Many Fair Attendees Say They're on a Budget This Year

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

Going to the State Fair can be costly. With $8.50 turkey legs, and $5 beverages, it's like attending a sporting event at an arena. But unlike many of those sports arenas, there are deals to be had at the fair. Here's how you can stretch your dollar this year.


The best deal on something to drink can be found at the Board of Waterworks booth near the fountain in the middle of the fairgrounds. At the booth you stop by and drink as much ice cold water as you want, absolutely free of charge. But if water just doesn't do it for you, you can always pick up a 32 oz. fresh squeezed lemonade from the booth right next to them for $5.

Sure, you can get a $5 lemonade from one of several vendors at the fair. Why do I single out that booth in particular? Because at that booth, you can refill your 32 oz. of lemonade as many times as you want all fair long, for just $2, a better refill rate than any other lemonade vendor at the fair.

And second runner up for best beverage deal is the 44 oz. soda found only at the Vineland Food Stand, for just $4. Sorry, no refills on this one.

Food For Kids

Speaking of the Vineland Food Stand, this is where you will find some of the best deals on food, especially for kids. Here a grilled cheese sandwich is going for $2.75. Meanwhile, on the other side of the fairgrounds at Primetime, you can pick up a kids pack for $4. Inside the pack you'll get a small turkey or ham sandwich, a bag of chips or cheddar goldfish, a bag of cookies, and a juice drink.

Food For Adults

You can save a good amount of money at the fair, if you're into sharing meals. In most cases the portions are big enough to do so. With this in mind, the two best deals at the fair for adult food are the Super Beef Nachos for $6.50 at the union sponsored mexican food stand in the middle of the grounds and the $8 teriyaki chicken on a stick with rice or lo-mein at Chan's Chicken on a Stick.

Other options you have are the 2lb. burger that could feed up to four people, for $18.75 ($21 with cheese), and the steak sandwich meal at the german food vendor near the fountain. The $13 dollar steak sandwich meal comes with a ribeye steak on a bun with condiments and two sides, easily filling up two grown adults.


Whether it's ice-cream, cookies, cotton candy, or candied apples parents have a lot of choices when it comes to sweets at the fair. One of the best deals we found when it comes to after-dinner treats, or just something to beat the heat, is the .49 cents per ounce frozen yogurt stand. Building it as big as you like, and paying by the ounce, gives flexibility to parents both on their wallets and on how much sugar they want their children to have.

Another good option is the $3 giant cookie at the Kookie Kookies and Kream vendor. This soft, fresh baked cookie comes with chocolate chips or M&Ms. For adults, a delectable cheesecake on a stick, dipped in chocolate might just hit the spot, but it will cost you $5.

Finally, there is only one vendor at the fair selling real frozen lemonade. For just $3.75 you can get 16 oz. of frozen lemonade that's just right, not too sweet and not too sour. If the fresh-squeezed lemonade just isn't what you're craving, Thelma's Frozen Lemonade might be what you're looking for.


Getting into the fair can be cheaper than usual too, if you know what day you're planning to attend. Be sure to check out the fair's website to see what the discount opportunities are for admission for all of the remaining days of the fair, by clicking the link below.

Total Cost

Many fairgoers recommend bringing between $100-$125 for a family of four, to cover food, admission, rides at the carnival, and maybe a souvenir or vendor item if you see something you like. Most of the food vendors only accept cash, but several do allow for credit card purchases. However, they are scarce and cash is king at the fair. If you don't bring enough cash though, don't worry. There are ATMs at the Loaf 'n Jug Store on the south central side of the fairgrounds.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bert Location: West Side on Sep 3, 2010 at 12:51 PM
    Finaly someone has awaken from their leming state and has realized "the end consumer" can set the pricing by either buying or not buying. (also called supply and demand) We as the consumer need to stand up and stop buying the cheapest and imported products, spend a little more and buy american products made actualy in america and see what happens to the economy. Or you can keep buying at your big box Walmart's and letting a under qualified moron with a global sized checkbook keep "bailing out" a misunderstood problem. It all starts somewhere why not here with a local example. We could finaly turn Colorado around.
  • by Debbie Location: C/S on Sep 3, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    Spelling-wise; for the too/to Fair-wise: Eat somewhere cheaper before going into the fair or upon leaving for a little bit, get stamped before departing, if you're going to be doing the fair all day. Just Eat somewhere Else; there is no good reason for the huge price hike in food prices this year! If we don't buy, they will think better about the prices they charge! The price of 1 hot dog w/chilli would buy 3 times, whole packages of buns, hot dogs, & cans of chilli, of the cheapest at the store & almost a whole round of the most expensive ingredients for the pickier taste buds! Even Sonic is less expensive than the fair, if you don't want to cook.
  • by KEL Location: COLO SPGS on Sep 3, 2010 at 05:08 AM
    They obviously don't check grammar either since they typed "fresh backed cookie" instead of baked and "if frozen lemonade isn't want you're craving"..ummm maybe what you're craving???
  • by Anonymous on Sep 2, 2010 at 09:52 PM
    We went this year on 2 different days. Attendance was very light it seems this year. And I will NEVER shell out $6.75 for a plastic cup of beer. Ridiculous in this economy. 5 bucks to get is not bad, but avoid the food and drink offered unless you want to file for bankruptcy.
  • by Martinez Location: Southside on Sep 2, 2010 at 09:18 PM
    ok you grammar nazis, heel!
  • by Christina Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 2, 2010 at 05:37 PM
    "Many Fair Attendees Say Their on a Budget This Year" I wonder how many Fair attendees know the difference between Their, They're and There?
  • by hal Location: colo spgs on Sep 2, 2010 at 05:34 PM
    No one checks spelling or knows the difference between their and they're.
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