It looks like consumer confidence may have jumped up this month, and some believe the ailing economy is on the mend. But recession-weary families still seek savings and are pinching pennies where they can.
Organizers of State Fair Meadowlands understand this. They say they’ve planned this year’s fair, scheduled for Giants Stadium Fairgrounds in East Rutherford from Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, July 12, with an eye towards value.
“We didn’t want people to stay away from the fair because they were worried about money,” said Michele Tartaglione, managing director of the fair.
As usual, the state fair will debut some fun new attractions and bring back many old favorites from the past. The 18-day affair will include more than 150 rides, pig races, an educational petting zoo, a wildlife gallery, and nightly entertainment.
If that doesn’t float the boat of every member of the family, the fair will also feature Master Hypnotist Steve Bayner, the Marcan Tiger Show, and a Festival of Illusion.
“This isn’t the typical cat show you’ve probably seen at the circus.” – Michele Tartaglione
It ain’t ‘Cats’
Popular features like the Marcan Tiger Show, Tartaglione said, will appeal to all age groups. Put on by workers from the Marcan Tiger Preserve in Florida, this show educates audience members about tigers, several sub-species of which are now extinct. According to press materials from Marcan, the show tries to highlight the “bond between man and tiger, while showcasing the animals’ natural behavior. We take a group of very special animals from the preserve to cities and towns across to country to give people an ‘up close and personal’ vantage point to appreciate and learn about these magnificent creatures.”
“It’s a very interesting show,” Tartaglione said. “This isn’t the typical cat show you’ve probably seen at the circus.”
Other features include a fireworks display on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4, and the Rix Magazine car show on Sunday, July 12, in addition to an appearance by the Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric (played by actor Drew Seeley).
One new attraction fair organizers are eager to debut this year is the Grand Rodeo on June 28, which also happens to be Kidz 4 Free Sunday at the fair.
“The Grand Rodeo is an authentic Mexican rodeo with professional bull riders,” Tartaglione commented. “Their show will also include a mariachi band and Los Horoscopes de Durango, a really famous musical act. That’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re really looking forward to that night.”
Recession busters, here we come!
In addition to Kidz 4 Free Sunday (June 28), the fair will feature several value deals geared to make the entertainment more affordable for families. On June 28, children ages 12 and younger can get in without paying the usual $6 admission. Opening night (June 25) is also Dollar Night, when everything at the fair – from parking to admission to rides – will cost one dollar.
On Monday, June 29 fair admission will be waived for the unemployed and their family members. (Proof of unemployment, such as a check stub from an unemployment check, is required to benefit from this deal.) Thursday, July 2 will be Buy One, Get One Half Price Night.
“We’re also bringing back Carload Night,” Tartaglione said. “It was so popular last year that we thought we’d try it again this year.”
That night (Thursday, July 9), everyone who fits into a car – up to eight people – can get in to the fair for a flat fee of $69. Parking is also free that night.
“We know people are looking for ways to save money and have a good time without spending a lot right now,’ Tartaglione said. “Hopefully these deals will help them do just that.” q
State Fair Meadowlands will take place daily from June 25 through July 12. Weekday admission for children ages 12 and younger is $5; $6 on holidays and weekends. Adult admission is $7 weekdays; $9 weekends and holidays. Parking is $3, except on Dollar Night and Carload Night. Advanced tickets can be purchased online, www.njfair.com. For more information, call (973) 450-1073. E-mail E. Assata Wright at email@example.com.