Ingham County Fair

3 08 2008
  • 700 E. Ash St.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-2428
  • Website
Heat race during the demolition derby at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

Heat race during the demolition derby at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

I LOVE demolition derby.  I’m a total redneck at heart.  After I graduated college and before I got my first job, I spent the summer working on demo cars with some friends of mine.  I loved every minute of it and wished I was more mechanically inclined.  My girlfriend, grew up going to Team Demo Derby’s at Santa Fe Speedway near Chicago, so there’s a place in her heart for demo derby too.  A co-worker of my girlfriend and her boyfriend had never seen a demo derby, so we met at the Ingham County Fair on the final night for some good ol’ fashioned car smashing.

County fairs were really cool when I was a kid.  We didn’t start going to theme parks until I was into junior high and high school, so the county fair was where we got to go on rides and win cheap prizes.  Walking into the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason brought back all those feelings.  I couldn’t believe a lot of the rides were the same (like the Gravitron) and none of the games had changed.  You’d think they’d come up with something new, but nope.

Row of food vendors near the midway at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

Row of food vendors near the midway at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

When we first walked in, we ran right into a row of food vendors.  We wanted to do a lap before deciding to make sure we didn’t buy something then find something better.  One of the first stands I noticed was the BBQ.  My girlfriend had just mentioned that she smelled BBQ as I was pointing it out to her.  After a lap to the midway and back, I got a pulled pork sandwich.  Well, sorta.  They called it pulled pork, but it was more chopped and it was Texas BBQ, so the sauce wasn’t as sweet and vinegar-y as I like it.  It was alright and hit the spot though.  The whole time I was ordering, I could litteraly hear pigs squealing from the barn right behind me.  I love the irony when they put the pig barn next to the BBQ stand.

Before we made it back to the BBQ, my girlfriend wanted to stop and get some fries.  If you read my post about Reno’s West (review HERE), you know that day wasn’t quite our day.  We got the bottom of the barrel fries.  It was a lot of short pieces that were burnt.  The full fries we had were good and salty.  Definately fair food.

As I was eating my sandwich, my girlfriend ran to a pizza booth and got a slice of cheese pizza.  The signs all said made from scratch and she said it tasted like it was.  She really enjoyed that and it was probably the first good piece of food she had in about 24 hours. 

More food vendors with the ferris wheel in the background at the Ingham County Fair in Mason.

More food vendors with the ferris wheel in the background at the Ingham County Fair in Mason.

We grabbed a couple bottles of Pepsi and after all that, we had spent close to $15 just on food for the two of us.  It was totally what we expecting and it got some food in our stomachs before we headed to the grandstand for the night’s main event.

The Derby was awesome.  I was worried after the first heat.  I had two newbies and one who had never seen a county fair derby (Team Demo is a lot like roller derby….you complete laps while your opponents try to disable you…most laps wins.).  There wasn’t a lot of smashing and the last two cars got pretty boring.  Fortunately, the next two heats and the truck race had some exciting racing and lots and lots of smashing.  Hell, even the forklift guy got into it and took out the Mason-Holt towtruck….I’m not joking.  He almost ripped the door off one of the big trucks while he was trying to put the concrete barriers back.  When he got out to see what he did, he fell off the forklift and twisted his ankle.  Wild night.  The feature was awesome.  Lots of good hits and the car that should have won, got hung up on top of another car and ended up getting dq’d when he couldn’t get off. 

The derby took about an hour and a half and we were getting a little hungry again as we were leaving.  We couldn’t leave without getting some actual fair food.  We got an elephant ear to share as we were walking to the car.  It was fresh out of the oil and there was a generous topping of cinnamon sugar.

I had my doubts about the Ingham County Fair heading in.  Usually, the counties with a big metro area aren’t as good as those in rural areas.  We had a blast.  The food was good.  The demo was awesome.  Just the two of us, we dropped close to $40 on food and the derby.  I’d hate to bring kids.  I feel so sorry for my parents now who had to spring for rides on top of food all those years at the Iroquois County Fair.




6 responses

3 08 2008

I love the fair. Corky has an unnatural love for fair food. We just spent the weekend in Ohio and I will be posting soon on how we ate our way through the Ohio State Fair on Friday! Last year we went to the Igham County Fair and our favorite was the fried bologna sandwich. Corky loved it so much that he even went back on another night that I was working and paid admission again and another $5 for a bologna sandwich!

4 08 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I saw the fried bologna and almost got it, but I wasn’t sure.

I love state fairs. I’m so disappointed that we live in a state capital and the state fair isn’t here! What the hell? I feel sorry for all those 4-Hers in the U.P. that have to drive to Detroit….plus I just want a state fair close. My girlfriend and I went to the Illinois State Fair last year to see Sugarland (for the first time)…I introduced her to Deep Fried Oreos, Snickers, and Twinkies at that one…we didn’t see any of those at the Ingham County Fair.

4 08 2008

LOL…I KNEW when I saw the title of your post Amy would post! Truth is, I had never had a “fried Bologona” sandwich before…and it was DAMNED good!!!

BTW…Since you like demo derby action, check out Eagle Days, which is coming up around Labor Day. Eagle, MI is located about half-way between I-96 Speedway and Lansing. Eagle Days has their own type of demo derby called a “scramble,”–a cross between dirt, circle track, road course, figure 8, and demo derby. I attended last year and it was GREAT redneck fun!!! Amy has several relatives who participate–her nephew Adam placed 2nd last year.

4 08 2008

We have so got to go to Eagle Days!!

4 08 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

Damn…that sounds cool, but I’m going to be in Champaign that weekend for a football game…

4 08 2008

Stupid work! Maybe I’ll go by myself 🙂

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