When you’re in your thirties and mid-existential crisis, every day feels like going through adrenaline withdrawals and every moment feels like you’re seeking your next fix. And that’s because there is nothing like a near-death experience to make you feel alive. Fear is the reminder that you’re at the mercy of the things that occur to you, and your only control is the way you choose to experience them. When your addiction to feeling alive makes you a junkie, then you must know there’s an endless supply available at The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair[i].
Do you remember being 15 and making plans for the fair, “let’s wear matching shirts” “beep me when you arrive” and “you know who’s going to be there, right”? Fifteen years pass, and you snub the entire event as though it were some phase of childhood we must all go through. As though the only two reasons to attend are being a child or taking a child. This year, I went with a different purpose altogether. I went to be an adult at the fair. So, how can you enjoy yourself at the fair in your thirties? What follows is my complete guide to living the adult life at The Fair:
- Eat – When you’re a kid, all you plan for are the rides. You grow up, your priorities change. Plan accordingly. A food court on steroids, at The Fair, food choices abound. My recommendations are the Arepas, funnel cake bacon-on-a-stick, Mexican seasoned corn-on-the cob, and the massive turkey legs.
- Drink – The perks of being an adult, are the libations. So, indulge. Whether at Beer Haven, the largest mobile brewery in the world, or Opa Opa Saloon, a full bar serving craft beer, slushy margaritas, and a variety of wine and Sangria. You cannot say you’ve truly lived until you’ve had the chocolate peanut butter beer or the watermelon ale; both light, fruity, and refreshing.
- Refresh – You couldn’t get me indoors when I was an inexperience pre-teen with priorities out of whack. Now, with hormonal struggles of a different nature, and a body that at times won’t keep up, I have learned to pace myself. And I don’t know if I should blame my age or climate change, but I feel like I get 98% more hot when I’m outside now than I ever have before. So, don’t judge me if walking in 85 degree weather seems unappealing. My solution – go indoors. Walk through The Marketplace and enjoy the exhibitions or sit in the air conditioned Fuchs pavilion and enjoy a show. Watch the musical legends that are The Village People and Willy Chirino perform. After all, all live entertainment is free and included with admission.
Now, I am not discarding the actual childish experiences altogether. On the contrary, be frivolous. Ride as many of the nearly 100 thrilling rides as your wiser (older), more sensitive body will allow. But do so mindfully, close your eyes and as your face smashes through the wind, realize how fickle life can be. Dress up and plan romantic moments like kissing in front of the Ferris wheel. Be completely contemplative. As you enjoy watching the sun set over Miami while you’re on the Sky Ride, realize that making it in your thirties is no easy feat and each small moment should be celebrated with equal parts fear and excitement.
The Youth Fair runs through April 10, 2016 at Tamiami Park | 10901 SW 24th St., Miami | http://www.thefair.me/thefair/
[i] Boasting to be 35 years my senior, The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition is the largest charity event in South Florida. For 65 years, The Youth Fair, a non-profit association, has been dedicated to promoting education and has presented well above $10 million to the Miami-Dade community.