enjoyed Al.  He is such a great performer.  I wish we had brought ear plugs.  With the ear plugs and $80 the show would have been alot better.

So overall, I give the fair a D-.  Compared to the Maker’s Faire, it was pathetic.  I am very disappointed.  However, the music of Weird Al is still great and the kids are becoming fans.

Watch this 10 minute movie.  It’s classic.

One Reply to “The UX of the San Mateo County Fair”

  1. This is so sad to hear! I grew up looking forward to my dinky small-town county fair every year, because that was when we kids could win ribbons for strange achievements– Best Stamp Collection, Best Dill Pickles, Best Angora Goat– and the show barns were full of exotic livestock you could pet. Our carnival rides were probably pretty lame, but we had no points of comparison.

    The experience design of that concert really needs work.

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