From outside, the annoyingly capitalized Rose Festival CityFair at Waterfront Park seems exactly like the midways of my childhood: the same creaky rides, crooked games, and sad looking temporary workers. But maybe I'm just a grump and there really is a huge world of fun behind that movable fencing. I decided to find out.

The first and most exciting part about CityFair is you get to pay to get in. It's $7 at the door and that price includes full permission to walk around and see all the things you can pay for! It's like paying to get into a mall! Wheeee!

The only things that don't cost extra are being recruited by the Army and visiting the Alaska Airlines booth and pretending to have health insurance.


I was thrilled to learn that double billing for the attractions wasn't enough to cover the cost of killing all the waterfront grass so CityFair had to go out and get corporate sponsors too. Without Alaska Airlines and City (O) paying them money, they would never be able to afford to charge you to get to the part where you can pay them. It's a great deal!

It only gets better once you're past the ticket booth, so keep your hands and arms inside the blog after the jump!


The rides are absolutely thrilling. There's the one that goes around in a circle and the one that goes upside down and the one shaped like a pirate ship that goes upside down and the one that goes upside down in a circle. There's even the Inverter which, get this, inverts you. For only $5!


If getting invertered isn't your style, there are so many games to choose from. For only $4, you can try to win a giant stuffed rasta hamster!


From all the times I've visited friends and seen their person-sized stuffed animal collection, I can only assume these are prizes you cherish forever.

To give you extra motivation to win, some booths chose to hang their enormous penguins like horse thieves.


I want to win ring toss to save The Penguin With No Name!

Since children aren't very good at winning these difficult games, they have their own special section. I'm especially fond of this game which promises a "WINNER EVERYTIME YOU PLAY!" Of course, you and I and Google know that everytime isn't a word, but the kids don't!


The way this game works is you walk up to the pool full of ducks and... grab a duck. That's it. You grab a duck. I can't possibly lose that game!

Is Grab a Duck too hard for you? You're in luck, because CityFair also offers the classic game of Exchange Goods For Money. Buy a present for the kiddies, like this huge toy gun that has a little tiny human sitting on it firing his own smaller toy gun!


CityFair is open for one more weekend, so if you hate grass and want to punish it for its sins or you just have lots of extra money and want to make sure it goes to a meh cause, get yourself down to Waterfront Park. You'll feel like a winner everytime!