Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Country Living Fair Columbus Ohio

We attended the Country Living Fair at the Ohio Fairgrounds on Friday. To say it was 'hot' would be an understatement. It was 93 degrees with wind gusts up to 40 mph.

I wish I could say it was a great fair but it was not. We had purchased our tickets as soon as they went on sale and for weeks had looked forward to attending.

We knew it would be hot and windy because the weather forecast had been predicting it for days. We planned ahead....too bad Country Living had not.Refreshments were expensive. I paid two dollars for a warm can of Diet Coke. It appeared that the only vendors with ice were the homemade lemonade vendors. I love homemade lemonade but it upsets my stomach.

I guess I should back track to the beginning........Parking for the Country Living Fair was quite a distance away due to the fact that they were not only laying asphalt on the road leading to the fairgrounds which caused lanes to be shut down but they were also laying asphalt on the parking lot closest to the entrance. Fair goers were required to park quite a distance away on a newly asphalted parking lot. Which begs me to ask....."Why didn't they repave the parking lot closest to the entrance first?"

Not only was it quite the walk but we had to breath the asphalt fumes on a very hot day. Once we arrived at the entrance there was a back up at the gate because of poor planning. Maps of the vendors booths were immediately stacked on a table directly behind the ticket taker. If they did not have extra personnel to hand out maps to each fair goer than the table should have been situated farther away from the gate. Just like at the grocery store, people were picking up the literature and then standing there reading it or discussing whether or not they needed one or two or none at all.

There was then quite a large open space where they were handing out free samples. I would have placed these areas through out the entire fair and used the open space for the vendor booths. The vendor booths were so close together and small that it was almost impossible to look at anything. This was quite a shame because from what I saw there was some really nice items.

My friend Carrie was FINALLY able to track us down a cold sandwich from a catering booth. They had 10 box lunches.....yes 10. We got the next to last one for 10 dollars. It consisted of a wrap sandwich, 5 cubes of cantaloupe, 3 large tablespoons of pasta salad, oh I almost forgot....and a small thin mint. I would have much rather paid $5.00 for just the wrap sandwich. Of course you could also have spent 20 dollars for a buffet. Yes.....20 dollars for a buffet at a fair. We were not the only ones having trouble finding food and drink as we were asked several times where we got our sandwich.

We left after 4 hours because of the heat and lack of adequate fluids available. We had water and diet coke in a cooler with ice back at the car because we came prepared. We knew what the weather forecast was predicting but due to the parking lot situation we were unable to readily go out to our vehicle.

Would I go again.....no. Not because of the weather either. Weather is not under their control but planning is and they failed miserably in that department. I feel for the elderly people that attended and there were plenty. I hope they were able to make it to their cars without mishap.

My suggestion to Country Living would be to make sure there is available cold fluids, ask that there not be any construction during the show, and forget about the 20 dollar buffet and have more vendors serving cold sandwiches on hot days. Yes, a nice sit down buffet is lovely but it is slow and really no one expects that at a fair.

Also when planning your lay out keep areas where vendors are cooking (HOT) away from vendors selling. I had to bypass several vendors because of smoke coming from the kettle corn people and smoke coming from vendors grilling.I love Country Living magazine but they really missed the mark on this fair. I was looking forward to seeing Taniya Nayak from HGTV's Designed to Sell but sadly I missed her appearance.

The day was not a total loss due to the fun brick swap with Mike in German Village. Read about it in my previous post.