First time at Fall Festival

Jake Tapley

As a Tri-State native, I hear a lot about the Fall Festival each year. 

News and radio stations cover the booths that offer various batter-coated, deep-fried delicacies.

If there is unhealthy heaven to be found, it is at the Fall Festival. And that is what I was promised to find when a fellow student discovered I had never gone. 

Naturally, with the promise of edible heaven, I became really excited.

While Evansville drivers are typically scary to be on the road with, traffic nearing Franklin Street was even more chaotic than usual. We paid $5 to park in a concrete-cracked lot with grass and glass sprouting between the chunks of pavement, and then we walked off the calories we would surely gain in the hours to come. 

Groups of people crossed busy streets, migrating to the Mecca of fried food, old rides, rigged games and tired workers. Suprisingly, some booth workers managed to be downright energetic, even after dealing with the swarms of bodies standing in line.

The map promised deep-fried Pepsi, Snickers, Oreos, and anything in between – including butter. After my convoy realized we missed the fried Pepsi, we had to walk to the end of Franklin Street – to booth number 3 – to get it.

We trekked there from booth 79 to learn the trade of frying a liquid – only to find out the map had lied. They were not selling fried Pepsi this year.

After the disappointing lack of fried Pepsi, Fall Festival could do little to impress us again. While the fried and grilled delights tasted great, false promise tasted bitter – especially when a rigged game nearly convinced me I wanted to win a goldfish.

Fall Fest boasted too many strollers, too much trash, very unusual people and some sites I never want to see again. However, the international students of the convoy learned what ‘Merica is all about – fattening, fantastic food – and I joined the “I Ate a Bug Club.”

If not for the food, Fall Festival is worth visiting simply for the experience, like drinking cider and trying chocolate-covered crickets. If you are going to be a student at USI and/or living in the Evansville area, as rite of passage, you must be able to say, “I survived a potential heart attack and stampede at the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival.”