Before we can contemplate falling leaves, cozy fires and the slow crawl toward winter, it is time for one last hurrah.
If you are a state fair lover, you already know when and where your state’s is. If you are not maybe these awesome American-made products will convert you.
Heather Jeany – Made in Providence, Rhode Island
One of the best things about the fair is its anything-goes attitude. There is no pretense or artifice. It is just a place for people from all walks of life to come together and enjoy themselves.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the extra thought you put into your ensemble will go unnoticed or unappreciated.
In fact, if you (or some little person you love) are sporting Heather Jeany’s ferris wheel onesie (left, $18), you are certain to turn a few heads.
From her studio in Providence, Rhode Island, Heather screenprints her original designs in water-based ink on American Apparel goods.
This onesie is 100% cotton and is available in 3-6, 6-12, and 12-18 month sizes.
Love the design, but no a little person in your life? Luckily, Heather’s ferris wheel design is available on her fabulous stationery products as well. Check out her ferris wheel coasters ($5/set of 4) and notecards ($15/set of 10 cards and envelopes).
Wheel yourself over to heather jeany.
The Animal Print Shop - Made in USA
It is easy to fall in love with all the adorable baby chickens, pigs, goats, cows, lambs and horses. But your mom is right. They will grow up and will need more space than your bedroom to roam.
Enter photographer Sharon Montrose. She has made it feasible to bring these barnyard cuties into even the smallest quarters – humanely.
Sharon is a professional photographer whose artistic eye, studied lens and passion for her subject have garnered her countless awards and have earned her a list of corporate clients from ranging from Iams to Warner Brothers.
The Animal Print Shop is the one stop source to purchase many of Sharon’s fabulous animal photographs. You can photos of animals in categories like cats, birds, primates, reptiles and babies, as well as those with hooves and pouches, and those from the forest and the farm, like those shown (above left to right) — baby goat, cow, piglet, lamb, Clydesdale, and chicken.
All of the works on this site are offered in open-edition, small format (8 1/2″ x 11″ overall – 7″ x 9″ image) prints at the insanely reasonable price of $25. Each image is also available in larger, limited-edition versions ranging from $350 – $1950, depending on size.
Moo-ve yourself to www.theanimalprintshop.com.
Amy’s Gourmet Apples – Made in Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Every year there seems to be something crazier than the year before — fried Coca-Cola, Krispy Kreme Cheeseburgers, and even hot beef sundaes. But there are also some staples, some tried and true favorites that bring you back year after year. Among them, the caramel apple.
Now you can enjoy this time-tested taste of the fall anytime you want thanks to Amy”s Gourmet Apples.
The dessert-dynamos at Amy’s begin with plump, tart Granny Smith apples, add artisan-made caramel, world-class chocolate and a variety of other inspired toppings to create and recreate one of nation’s best-loved treats.
At Amy’s you can get an apple anyway you like, and lots of ways you probably never even thought of. Above are 5 of Amy’s over 90 apple offerings, ranging from the simply divine to the outrageously delicious — (shown left to right) cinnamon and sugar-coated red candy apple ( $10.99), double dunked caramel apple with Belgian chocolate ($17.99), yummy gummy caramel apple ($12.99), M&M caramel apple ($12.99) and key lime pie caramel apple with white Belgian chocolate ($18.99 – limited time only).
Think Amy is too fancy for the fair? Think again. Amy’s has actually won Blue Ribbons at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Keep the doctor away. Visit www.amysgourmetapples.com.
State Fair Corndogs – Made in Haltom City, Texas
It is genius really. No plates, no forks or knives necessary. The only real to-go food.
Walleye on a stick, corn beef and cabbage on a stick, and espresso on stick are all quite inventive (and yes, all are real fair treats), but none will likely stand the test of time and earn the following of the corn dog.
State Fair Foods was founded in 1953. The Dallas, Texas based-company survived time, expansion and even complete destruction of their production facility by fire. In 1986 the company was purchased by Sara Lee. Since that time, the company has been able to expand its production through automation and has moved to a larger facility in a Dallas suburb.
Two things have remained the consistent throughout the years — the great taste and the loyal following.
Get a coupon when you visit www.corndogs.com.
Whether you are headed to the fair or out to dinner with friends, little rumble’s clutch (left, $40) is just the ticket.
Each design is one-of-kind and full of practical details that make them as easy to use as they are to love.
All little rumble products are lined with felt or corduroy and feature snap closures. The wallets also have places for business and/or credit cards, change pouches and money pockets.
Tickets are limited, so hurry up and visit little rumble.
Blackbird Letterpress - Made in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Love the rides, but hate the lines?
Then these ride-themed notebooks (above, $15/each) are perfect for you.
Actually, they are the perfect place for you to wax eloquent about how much you hate the lines at the fair, jot down your favorite sights and sounds, or compile a list of things that tasted delicious but should never eat again.
The swing and roller coaster notebooks are ideal mini-scrapbooks for your fair experiences. But they would also work well in any other capacity too.
Blackbird Letterpress is owned and run by Kathryn Hunter, who holds both BA and MFA in printmaking, out of a building in Baton Rouge that she shares with a metalworking company and 3 dogs.
Her notebooks measure 4.5″w x 7″ h, have 2 rounded corners and contain 36 pages (100% recycled content). The guts of each notebook are bound by a local printer. Then Kathryn’s original artwork, which has been letterpress printed on a recycled paper cover, is attached.
(Not sure you know exactly what letterpress printing is? Kathryn offers an accessible explanation.)
All of Blackbird Letterpress’ printing is done with soy-based solvents and low VOC inks on recycled and tree-free material, making these goods as eco-conscious as they are aesthetically pleasing.
Swing by blackbirdletterpress.com.
diffractionFiber – Made in Chicago, Illinois
But be warned, these events are not just for pie-lovers anymore. Like all other sports, pie-eating contests now have corporate sponsors and professional participants.
Don’t let it get you down. You can now enjoy pie anytime of the day or night and never gain an ounce thanks to the Better Than Grandma’s Cherry Pie Pillow (left, $32).
This pie is generously sized at 12″w x 4″d and will serve you for years to come. It would equally as good on a pie stand in your kitchen (who says you aren’t good in the kitchen?) as it would on the sofa in your family room.
Beth Cummings is the zany genius behind the deep-dish pie pillow and all of diffractionFiber’s creations. Each is handmade by Beth using eco-felt (recycled plastic bottles not wool) and fiber fill and is machine washable.
Cherry pie not your favorite? Beth is happy to customize any of her designs. Just contact her.
Don’t end up with pie on your face. Visit www.shopdiffraction.com.
Big Plush – Made in USA*
Why take chances?
Thanks to Big Plush you can order the stuffed animal of your dreams online, anytime. In fact, if they do not have what you are looking for or you would like to modify one of their existing stuffed animals you can. They are happy to accept custom orders.
However, with over 200 made in the USA options to choose from, odds are you will find what you are looking for in their existing product line.
Big Plush makes furry friends for every holiday of the year — birthday, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, graduation, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Even better, they have stuffed friends suitable for brightening any day — (shown above left to right) 28″ sock monkey ($49.99), 38″ stuffed koala ($189.99), 5′ x 4′ stuffed horse ($397.00), and 54″ stuffed gray puppy ($149.99).
Sound expensive? Think about it. Do they really cost any more than you would spend trying to win one? (Didn’t think so.)
Buy yourself a new friend at www.bigplush.com.
*Not all Big Plush stuffed animals are made in the US. Please check source information carefully.
Hope you enjoy this post.
Please share your fair favorites and memories.
And as always, I welcome any additional topical recommendations.
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