Way back in 1884, a small band of heat-addled Phoenicians put their hardscrabble noggins together and thunk up the Arizona Territorial Fair, which was essentially a reason to bust out of their stifling shotgun shacks after a season on the brink of madness. The diversions they installed at the old fairgrounds on the Rio Salado at Central Avenue included equine races and ag and home-ec exhibits.
Those pioneering hicks couldnt have imagined that their baby would one day be one of the top five fairs in the U.S., drawing a million-plus annually to the current fairgrounds at 1826 West McDowell Road (which only look like theyre 1884-vintage). And our rubes certainly couldnt have envisioned the diversions du jour, which include deep-fried mystery food on sticks and weird-ass shit like the Human Speed Bump, the SPAMMOBILE, 100-mph mechanical rides, and the redneck rantings of a bumpkin millionaire named Larry the Cable Guy.
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