My family and I have been counting down the days to our yearly visit to the NJ State Fair. We visit on July 3rd every single year. Last year we even got the BEST picture of my son ignoring the fireworks so that he could look at mommy. Every year, we start off our visit by saying hello to Tiny Tina, then we have some shish kabobs. We then go to kiddie land where our kids get on some questionable rides, make them get on the haunted house ride so that they can appreciate having a sister, play some games, eat more shichkabobs, watch the famous piggy race, check out the circus, pet and feed some animals and then (one more shish kabob) off to watch the fireworks on top of our swagger wagon.
This year, everything changed. We arrived, we paid our admission and every ride in Kiddie land was closed because they were anticipating some rain. “Cool! I can have a shish kabob!” We all sat as my husband and his two humble assistants (my daughters) helped him gather the first course. As soon as he arrived, a police officer came over to tell us that the fair had been closed and that we all needed to leave. “What? We just walked in here and have not even spent 30 minutes in the fair!” The police officer then directed me to the main office which he said would be a trailer on the right hand side as I was leaving the park. Then, the down pour began and I was thankful that I did not go with the white shirt I had planned on wearing. I walked up to the trailer with my daughter in hand and told the woman on the other side of the french doors that I was sent by a police officer to validate my ticket. “I am not validating tickets. You can wait in your car for the rain to pass and then come back into the park.” “Well, the police officer alongside the other staff have told us the park is closed and there will be no re-entry tonight. They are instructing everyone to go home.” “You need to get out of here and go to safety”, she said. “Yes, I understand but I will also like my tickets validated.”, I said. “Well you are shit out of luck!” and just like that, she shut off the lights to the trailer and I walked away with my daughter who could not believe someone spoke to her mommy in that manner. She cried, she told me that if she had her blankie, everything would be better and that lady wouldn’t be mean. I didn’t know what to say. I was not asking for a freebie but going by what was stated on the website which is,
“FREE Rain Assurance: If it rains continuously for more than 30 minutes before 9 p.m., warranting the closure of the majority of rides and entertainment, State Fair will validate ticket stubs with a stamp that will be good for any other weekday of the Fair (offer not valid for Opening Dollar Night or Closing Night).”
I will tell you how many of those things stated in their Free Rain Assurance disclosure we experienced;
1. It rained continuously for more than 30 minutes before 9PM
2. ALL the rides were closed as well as ALL the entertainment
3. We did not attend on Dollar or Closing Night.
I emailed the contact provided through the State Fair’s Facebook page and received an automated response. I have high hopes that they will turn my experience around and make it a positive one.
Once again, I want to be clear that I am not looking for a freebie but for them to hold up their part of the deal. My sister and I spent over $200 just getting into the fair. We never asked for refund, all we asked for was for our tickets to be validated so that we can visit on another date. This was not honored. Instead, I was shouted at in front of my daughter who offered her blankie to me tonight so that I won’t be sad because of the way the scary lady spoke to me today. And that is what upsets me the most, that a tradition that has been going on since before I ever had children and was a little girl twirling a sparkly baton at the state fair has been ruined by one woman who did not want to follow the rules.