As you know, I won the QR Code Scavenger Hunt last year and the prize was free tickets, to Celebrate Fairfax, for life. This year was the first year I utilize it. I’ll do this every year to review the festival.
It was the day for my nephews and niece and they almost wreck havoc. Before going to the festival, they wanted to watch a movie in the car, albeit the ride was 5 minutes to the festival. Basically, the family went to the kids carnival to enjoy the rides and win the kiddie prizes. The only regret I had was I didn’t take the kids to the kids zone and see the petting zoo, a robot demonstration, wheelers, and the kiddie train ride. The only thing that was exciting was I was getting close to win a soccer ball and an Otto Porter jersey because the original winners were never present. I didn’t hear much of Kongos and was not interested.
I wanted to use the whole day, but I had tickets to the Nationals game against the Cubs. Luckily, it was a 12 PM start because the Nats had their annual Dream Gala that night. After the game, I went to Metro and headed to the festival (and yes, I still wore the gnome outfit to the festival). The first thing I wanted to do: go to the NBC4 booth and see who was there and it was Jim Handly. He really wanted to take a picture of me and did. Afterwards, I headed to the grown-up carnival and wanted to win prizes for the nephews and niece. At first, it didn’t go so well as the only prize I won was a goldfish, then went to the duck rings and won a big, stuffed dog and a few seconds later, I made a basket and won a huge stuffed panda.
Ladies in the D.C. area: if you want a guy who can win a prize at the carnival, I’m your guy.
So, I was not only carrying two stuffed animals, but the gnome costume…or so I thought. When I was about to exit the carnival, someone told me I looked at a caveman. It then hit me that I lost my red gnome hat. I had no idea where I lost. I filed a report, but it was likely on the trash or someone wore my sweaty gnome hat. I actually wanted to use the costume to get an airbrush caricature, but I gave up on it. That was was the only bad thing about the weekend and I had to buy another one at Amazon.
After the carnival, I headed to the Cox booth to watch The Belmont Stakes. I wouldn’t expect American Pharoah to win the Triple Crown, but I was still intrigued by it. Around 6:45 PM, the crowd was gathering to the TV outside and we watch the race. A woman stranger and I talked that American Pharoah had the lead but if the colt had the lead, he will vanquish because it was the Belmont. Three-fourths through the race, American Pharoah still had the lead and down the stretch, he lengthens the lead and we are knew American Pharoah would win the Triple Crown. When American Pharoah crossed the finish line, there was a loud roar and everyone was high-fiving and we all witness history at the Cox booth.
Afterwards, I decided to ride the ferris wheel just for Periscope purposes.
My initial reaction was this area is a heavily wooded place with tons of trees. With tons of development going in Fairfax, I would see a few buildings and apartments, but no. After the ferris wheel, it was to watch 3 Doors Down and I filled the whole back with myself and two big stuffed animals. The concert was solid and I really like 3 Doors Down and hope they comeback. Then, the fireworks concluded the day for me.
Sunday was just for observing and eating. I looked at the many booths at Celebrate Fairfax and this year, I was underwhelmed because there were a lack of food samples and fun games like birdie golf or putt-putt. Yes, they had cornhole and Big Jenga, but the booths were boring. They need to spice things up next year. Sunday was also a great day to experiment my camera skills with the DockDogs Championships and the Mad Hatter Maze.
Dog in a tight swimming trunk for dogs. #celebratefairfax A video posted by Tracy Tran (@tracytran) on
Another vantage point of DockDogs #celebratefairfax A video posted by Tracy Tran (@tracytran) on
As for the food; I tried many things from pizza, shaved ice, and others, but if you go to Celebrate Fairfax, go to The Meat House (hell, go to Fairfax City when you’re not at the festival). They have the best menu at the festival with steak skewers, the footlong sausage, and three forms of bison (hot dog, sausage, burger). My second favorite was The Tapas Truck, where I had corn fritters with avocado lime sauce and garlic fries mixed together and it was delicious. I also tried the shrimp egg rolls at the Vietnamese Cuisine booth at Food Court and it was very oily. Finally, I washed it all down with Philly Cheesesteak Fries. As you expect from me, it was a ride to flavor town.
The last booth I visited before I headed off was NBC4 again and met Julie Carey and she shared a great story about a 78-year old woman when went to her first game and wanted to meet Anthony Rendon. I wanted to meet Chuck Bell, but he came on after I left and wanted to ask why he loves severe weather.
I have been to the festival many times and there are many things that stay the same, but I hope there is more food samples, exhibits of arts and crafts, and other games. Of course, the only question about the festival is who is going to headline next year. Knowing that DC101 and Big 100 are spearheading the event, I would expect more rock acts (I still remember the hip-hop fiasco a few years ago, which ended at 11PM). We’ll see next year and if you’re interested of attending next year, you can contact me. All you need is a car.