Crashing hard and early after a night of barn dancing, Sunday morning, I lounged in bed until it was too late to take advantage of the free hot breakfast at my Hotwire-acquired Best Western hotel. When I finally managed to haul tail off of the fluffy mattress, I got ready, checked out, and programmed the cross-streets for the Tulsa State Fair into my ancient TomTom.

Waiting in the long traffic line to get into the gates – by the way, the map showing where the free parking lots were would have been nice to have had before I paid $10 to park in a lot no closer than the complementary ones — I was wishing I hadn’t started the day on an empty stomach, and remembered that the last thing I’d eaten had been a double-dipped cone from Braum’s at 4:00 PM on Saturday.

I easily located the QuikTrip Center from the road, and excitedly purchased my entry ticket. When I handed it to the lady at the gate, she said, “You’re all bouncy and ready to go!” Of course I was! I had a pretty exciting destination: the most amazingly decorated cakes in this country!

As I walked back to the building, I perused fair food (none of the kiosks sported as daring offerings as the State Fair of Texas does!), settling on a green onion pancake for my late breakfast. Apparently, it takes longer than a half hour for their grease to heat up, and I left unsatisfied.

That quickly dissolved as I neared the pavilion where people were streaming in. Hundreds of vendors… I passed them all (with a passing glance at the South Bend Chocolate store, where I stopped on the way out) and made a beeline for the cakes.

A three hour drive, a $35 hotel stay, unnecessary parking fee, gate entry, incidentals, and still looking at a three-plus hour drive home (which included almost falling asleep, almost running out of gas, and seeing the entire frame of a detached garage engulfed in flamed about 100 feet off of the road), and you know what? It was all totally worth it! I’m going back next year!

If you look here, there will probably be pictures up soon. For now, I’ll post a few so you can get an idea of the wonder that was the artistry on display.

There were hundreds of entries, from teenagers to adult beginners to experts to cookies. It took hours to look properly at what was on display. Additionally, there were some fun vendors there whose products made me drool… but would have made my bank account bleed. Rollers and food-grade paints and gel markers and baking chocolate and all sorts of fun gourmet baking and decorating things.

One of the highlights was the brand new EZ Bake Ultimate Oven. What makes it ultimate, you might ask? Get this: an actual HEATING ELEMENT rather than a light bulb. Fo realz, baker dawgs! It’s kind of sad to be the, well, tallest girl standing around being so excited by the demo… But, honestly, it was a lot more exciting than the decorating demos, which were in real time so took forever — Stain a 4 x 4 x 1 inch surface mahogany in only 42 minutes! Eat it in four! — plus, the EZ Bake Ultimate Oven seems like something I could realistically use in my RV, if the whole “figuring out working with propane” plan continues to be a colossal failure.

I’m putting the Sugar Art Show on my calendar for next year as soon as they announce the dates! Anyone else want to join me?