State Fair Sightings Reports 2021 – Smoking Fetish Story

I accidentally hit the jackpot tonight. I was walking through downtown Billings. It’s quite a large urbanized downtown but it was very quiet. Not much going on. I was about to leave when I heard some noise, it was live music. Then what is the next thing I see? a trashy but attractive blonde woman smoking a cigarette! She would be sighting #1 for the night. Then I see a tattooed arm holding a cigarette. I thought it was a man but it was actually a hot looking (other than all the tatts) brunette. They had another woman in the group (all around 30?) a very hot blonde, totally glam.and sexy, a 10 in my book, she was smoking too. They were all smoking together. Then I turn my head and what do I see a large crowd watching and dancing to a band in a outdoor parking lot. It turned out to be an event called Live After 5. How did I get so lucky?
This crowd was absolutely packed with beautiful women. They were dressed up in sexy outfits, everything I like, many were wearing high heels, they were all dolled up (what a difference makeup makes I can not express that enough). The crowd (like Billings as a whole) was like 85% white. I almost cried tears of joy, it’s been so long since I have seen attractive white women who want to look as hot as they can. Where I live in WA the white women are so frumpy and dumpy looking, we have no women like this. I can say the white women here are MUCH better looking than my city. Oh and so many thin women here…at least in this crowd. It was like a nightclub type crowd although more diverse in age.
I’m no Mark. I’m not that good at describing my sightings but here are the rest of them.
#4 and #5: I walk through the large crowd who was socializing and enjoying the music. On the other side of the lot was another area that people made a smoking area (there was no official smoking area). Maybe my favorite of the night was a petite (THIN!) Brown haired woman in a slinky black dress and heels…she wore her purse like a fashion accessory (which I love but where I live only Hispanic women do that, the white women are too frumpy) she was smoking and talking to her friend a very pretty, polished blonde who worse tight clothes, full makeup. The way she
talked it was very appealing. Both these women I guess we’re in their early 30s. What I loved and what I missed so much is the way they talked, it was so artificial and valley girl sounding, very feminine. They waved their cigarettes around animated as they talked. Long white cigarettes which looked as stylish as their clothes. I should add that 100s were more common than not with the women in this crowd. I can’t express how appealing I found these, they were not the “real” types, they were artificial, and superficial, and their smoking was part of it all. They had a 3rd blonde friend who I swear was smoking when I first saw her but I doubted it and didn’t count her as a sighting.
While so far it had been close to sensory overload, I surprisingly got a tinge of disappointment too. What I am about to describe first hit me then and would get much stronger through the evening. It hit me that the smokers on the sides were actually few and far between. The vast majority of the crowd didn’t smoke and never would smoke. It was sad to me because 20 years ago half of these women would have been smoking and they would do it wherever they please. These were exactly the type of party girls who would smoke. Not now. I would guess only 10% of the crowd smoked. So I was both thoroughly enjoying the sightings I got yet felt bad about the low overall percentage.
Sighting #6 didn’t qualify at first but got better as it went on. I saw a middle aged fat lady who looked Native leave her older white husband or boyfriend to go to the side to smoke. She pulled out a cigarette and lit up. I liked her drags because she has blue polished nails which I find sexy. I them got a better look at her and she was not nearly as old as I thought she was, maybe in her 30s. She was much younger than the man she was with and I even wondered if maybe that was his daughter. I don’t know, but I count her as a sighting despite her obesity because of her age and smoking style.
#7 I see a cute blonde mid to upper 20s with a freshly lit cigarette dangling in her lips (for a while). She was in another area all together sort of on the other side of the stage. She then held her cigarette sassy. My impression is she was a pretty hardcore smoker.
#8 a hot blonde in her late 30s maybe even early 40s but still very attractive. She had a ponytail and was wearing a hot outfit. She was also smoking an all white 100 (maybe they are popular here but I read a report

that said 100s made a comeback and at least half of women smokers smoke them). I swear the way she held that long all white, she had some awareness that it looked good. She was so confident in the way she smoked as she talked with two younger, hot girlfriends who unfortunately didn’t smoke. It was sad seeing one smoker in a group. I like when women smoke and bond together.
Sighting #9 barely qualified. A fully tattooed and pierced freak looking woman in her 40s aggressively lit up and smoked. I liked her boldness but she looked so terrible to me, like I said a freak, that she did not qualify as a sighting BUT she had her daughter with her who looked late teens. Nothing to look at really, a short and chubby brunette but she was kind of cute and she wasn’t talking after her mother yet, no visible tattoos. And she was really enjoying every drag, she had pleasure on her face. So she has enough things going where I counted her.
#10 a good looking mid 20s blonde in a Harley shirt (ironically no visible tattoos) was smoking. She stands out for being the only one to smoke anywhere near the main crowd, instead of far off to the side.
The final sighting of the event #11 was one of my favorites. A Native or Hispanic woman, early to mid 20s, a little overweight but pretty face and hair, was the only smoker in her group. It seemed her family, possibly her parents were in the group. It’s become too common to see only one smoker in a group but I like their spirit. She wanted smoke and wasn’t self-conscious about smoking in front of non-smokers. And the group she was with enjoyed her company and didn’t seem to care at all that she was smoking. That’s the way life should be. Anyway she took slow sensuous drags and exhaled slightly away from her group as she held her hand on her hip…which I loved. I find it so sassy and fem. I adored that woman.
11 sightings in just over an hour. Not bad at all. Yet as I said I felt a little sadness when I was there like a lot more women should have been smoking.
Bonus time. 2 sightings on my walk back to the car. First speaking of my rental car I called around and got a very good deal (80% cheaper than the other places) from a used car lot. The woman I talked to on the phone had such a sexy smokers voice. I was very attracted to her in person too. She is a big haired (perm) blonde in her 30s. Very polished and glam. I totally

got the fetish instinct with her (and that voice!). But there was no evidence, no visible cigarette packs or lighters, no nothing. So of course I don’t count her as a sighting even if I still think she is a smoker.
Bonus #1. I smell the strong smell of smoke outside a bar/restaurant. To my delight it was a young brunette, early 20s smoking her cigarette. Kind of girl next door looking, not beautiful but average looking.
BONUS #2 I see a hot young blond on a bench outside a bar. She was vaping. What a major disappointment. But on another bench I saw a young Native woman, Brunette with a black hat. I don’t know if I like women wearing hats that much, but this one gave her some style or personality. I got a good view of her lighting up a cigarette. I then asked her for directions to the garage my car was parked at. That little interaction while she was smoking was kind of satisfying.
Tomorrow the Montana fair. I hope I’m wrong but I think there is a chance I got more sightings at Live After 5 then I will at the fair. Then again the fair could be spectacular. We shall soon find out.

Montana Fair
by Jason
Part 1
Mark said to be patient. That was the understatement of the year. My first 2 hours at the fair were absolutely dreadful. I almost left in total disgust. As I was starting to leave the gates I got a pivotal sighting. It was my signal from the fetish gods to stay. It’s a good thing I did. That evening would turn out to be my best fetishing experience in many years!
I arrived at 6pm. I thought maybe I arrived too late. Oh no I didn’t. The first hour I saw no one smoking. It was crowded too. Tons of people and none were smoking. Terrible! Then about an hour later I saw a couple of women smoking but they were ugly as sin. This was all the more painful considering there many attractive young females there.
Finally I had my first sighting. Actually it barely qualified but I was desperate for one. An ok looking blonde in her late 30s was smoking with her smoking husband. Their kids ran over to them and they were a cute family. Kind of wholesome…except for the fact that that the parents were smokers. I liked the whole idea of it so I counted it as sighting #1.
#2 was another very questionable sighting. Two women in their 50s were with a child, I presume one of their grandchildren. I was sitting on a ledge and they sat right next to me. One of the women was horrible looking, like she used much meth in her day. She was totally ruined. Like a monster. Her friend wasn’t much to look at, a slightly overweight woman with short brown hair. But she looked much more presentable out of the two. One of the women asked if smoking was allowed at the fair. The other said yes I think so. They whipped out Marlboro lights and quickly lit up…not caring at all that I was sitting so closely. The more appealing woman of the two was sitting right next to me, very close. I got a close up view of her cigarette hand and it was arousing enough for me to count as a sighting. Plus I liked how I was forced to breathe her secondhand smoke and she

was oblivious to her smoke going in my face. She could care less and I like her attitude.
#3 was by far my best sighting so far and it was an adorable one. A young (late teens?) Native woman (or possibly Hispanic sometimes it’s hard to tell. Billings actually has a slightly larger Hispanic than Indian population) was on the grass smoking. She was overweight but still attractive in a cute black and red outfit. I noticed her red painted finger nails as she took drags off her cigarette. All the while she was flirting with her non-smoking boyfriend. He was dark skin and hair, prob native and was one of the most passive guys I have seen in years. He was thin and had a baby face and stood their smiling as his girlfriend touched him playfully as she was smoking. After she put out her cigarette they walked together with their arms locked together. The cutest couple ever. The BRFSS says in Montana there is an amazing 17 point female smoking gap among Natives. That couple put that statistic to life.
#4 was a early 40-ish Hispanic woman in a lovely brown dress. She had beautiful long black hair and walked like she was a model. She was holding a very long white cigarette. Do they still make VS 120s? If so that’s probably what it was (and it wouldn’t be my last 120 sighting). She was with her non-smoking husband in a black cowboy hat.
Then around a half an hour went by with nothing at all. I was getting bored and frustrated. I decided to leave. I almost approach the gate when I see sighting #5 as she was walking in. A beautiful brunette girl, possibly Hispanic, who looked around 17. She was holding a cigarette with her mixed gender group of non-smoking friends. It seemed too good to be true. Like how can a beautiful girl that young be smoking in this day and age? How did she get cigarettes in the age of tobacco 21? Plus she looked sweet (but stylish) not an alternative looking rebel. So I had to take a double take and triple take. Sure enough my eyes were not deceiving me, she was smoking. The group stopped at a t-shirt stand and she flashes the loveliest smile as they commented on what shirts they liked.
I took that sighting to be a message from the fetish gods…Do not leave. It was just getting dark. Maybe that will change everything. So I stayed and

I’m sure glad I did as the rest of the night was nothing short of amazing…as you will see in part 2.
Part 2
It was around 9PM. The night was here, despite a dreadful day after sighting #5 I decided to stay. I am immediately rewarded with #6. A pretty woman in her late 20s with long beautiful brown hair is walking holding a cigarette.
#7 and #8 had dynamics that pushed them into sighting territory. It was a group of two women smokers with a non-smoking husband and non- smoking late teens son. The women were average looking (not ugly) in their early 40s. One had brown hair and the other had reddish brown hair. They were talking a lot and were redneck-ish while the men were quiet. These women proudly and boldly smoked as I was right behind them breathing in some secondhand smoke.
#9 There was an outdoor music stage (not the main auditorium where pop singer Kesha was preforming, more on that later). It was a band playing classic rock cover songs. I saw a woman smoking in a grass area near the stage. I sat on a ledge across from her and it gave me a perfect view. She was a pretty brunette and because it was dark I clearly saw the orange glow of her cigarette. This was especially nice when she took drags. The dark and the lighting where she was at also made her exhales clearly visible. After she finished her cigarette she walked over to a man sitting pretty near me on the ledge. It was her non-smoking husband. If I was him I would have hung out with her while she smoked but he wanted to stay away from.the smoke. They didn’t seem all that excited to be with each other. They have probably been married for years. She looked older up close. From a distance she looked 30, up close she looked at least 40 but still attractive. She gave me a very warm smile (and she wore lipstick which made it all the more exciting to me), like a seductive smile…like I said I think that couple is bored with each other.
OK now the fun begins! I noticed a beer tent on the other side of the stage and decide to check it out. The first thing I see when I step inside is #10 a brunette mid to late 20s with a red ribbon in hair. She was kind of loud

and outspoken talking with her friends at a table with a beer and cigarette in hand. She was waving her 100 dramatically while talking and her inhales were indulgent looking. One of her friends at the table was a good looking long brown haired girl in her mid 20s. I wondered if she would smoke and within a minute she lit up a cigarette and became #11. She was a slow smoker. Taking slow drags and slow sensuous drags. She held her cigarette ultra fem. They would both go on to smoke 3 cigarettes each. Yet they never smoked together. They were taking turns. When one put out her cig the other would reach for one and light up.
After seeing #10 and #11 smoke their first cigarette I decided to stay at the beer tent. I don’t normally drink but I bought a beer so it wouldn’t be too awkward. I enjoyed sipping on the large cup of draft beer as I was treated to the most sightings I have seen in ages. I should add one reason I decided to stay is that all the tables in the tent (around 10 of them) had ashtrays. They are practically encouraging smoking. Can you imagine ashtrays at a California fair? Or how about New Jersey which completely banned smoking on their state fair grounds this year.
#12. It is rare that I find women my age (50s) attractive but I very much did for this sighting. Let me be clear this is no sighting out of desperation, I had no shortage of women to look at. I was genuinely attracted to this lady and very stimulated by her smoking. She was definitely Native American and had big 80s style dark hair and was wearing a beautiful red dress. I was amazed someone would wear such an elegant dress to a fair. She was at the table smoking a very long white cigarette, absolutely a 120. She looked like a queen to me. Maybe it’s just the nature of 120s but she was manipulating so incredibly super sexy and feminine…like she was trying to make her smoking as sexy as can be. Later she lit up a second 120 and smoked it with her legs crossed as she shined in that stunning red dress. What a beautiful, classy lady. She showed me that it’s within the realm of possibility for me to find women my age who turn me on sexually.
At the other age extreme the Kesha concert let out. Kesha was a popular pop singer in 2010 but hasn’t had many hits since then. Yet she isn’t quite the has-been I thought she was. She attracted a large crowd of teen and early 20s girls and they were dressed so scantily clad and super sexy. They

were all gathering outside the beer tent while the ones 21+ stood in line which all the sudden became very long. Everywhere I looked both inside and outside the tent were endless amounts of very hot girls wearing the sexiest outfits. It was heavenly. This is when I learned vaping was a thing in Montana too. The majority of them it seemed took out their vaping pens and started vaping away. There were some exceptions though, girls who smoked instead of vaped.
#13 was a hot early 20s Brunette in a black and white outfit who lit a cigarette right in the crowded beer line. #14 was a very hot blonde wearing a really trashy scantly clad outfit. She lit up and smoked right outside the tent. I think she was too young to enter. #15 was a cute blonde who couldn’t have been past age 18 who was also smoking outside the tent. Keeping mind I’m seeing all this at once. It was definitely sensory overload time. Thankfully I was able to keep notes on my phone. I couldn’t remember all these smoking girls otherwise. Some I would have remembered for sure but the quicker sightings no.
#16 #17 and #18 were three young (early 20s) women out from the concert and took a table at the beer tent. Two were Native or Hispanic and one was probably white, although her hair could have been dyed lighter. Two of the women (including the lighter haired one) were overweight but even so these girls were so my type. They were totally glammed out wearing heavy makeup. These girls were the heaviest smokers of the night. They sat there chain smoking through at least 4 or 5 cigarettes. They all looked so good smoking up a storm. One of the girls had her hair up like Mickey Mouse, it looked so cute and when I saw her big exhale and just about melted. All of their exhales were so clearly visible. I think it’s because of their red lipstick, it makes the fluffy white smoke clouds all the easier to see coming out of their mouths. It was dark enough in the tent where you saw all the orange glows when the women took drags, not just this table but in all directions. I love that orange glow, especially during the inhale.
Well I thought I cover this in two parts but no way. I have a lot more sightings to share so look for part 3 coming soon.

Part 3
I stayed in the beer tent where I was in a state of bliss. Women smoking in every direction that I looked. Two early 30ish women walk in the tent and talk to the older lady in the red dress smoking her Virginia Slims. #19 had reddish brown hair and a hot body. #20 was a dark haired woman who was a little chubby but still attractive. She didn’t look like a smoker but both women immediately lit up together. They were really fun ladies dancing and socializing. #19 playfully spanked #20. She then started shaking her butt like a stripper and it was really hot. The two women then started giving each other long hugs with lit cigarettes in hand. #19 left while #20 stayed. Here I didn’t think she looked like a smoker, such a sweet face yet she immediately lit up a second cigarette. I was close and saw up close that first big exhale. She was smoking with great confidence, boldness and style. My first impression was wrong. Not only was she a smoker but a hardcore smoker.
With so many smoking ladies in view, the few mins and young women vapers were decidedly underwhelming. There was a young, very hot blonde in the tent vaping. She was the best looking girl in the tent. Just like #19 she also started shaking her butt, pretending she was at a strip club. She was trying to put on a show. Amazingly enough it did nothing for me. As a vaper she seemed too wholesome for me to take seriously as a stripper type. Speaking of vapers, two hot looking young (early 20s) women sat at my table and talked to me but just my luck one was a vaper and one was a total non.
Have to do something. Will try to wrap this series up with part 4 later tonight.
Editors Note: Some weeks later Part 4 appeared, and the link to it lurked on my desktop for several months before I noticed it again. Sorry.
Part 4
I know this is kind of crazy, wrapping up my Montana trip nearly 4 months after it happened. I have time so I’ll do it. Being that it’s from 2021 it’s fresh enough. This is the wrap up..part 3 (or 4 I forgot).

Last I left off I was in the beer tent and I saw a table of 2 very plain middle aged women heavily smoking. While I appreciated their smoking intensity they were so over the top plain looking they did not count as sightings for me. Later a friend of theirs joined them. This new woman looked to be similar in age (around age 40) but was more attractive. She was native American, thin and had a clip in her hair, made an effort to look good. The second she sat down she had a pre lit cigarette in hand. She then talked with the pre lit cigarette bobbing in her mouth. She lit up and held her long all white feminine (100s are big in Montana). Loved seeing the orange glow of her cigarette with each drag in the darkness of the evening.
She didn’t wait long to smoke another cigarette. This time with a pre lit long cigarette dangling in her lips she took a selfie! Wish I knew what social media she posted to, if any. Later her non-smoking boyfriend joined her but that did not stop her chain smoking. She smoked one after another with a sultry style.
At the table in front of me sat 3 men and one woman, a strawberry blonde, looked late 30s. Pretty and thin but kind of conservative looking other than her sexy hoop earrings. N one at this table smoked including the woman. It felt kind of like a water to have her be my closest view when there were so many women smoking in the tent. Nearly a half an hour later I was surprised when she pulled out a pack of Marlboro lights and lit up. What took her so long? Once she got going though she chain smoked 3 in a row. She seemed like a hardcore smoker. Now I loved having such a close view.
Later a couple of blatantly gay guys recognized her “Remember us from the Kesha concert?”. They sat down at the table and talked loud in a gay voice. Soon after the woman lit up her 4th cigarette the gay guy next to her stole it out of her hand without asking. He took a drag and tried to give it back to her. She didn’t want it and lit up a fresh cigarette for herself. Those guys were so loud and obnoxious that not only did that woman and her guy friends leave, half the tent walked out. Sure it was getting late but I am convinced those guys ruined everything.
Outside the tent I saw a hot looking young brunette hold a cigarette as she walked past . It was a quick glance but she was young and hot, so it gave

me a little jolt. A table of 3 generations of Native Americans were at a table near me. Grandma, the 30-ish daughter and her son (they let kids in the tent with parents). The grandma was a hardcore chain smoker. She was old, fat and unattractive so her smoking did little for me…but I appreciated she was part of the huge native American female smoking culture in Montana. Her daughter was fairly attractive with her high cheek bones and long black hair. She looked nerdy with her thick glasses and had a very kind personality as she interacted with her son. She didn’t smoke at all as her mom chain smoked next to her. I totally pegged her as a non. To my surprise she later lit up and smoked a long all white 100. It came out of nowhere. I loved it due to the surprise aspect. Wow do native women smoke in Montana, even the ones that seem like they would be nons.
The tent cleared out. The fair was almost over and I headed to my car. There was a lot of traffic in the parking lot so I chilled out for awhile. I wasn’t expecting a great sighting but got one anyway. A beautiful young brunette, prob native or Hispanic, around 17 or 18, in a pink shirt and tight jeans with a pre lit cigarette in mouth. Her mixed gender friends weren’t smoking but she was!
Finally a bonus sighting the next day. A girl (around 17 or 18) was let out of a car at a strip shopping center. She had a pre lit cigarette in her mouth as she stepped out. She had teased up brown hair and was wearing a dark shirt. She lit up immediately after walking out of the car and I saw the plume of smoke come out. What a great city Billings is. They actually have such a thing as young female smokers in 2021!

Iowa State Fair – Day 1
by Mark
All the ingredients were in place for as good of a Saturday at the Iowa State Fair as one could expect as I boarded my shuttle bus around 10:45 a.m. en route to the fairgrounds. Blue skies, highs in the mid-80s and low humidity….exactly the formula you want. It promised to be a large Saturday crowd and the evening grandstand entertainment was a duo of pop-country stars (Sam Hunt and Kip Moore) that promised to bring out the right demographic. I certainly wasn’t expecting a smoker girl culture resembling that of 10 years ago, but today would be the test if it would even resemble two years ago when I was last at the Iowa State Fair and had an excellent day. Cigarettes are not cheap in Iowa, but are less expensive than the national average, and the state’s demographics are disproportionately rural where I expected a bit of a legacy cigarette culture to persist. I was reasonably confident things wouldn’t backslide as aggressively as they did at my county fair the previous week. How’d that work out?
If anything, my county fair painted an artificially sunny portrait of how horrific the smoking culture has gotten in the Midwest. It would be easier to find a California condor in the wild than a woman under 25 smoking in Iowa these days. I went into this fair season prepared for things to be bad, but nothing could have prepared me for how terrible of a day I was poised to have on August 14, 2021. Being two years removed from my fair last season, I had no sense on where things were with vaping among younger people, but I officially got my answer yesterday……EVERYWHERE! Tobacco 21 probably served to push up the average vaping age from where it was three years ago, but the bottom line was…..virtually every female who was attractive and consuming nicotine was vaping…..and virtually every female with a cigarette was old enough to be their mothers or grandmothers.
Over the course of 13 hours, I got 51 sightings. The vast majority of them were mediocrities with only a few extra-base hits sprinkled amongst them. By contrast, on my Saturday visit to the 2019 Iowa State Fair, I got 130 sightings. Now that was an excellent day with rock group Slipknot bringing a very favorable crowd to the fairgrounds, but the 130 sightings I

got that day was only a tick or two above the 10-year average for Saturdays at the Iowa State Fair. Every year since 2008, I’ve gotten more than 100 sightings here. This year, even with a big crowd, I only did half that well, and with a sightings selection that skewed decisively older and less glamorous than any year in the past.
About 15 minutes after my arrival, I saw a modestly attractive mid-30s woman smoking in front of one of the south side bars, good enough to count as Sighting #1. Over the course of the next three hours or so, I’d slowly stack up more modest sightings unworthy of a writeup. I suppose the best of them was Sighting #8, a tall and decently attractive late 20s brunette smoking a cigarette while standing in line at the Bud Tent next to her nonsmoking boyfriend. Nothing inspiring enough to dig out my camera and take a risk going for pics.
That wouldn’t happen until Sighting #10, a mid-20s girl-next-door light brunette sitting near the port-a-johns at the rear of the Jalapeno Pete’s bar. She was sitting there looking at her phone and smoking a cigarette….as in one made of tobacco! She had a pair of glasses that gave her a very bookish look, reminding me a bit of my ex-girlfriend Courtney, herself a heavy smoker. She was wearing a white tanktop and gray shorts, a look that also fit her wholesome general image. I got some nice, clear pics of her dragging, but the highlight of the sighting was watching the blur of smoke hover in front of her face after every drag before she inhaled it. I got to see most of the cigarette as she smoked it before she leaned down to crush it out on the pavement, leaving behind a Marlboro Lights butt before she stood up and reentered Jalapeno Pete’s. Not sure if she was an employee or a customer. Either way, I wouldn’t see her again. It was now 2:30 and she was the only sighting of the day so far worth mentioning. I could tell I was in big trouble in terms of overall numbers but still held out hope that the evening would bring about a 20-something smoking crowd.
On a few occasions during the day, I took a several-minute detour keeping tabs on this family with three kids….an infant boy, an early-teen daughter, and a really cute mid-teen blond. The late 30s/early 40s parents were smoking every time I saw them, and I kept crossing my fingers that that wholesome mid-teen blond daughter was part of the family culture as well. It seemed like a long shot, but there certainly wasn’t anything else going on that I was missing, and if this mid-teen blond did light up along with her parents at some point, it would have unquestionably been the big story

of the 2021 fair season. But I probably kept tabs on them a combined hour in the early afternoon, mid-afternoon, and late afternoon when I kept running into them, and there was no indication that either of the girls was smoking.
It wouldn’t be until after 5:00, six hours after my arrival, when I’d get my first extra-base hit sighting of the day. I walked right into Sighting #15 near the farm equipment displays as a tall late 20s blond with long, straight hair hanging onto her black T-shirt opened her purse and took out a pack of Marlboro Menthols, handing one to her boyfriend and lighting up one for herself. Her short jean shorts accentuated her height and her sunglasses accentuated her glam factor. I was ready with the camera to get pics of my first glamorous sighting of the day. I didn’t get the light-up but I got a huge swirl of smoke bursting from her face following the first drag. From there, I was able to find a quasi-bench where I took a seat and dug in for the show from a few feet away, snapping a number of pics of her dragging while messing around on her phone and conversing with her boyfriend/ husband. It was a decent show and she would eventually drop the cigarette the ground and walk away, as always giving me some false confidence that my luck might be changing. A couple of hours later, I saw the same couple with a drink in their hands in front of Jalapeno Pete’s, and both smoking another round of cigarettes. With as few smokers as were on hand Saturday, getting the chance for a repeat showing from the few that were was certainly welcome.
I’d also get repeat sightings from a duo of smoking women hanging out amongst a cluster of five 20-somethings in front of Jalapeno Pete’s. Sighting #19 was a dark brunette in sunglasses, a blue blouse and white daisy dukes who was the more attractive and the better smoker of the two, frequently taking deep drags on her all-white and then turning her head away from the crowd to exhale. Sighting #20 was the light brunette friend who was chubbier, but not disqualifyingly so, decked out in a feminine white and blue tanktop with jean shorts. None of the three friends were smokers. It’s the kind of sighting that would have been a dime a dozen outside of the fairgrounds bars at any of my favorite venues in recent past, but last night it felt like something special. An hour or so later, I’d see the same group of young women near the Depot, with the same two smokers indulging a cigarette. I was kind of exposed as I attempted a photo. While I did a good job of capturing the women in the group in the one shot I took, especially with the sun shining directly into them from my angle, the

cigarette hands of both girls was just out of view. It was a nice show once again though, with the dark brunette winning on presentation and style points when she turned her head to exhale away from the crowd.
I was down by the sheep barns when I was surprised by the arrival of the hottest smoker girl of the day. Sighting #23 was a gorgeous dark brunette in her late 20s with a badass look about her, eyes covered in sunglasses, decked out in a green tanktop and a nice-fitting pair of jean shorts with long, tan legs coming out the bottom. I was bummed when I saw the male in her company with a cigarette in his hand as they approached but not the girl, unfortunately an image I saw too many times yesterday. But my frown turned upside down when her man handed her the cigarette. This was as close as I’d get to adrenaline moment on August 14, 2021, watching the cigarette approach her lips for a clean and gratifying drag, a burst of exhaled smoke blasting from her face as she walked toward the sun. Her drags were nicely timed and her exhales were visually perfect as I frantically followed, hoping to get a photo despite the nagging sun angle and my relative isolation raising my risk of getting caught. I also figured she’d be handing that cigarette back to the boyfriend, which she did before getting it back once again. It seemed like she got the majority of the cigarette, and seeing that cigarette approach such glamorous female lips on a day like yesterday was pure ecstasy given how scarce it was. Unfortunately, I thought I nailed a dragging pic or two but the setting on my phone was off. The best I do could was a nonsmoking rear shot, which doesn’t give much information besides a general sense of how hot this girl was. The girl got the final two drags from the cigarette, dropping it to the pavement and crushing it out with her sandal. I identified is a Marlboro Red before slinking away, having a nagging suspicion that I probably wouldn’t see any girls better than her in my six remaining hours of fetishing.
With the 7:00 hour fast approaching, I was spending the majority of my time near the grandstand hoping to see the crowd gather for the Sam Hunt concert. In years past, the cowgirls mingling near the grandstand usually meant plenty of “final cigarettes before the concert started”. There would be some of that last night, although the smokers would be a bit older and less conventionally flashy than what I was looking for. Sighting #26 was a long-haired dark blond in her mid-30s who certainly wore the kind of outfit I liked, with a zipped leather crop top showing off lots of bare flesh coupled with jean shorts. She had just lit a cigarette when I laid eyes on

her. I liked the presentation but she definitely had a harder look than I prefer. A few minutes later I got a very similar vibe from another late 20s dark blond smoking while walking toward the grandstand. I only saw one drag from Sighting #27, but it was memorable because she proceeded to spike her cigarette like a football on the pavement after that drag, hustling on up to the gate to get inside the grandstand.
Not much else from the grandstand area before the concert. I traversed an extremely long line leading up to the entrance and the only smoker I spotted was a 40-something woman lighting up. She had a cute teenage daughter standing next to her and I hovered for a bit just in case the daughter lit up too, but I was quickly dispelled of that fantasy when the daughter waved mom’s smoke out of her face and the mom then offered to go smoke by the nearby wall if the daughter held her place.
The biggest disappointment of the day was the Bud Tent on the east side of the grounds, which has long been a useful location to boost sightings numbers and good for a number of extra-base hits most years. But this year, as with everywhere else, vaping, older-skewing smoking women, and a gender gap favoring male smokers was the big story. The best I would do yesterday was Sighting #31, a 30ish short-haired blond with kind of a retro 80s look who was clearly quite drunk and indulging in what was probably a social cigarette that she was nonetheless really enjoying with a couple of succulent finishing drags before she crushed it out. In a yellow blouse and nicely fitting jean shorts, she was the only smoker from outside the Bud Tent whose performance was worth mentioning on August 14, 2021.
Presentation and timing made Sighting #32 one of my more memorable of the day, even though I got screwed out of a perfect location where I could have gotten pics. There’s a half-circle of benches just south of the grandstand and as I walked past after dark, I laid eyes on this wholesome- looking early 30s blond digging through her bag, my eyes trained on her long bare legs coming out of a pair of perfectly fitting daisy dukes as I approached. She was sitting next to one guy when another guy, presumably a mutual friend, was approaching and sat down next to her. The first guy sitting there responded, “why don’t you sit on the opposite side of her….” with words to follow that I didn’t hear. This was lining up to be interesting, and I sat down on the next bench over waiting to see if it would play out as expected. Sure enough, a pack of Marlboro Light Menthols came out of her bag. Weirdly though, she saved one for herself

and handed the other to her presumed boyfriend/husband. It would have made more sense if the boyfriend didn’t smoke given his advice to the friend to sit on the other side of her to be spared from her smoke, but with both of them smoking I didn’t get the point. Either way, blondie lit up the cigarette and made official what was the most unlikely girl of the day to light up a cigarette…..
Unfortunately, there was a middle-aged guy next to me on the bench in between us. As his wife approached, I was giddy at the prospect of them leaving together and freeing up the space in between. But that didn’t happen. The wife sat down in between us, meaning I now had two people obstructing my view and no chance of getting pics at this time of night. I got up and wandered around, trying to find the least conspicuous possible vantage point. But this girl seemed to realize she didn’t fit the type to be a smoker, and proceeded to hold her cigarette hand behind the boyfriend’s back, hiding it from everybody but me. It was fascinating to see the extended glow of the cherry every time she took a drag, but she sure was doing everything she could to camouflage her skilled consumption. I got to see several drags before the cigarette just disappeared. Perhaps she dropped it behind the bench behind where they were sitting, but the boyfriend made no attempt to hide his smoking. At this point, I just wanted to see her stand up and observe how tall she was and how well those jean shorts fit her sculpted body from a vertical position. But I wouldn’t even get that chance because they kept sitting there after finishing the cigarette, giving me no choice but to walk away. I eventually did walk away, and by the time I returned, they were gone. Even the moments with potential for greatness yesterday didn’t play out right.
By a little after 10, the Sam Hunt concert was dismissing and I hoped to get a ninth-inning rally going. There was no rally but I did get what would be my best sighting of the day with Sighting #39. As the crowd began to spill out of the grandstand, I saw the kind of rear presentation I’d invested 11 hours to see as this petite firecracker of a light brunette in a gold tanktop and dark jean shorts brought an unlit cigarette to her lips and fired it up. She was in the company of a male significant other but I didn’t even look at him as I approached, having not seen her face yet and wanting to keep hope alive that I was finally about to see a glamorous college-aged girl openly smoking. When I did lay eyes on her, it was clear she was older than she looked from behind, her face dating her at about 30 years old, consistent with the look of her boyfriend/husband. She was still very

attractive though and had done an incredible job of maintaining a tight package of a body that evoked the energy of a teenager. And it didn’t take long to realize she was an excellent smoker, taking intense drags that turned that cigarette cherry into a scalding hot torch. But the best was yet to come…..
A middle-aged couple began approaching them, likely either her parents or the boyfriend’s parents. Neither of them were smoking nor would they, but my ashtray-mouthed brunette wasn’t the least bit bashful of smoking around them. They began to converse and the parents asked them how the concert was. I only heard snippets but there was a reference to the Blake Shelton concert the night before. The consistent theme in these chats was talking exhales from the cutie. As nice as her drags were, the exhales were easily the best feature of this sighting, with smoke slowly escaping this chatterbox’s respiratory system with each muttered word. At one point, she was right in her mother (or mother-in-law’s!) grill speaking to her, beautiful wisps of smoke gushing straight into my mom’s face with every spoken word for what seemed like 20 seconds. I was scrambling for photos here but knew the odds of anything turning out this late at night with such a large crowd weaving in and out of my way was not great. What I did get was blurry and not particularly illuminating, but I pulled off a modest frontal shot and a rear shot where her cigarette was glowing bright red. The older and younger couples ended up parting ways before my girl finished her cigarette, and by the time I caught up the cigarette was gone, denying me a butt identification. I’d already decided this was my best sighting of an abysmal day, but I’d get a bonus act from her only about a half hour later.
I was making my late evening journey through the south side of the fairgrounds after 11 and there stood the power couple just beyond the line for the gyros. It seemed as though they were scrapping a bit and I noticed the boyfriend had a freshly lit cigarette. As his petite girlfriend began to forage in her bag, I knew she was about to produce her own, and in seconds she did, lighting up (at least) her second cigarette of that last half hour. I found a good seat to watch from a comfortable distance, but was too far away to attempt pics at this hour of the night. Their demeanor continued to evoke an argumentative posture as they both stood there smoking, and I wished I was close enough as I was before to see the smoking spilling from her face with “angry talking exhales”. Looking at her here, it was pretty clear she was at least 30 and I continued to be

impressed by the extent to which she cut the profile of an 18-year-old. Her diminutive size certainly helped on that front, and I think the complete lack of girls of that pedigree who were smoking yesterday really made me feel grateful that this girl was doing her best to get me the kind of sighting that moves me the most. About halfway through their cigarettes they began to walk away and I followed them to a crowded south side beer gardens area and managed to again miss the disposal of her cigarette. Not sure what my year-end best sightings list will look like this year, but the only sighting of yesterday that has a chance of making it is this one.
That last hour and a half of the day was the best stretch that August 14th had to offer, grading on a curve with that south side loop producing a couple more sightings worth mentioning. The first was Sighting #44, where I saw two couples that were a curious mix of Hispanic and Black. I immediately smelled cigar smoke and took note of a Black ‘N’ Mild in the hand of the cute early 20s Hispanic girl in a blue tanktop and tight jeans. But as I saw her take a drag from the cigar, I also took note that there was a cigarette in her other hand. After that first drag, she surrendered the cigar to the Black boyfriend. It wasn’t for her and she decided to stick with the cigarette. I followed them for a distance hoping to hear a spattering of their conversation but it was unfortunately drowned out by the music. I followed them to see her take a couple of drags from the cigarette as she walked, hoping the boyfriend realized how lucky he was to be kissing a girlfriend who had both cigarettes and cigar on her breath.
Sighting #45 came next, just a few benches out of sight from the south side beer gardens where two early 20s girls sat together. I saw a cigarette in the hands one of them from afar and I approached. The light brunette smoker had a bit of a nerdy presentation with glasses and all, but she was cute and didn’t look like one of the few girls under 25 I’d see yesterday with a cigarette. I sat on the empty bench next to her and noticed that she had a vaping pod in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I was grateful that, at least for the moment, she had chosen an analog cigarette as I watched her take multiple drags while chatting with the nonsmoking friend. And at some point, another nonsmoking female friend approached and started chatting with the two of them, the bespectacled light brunette smoker continue to chip away at that cigarette in her right hand. I walked by one last time to get a closer look at her face in this dark spot. If it had been daytime, I’d have taken more of a risk to get a photo of her, but not in this dark, isolated area, so I moved on.

In the last half hour or so, I’d stack up a few more mediocre sightings. The best of them came in the rapidly depopulated area just east of the grandstand, which had cleared out significantly after the Sam Hunt concert ended. But still lurking there was a mixed-gender cluster that included a couple of hotties I’d kept my eyes on for a couple of hours now. And as I watched the late 20s blond in the cowgirl hat, black tanktop, and daisy dukes place a cigarette to her lips and light up and become Sighting #49, I got my payoff. I definitely sensed that she was a social smoker, and that her blood-alcohol content was above .08, but it was nice seeing her smoke. She and her group began walking toward the rear entrance of Jalapeno Pete’s as the blond handed her cigarette to a decently attractive brunette friend who took a drag of her own and became Sighting #50.
After so many disappointing hours and very sore feet by that point in the evening, I was a bit checked out and too grumpy to fully appreciate some of those late evening sightings that helped turn the tide at least a little. I boarded the shuttle bus home a little before midnight, and the closest I’d come to finding an upside to the evening was that my feet were merely extremely sore and not blistered. The first day at the Iowa State Fair is always the biggest test for my feet with the biggest potential consequences as I typically go to multiple additional fair venues in the next eight days. I wear unforgiving Rockport shoes with little padding but good support. Little padding means sore feet that recover quickly. More padding means blistered feet that recover slowly. But as was the case most of the miserable day, I really began to question how much all these days in the sun with sore feet and the elevated risk of a confrontation was worth it anymore….
I already began to question that 2-3 years ago when my sightings numbers were downright plentiful by comparison. Now I’m really eyeing a sunset for fairgrounds fetishing on the near-term horizon. The basic framework of my prediction about what laid ahead this year (no replacement smokers, the hangers-on aging out of peak attractiveness years) very much came to fruition in the most frightening possible way. But the reality is even a bit worse than expected as it appears most of the 20-something smoking culture than existed in 2018 and 2019 has either quit or made the transition to vaping, and it’s easy to see why. Most apartments ban smoking on the entirety of the property now, meaning you don’t even get to be a smoker on the patio of your own home without an eviction risk. Most young

women live in rental properties, so if they get their nicotine fix through vaping, they can do so in the comfort of their home without telling on themselves with the smell. And it’s astounding how stealth these things are, with a girl capable of taking a draw through the device cupped in her hand, and slip it back into her pocket out of sight before she even exhales. In the era of outrageous cigarette prices and smoking bans absolutely everywhere, how can cigarettes compete with this?
For whatever variety of reasons, demand for cigarettes appears to be entirely dead among young women in the Midwest and sightings numbers have fallen off a cliff in a way they never did year to year in the 2010s. But as I alluded to earlier, the same cannot necessarily be said for young men. Most of them were vaping as well, but if my cigarette count had been for young males instead of females, I suspect I’d have gotten to a higher number than 51. The smoking age gap seems to favor males more than females right now more than any other time in my memory, and I saw this at my county fair two weeks ago as well. This sucks in the short-term, but any means of keeping cigarettes relevant will work to fetishist’s advantage long-term.
Now is it possible I just had a really unproductive and non-representative day? Sure….but I doubt it. I’m heading back to the Iowa State Fair Monday night after work and by mid-afternoon on Thursday, with pop country concerts that are likely to be heavily attended both nights, to see if Saturday’s trainwreck was predictive. Beyond that, I can only hope for regional differences saving me to whatever limited degree in Missouri and Minnesota in the weeks to come. I’ll refrain from saying more until I get a more complete geographic picture, but right now, I can’t imagine coming up with 25 sightings from this year’s fairgrounds haul worthy of the top-25 annual sightings lists I’ve put together in previous years. Only the one sighting from yesterday has any chance at all of being worthy of a year- end top-25. Last year was likely an important pivotal year for the decline of smoking and losing it entirely kept me in the dark about how bad things had gotten. I figured the Iowa State Fair was poised to be the venue that changed the least from 2019, but did I ever get a rude awakening. I’ll have a better handle four days from now, after two additional visits, if the venue is still capable of making it worth my time to spend the day there.

Iowa State Fair – Day 2
by Mark
I set a new precedent on August 16, 2021, by going to the Iowa State Fair for the first time ever on a Monday. Specifically, I rode the shuttle bus to the fairgrounds Monday after work for reduced-price tickets after 5:00, and the primary reason I chose Monday to make my stand was another duo of pop-country chart-toppers for the evening’s grandstand act that I figured would bring out the preferred demographic in big numbers. Or as it pertains to smokers, what WAS the preferred demographic not that many years ago. Anyway, the pop-country duo consisted of Dustin Lynch, one of the foremost vacuous pretty boys of modern country music, along with Cole Swindell, who actually has a few songs I like. I have quite a history with Swindell, who brought about an excellent young smoking crowd to the 2018 Missouri State Fair, complete with the legendary 18-year-old heavy-smoking blond who looked like Lucy Camden from TV’s “7th Heaven”, my best fairgrounds sighting of the last five years. Based on that track record alone, Swindell earned the benefit of the doubt for me to be sure I was in attendance at this year’s Iowa State Fair on the night of his concert.
But after Saturday’s wake-up call of the depleted ranks of attractive young female smokers, I entered the gates last night humbled and bearish in my expectations. I hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. What I’d get was somewhere in between. While I only pulled off 29 sightings in seven hours, which was pitiful given the size of the Monday night crowd that would have likely been worthy of 100 sightings a decade ago, a couple of those sightings were stunners, above and beyond anything I came across on Saturday. I’d be investing a lot of soul-crushing time drudging through mediocrity before I’d hit the jackpot though.
I followed my usual course around the grounds after I got there, and about 15 minutes into the night I was at the beer gardens/live music stage on the south side of the fairgrounds, which is close to the livestock buildings and always draws a disproportionately farmy demographic and hasn’t been a particularly fruitful location for worthwhile sightings in several years now. It got my night rolling last night though as I came upon a trio of women and a young boy standing near the sheep building on the far side of the

music stage. I saw a couple of cigarettes and was briefly excited until I got a closer look and discovered that the two women I spotted with cigarettes were in the second half of their 40s or 50s, which despite my encroaching on that age myself, is a demographic that does nothing for me. The younger woman in the crowd, a strawberry blond in a tan tanktop and dark jeans, who looked about 30, did not appear on first glance to be smoking. But lo and behold, as I got closer, I discovered she too had a cigarette between her fingers, briefly hidden from view in her hand until she lifted it to her lips. Sighting #1 was decent if unspectacular to look at, and her smoking was just okay as well, but it was a pleasant surprise to come upon her smoking, especially in the presence of these older women and a boy I figured was likely her son. I stuck around and watched a few drags before moving on, figuring there was a decent chance I’d go a long time before I saw another sighting even this good last night. I was right.
The best I would get after that first sighting and before the concert began was the intermittent back and forth of Sightings #4 and #6, two early 30s blonds of modest attractiveness who were both with boyfriends. Sighting #4 was prettier but chubbier, decked out in a pair of frumpy yellow shorts and the only one currently smoking in front of the horse barn entrance when I first spotted her. A half hour or so later, I’d see the other blond, who had a nicer body but a mediocre face, smoking by Jalapeno Pete’s on the other side of the grounds. As the night went on, I’d see them both smoke together on one occasion, without the guys around, and the skinnier blond smoking with the boyfriend on another occasion. The frequency of their smoking was the only thing that made them worthy of a writeup on a night where I welcomed their presence at times.
There were huge crowds of country girls in daisy dukes and cowgirl boots hanging around outside the grandstand in line for the concert…..and it was absolutely nightmarish to see almost zero smoking among them. Worse yet, the same dynamic from Saturday was playing out where I saw a lot of young and pretty faces drawing from wildly unglamorous vaping pods, compared to the old and haggard faces I saw dragging from cigarettes. On more than one occasion, I’d see a mother smoking a cigarette and an early 20s daughter standing next to her drawing from the Juul pod she wore around her neck like a necklace. Words can’t express how demoralized I was by around 7:30, when the crowd was in the grandstand and Dustin Lynch was singing, coming to terms with the real possibility that the few sightings I’d get all night could be mediocrities.

Sighting #10 lifted my spirits a little. A pair of attractive mid-to-late-20s gals were outside Jalapeno Pete’s and one of them had just lit a cigarette. The smoker was a slender, short-haired blond in a black tanktop and jeans, but unfortunately the more attractive brunette (or possibly lover…I got that vibe) was not smoking. At this point I was satisfied with going one-for-two though, observing the blond as she smoked, an extended dangle drag in the mix early on. I’d see this blond smoking again after 11 p.m., and once again saw her doing the lengthy dangle drag not long after the light-up. I’d see less of the second cigarette than the first though, because by that point in the evening I had other priorities. To be continued on that.
With the concert underway and the crowd all settled inside the grandstand, I believe with a no reentry rule, I tried my luck on the south side again. There’s a food and beer vendor with an open lawn that’s a bit off the beaten path, but I venture in there once in a while to see if there were any girls out smoking. And last night there were as I came upon a mid-to-late 20s couple where both were smoking. The girl, an attractive long-haired blond with a freshly lit cork filter between her fingers, was the prettiest smoker I’d seen so far on the evening. Unfortunately, Sighting #14 had a big, obnoxious tattoo on her right arm, but I solved that problem by moving to the clearing on the other side of her and sitting down on a large rock to watch the show from her left side. And it was a pretty good show as she handled the cigarette nicely, with well-practiced drags and generous exhales. It was right at the point of dusk and I knew the window was fast closing for decent snapshots. As is often the case with that lighting, some of the shots turned out and others didn’t. In the ones that did, it’s clear that she’s a pretty girl with a nice body framed in a white tanktop and tight dark blue jeans. A couple of other guy friends joined the couple about halfway through her cigarette and she playfully bantered with the three of them. They eventually walked off and it seemed as though her cigarette just vanished as I never saw her dispose of it, but she nonetheless had a pretty solid run with it. I never thought I’d be so thrilled at the sight of a girl with a full-sleeve tattoo smoking, but up to that point she was easily the top prize of the night. Thankfully that wouldn’t last much longer as my drought was about to break.
The Dustin Lynch portion of the concert was underway and I decided to make a run through the midway. Earlier in the night, I’d seen a trio of college girls that included a brunette with an extraordinary ass. I knew the

odds were long that they’d be smokers, and I’ll kill the suspense right now and confirm that I never saw her light up, but I was still giddy running into her again on the midway, checking out that backside and keeping hope alive that she was addicted to cigarettes. But about five minutes into the midway tour, I’d see another attractive young hottie who was addicted to cigarettes….
A duo of blonds in their mid-to-late 20s were strutting northward toward the midway exit and the more attractive of the two had a half-smoked cigarette between her fingers. Sighting #16 was the first genuinely glamorous smoker girl presentation I’d come across last night, a black tanktop showing off her midriff paired with a pair of pale blue jean shorts showing off her sculpted lower body and smooth legs. The specific midway location of this sighting made it feel that much more rewarding since the midway is so populated with the current generation of antismoking snowflakes, yet this beauty was confidently strutting between the rides and carnival games looking all glamorous as she dragged and exhaled from her cigarette completely without guilt. From the second I laid eyes on this girl, there was an air of familiarity about her, but I was focused on salvaging a visual aid with my camera at this point, even though the combination of the darkness and the carnival backlighting made that a long shot. I successfully captured her strut with lit cigarette in hand, all while standing next to the less attractive (but still decently attractive) blond friend who at least at the time wasn’t smoking, but the image is blurry. That was the only pic I’d get that would turn out, but as she left the midway I was hoping to still get a couple more drags from her before the cigarette expired. Unfortunately, she dropped the all-white to the pavement without crushing it out and resumed her strut to the concourse. I watched her cigarette roll into a crack in the pavement and was able to identify it as a Marlboro Light. Given how long I’d waited for a glamorous smoking moment, this sighting left me wanting for more. But you never know, maybe I’d get it before the night was through.
Dustin Lynch wrapped up his set at a little after 9 p.m. and there was an intermission before Cole Swindell followed him up. Unfortunately the sightings continued to be few and far between, and with the limited supply of sightings generally, I found myself more willing to follow a hunch. During this intermission, I followed one that unfortunately led nowhere. This attractive 30-something woman was with a cute redheaded early teen girl I assumed was her daughter, and mom was foraging and foraging

through her bag in the open area between the grandstand and the midway, looking a bit nervous while the daughter seemed fidgety waiting. Eventually she pulled something out of the purse that I could have sworn was a cigarette lighter. They continued to give off nervous energy for a moment and then they just….walked off. And walked…and walked. They did a full circle through the midway and then down the east side of the concourse and into some extremely remote areas on the east side of the grounds where there was no one else around. I probably spent 10 minutes on them before mom went to the bathroom, came back out, and still didn’t light a cigarette. It was an unproductive detour but at least it was well- timed, as I returned to the grandstand area having not missed anything as Swindell still hadn’t taken the stage.
I continued to wander aimlessly around the concourse in relative proximity to the grandstand when Swindell started singing, and doing so gave me a quick gander at Sighting #19, a decently attractive young mother with a daughter who looked about 10 sitting next to her. Mom was bespectacled with very long hair, but fit nicely into a pair of jean shorts. She didn’t look much like a smoker, but the cherry on that cigarette glowing in the dark as she sat next to the east side outer wall of the grandstand was unmistakable. Unfortunately, I walked toward her to get a closer look and she crushed it out before it was even half gone and then got up and walked toward Jalapeno Pete’s. The light helped me appreciate her features and figure more than the darkness, but I’d have given that up to see more of her smoking. Fortunately though, the timing for this short-circuited moment was useful for getting me back to the grandstand area a couple minutes later which is exactly where I needed to be…..
I took note of a nicely adorned dark blond walking out the clearing east of the grandstand where the concert could be seen over the fence, fresh beer in her hand and digging through her purse. My first impression of this youthful and feminine presentation gave me a flash of hope for what she might be digging for in that purse, even though those flashes of hope when I laid eyes on girls like her have usually fizzled out without a favorable resolution so far this fair season. But this time was gonna be different as seconds later, an unlit cigarette was inserted between her lips while still in transit. Now it was a matter of seeing if the face matched the presentation and trying to pull off a rare light-up photo of the instant she officially became Sighting #20. My luck was holding up with the first objective as she was very attractive, about 25 with dark blond hair running all the way

down her back past her waist. She was wearing a white tanktop and black shorts, both of which suited her form. But the most striking part of her presentation was her amazingly buxom breasts, all natural and filling out that tanktop like a Dolly Parton album cover. I’m more of an ass and leg man personally, but never fail to notice a standout pair of tits, and this girl’s chest easily qualified. Now for that cigarette…..
My camera was ready as she approached her lighter to the tip of the cigarette, and I snapped the shutter as she sparked up. It was well after dark now and an open question whether the photo would turn out, but my top priority now that she was lit was seeing if her smoking would live up to the opening impression….and this girl came through again, the cigarette parked in her mouth after the light-up and all aglow and she ingested its poisons into her bloodstream. I was giddy when I realized she was gonna stand there by herself listening to the concert and smoking her cigarette in a location where I’d be able to sneak multiple photos and watch her smoke the entire cigarette. As a bonus, the Cole Swindell song that’s probably my favorite started booming out of the grandstand at this moment, and I listened to the music and tapped my phone shutter every time the cigarette approached her lips for a sweet litany of intense drags with long hold times and cloudy exhales, occasionally even no-handlebars dangling drags. While this was playing out, she kept looking at her phone and seemed to be a little agitated, as if waiting for a boyfriend or husband to make an appearance, but whatever measure of mild agitation she was conveying never failed to mask her striking presentation, her lips wrestling that cigarette to its demise before she dropped it to the pavement and crushed the cigarette (which I’d later identify as a Marlboro Red) out with her sneaker….
Now it was time to take a look at my photos and I’d be greatly disappointed. I figured I got as many as two dozen but, as happens sometimes, my trigger finger aim on that shutter wasn’t very centered and I only ended up with a handful, most of them with her back toward me and with devastating lighting from the grandstand fence that hid her face. The setting I thought would be so rewarding for pics ended up being hopeless for evening shots as the background lighting was almost entirely unavoidable. The one mild exception was the light-up shot. Her face was still blurred, but it was the best pic of the bunch. This was also the time she began walking away, presumably to meet whoever it was she was trying to contact on her phone. In years past, I’d have probably walked away, my

focus shifting to the next frontier of female smoking bliss, but with as few and far between as attractive 20-something smokers are in 2021, I decided to follow. She traveled down the concourse with her beer and eventually settled in front of the extreme rides in a fairly isolated corner on the northwest side of the grounds, and I strongly suspected her significant other was going on one of these rides. I was a bit exposed standing in this area keeping one eye on her while pretending to observe these extreme rides, but it was a risk I was willing to take.
I hovered there for about 10 minutes, still able to hear the Cole Swindell concert in the background and noticing my long-haired dark blond looking up in the sky with her camera out taking photos of the extreme ride in motion. They began unloading the ride and she walked over to the passenger exit area, rummaging through her purse again and quickly producing another cigarette. She lit up and sent to me heaven a second time in the last 20 minutes. My vantage point wasn’t as close this time but I was still able to stand back and enjoy those long-distance drags, the longest drags I’ve seen from any addicted girl this fair season and that bosomy chest of her expanding whenever she got around to exhaling the smoke out. I got a distance shot here that has way too much background light to see anything smoking-related, but it was the best pic I got in terms of showing off her chest. About halfway through this second cigarette, it was clear based on her body language that her boyfriend/husband was walking toward her after exiting the ride, and my nose almost hit my eyebrow with as hard as I cringed seeing who this girl chose to bed down with….
This sleazy, trashy looking blond guy with a redneck mullet and a red beard approached her, and he couldn’t have been more of an unworthy mismatch for this very attractive and shapely smoker. The mullet is making a comeback with a certain demographic of rural, downscale males and this guy fit the profile completely. He’d eventually light a cigarette himself, and temporarily cheapened the moment for me knowing this beautiful girl was with him, but after I got over the initial shock, the mystery factor of why these two were a couple intrigued me. She crushed out her cigarette and they proceeded back to the concourse, and after I identified her second Marlboro Red of the last half hour, I decided to follow a bit more.

It didn’t last long though as she got in line for cookies and I knew that even after she got out of the line, she’d be eating for a while and it would likely be a while till she would smoke again. I walked away en route to the grandstand area to see if the concert could salvage any more sightings, but maybe this blond wasn’t done with me yet.
After a fruitless cursory loop around the grandstand perimeter and then the midway, I walked back out in front of Jalapeno Pete’s when another set of familiar faces entered my line of vision. The sexy mid-20s blond in the bare-midriff tanktop and pale blue jean shorts who I saw smoking on the midway an hour earlier was walking past me with her blond friend. She wasn’t smoking, but seeing her face in the well-lit location, it hit me as to why she looked familiar. I’m reasonably confident she was the same beautiful blond who I saw smoking a full 10 cigarettes (!!!) one night at the casino in 2019, who I distinctly remember being carded at the door upon entry. That girl had a very distinguished look about her and this blond matched my memory of that distinguished look completely, as did the cigarette habit. The scene then went from weird to absurd when this blond smoker suddenly called out “Hey. How are you doing?” in passing to what was clearly an acquaintance of moderate familiarity. I looked up to see who she was talking to…..and it was the buxom blond and her boyfriend who just emerged from the extreme rides and the cookie stand! It was the most surreal colliding of worlds I can ever recall seeing at a state fair (as opposed to the county fair where such an encounter would be far less surprising). The two smoker girls who had thus far made my night had greeted one another in passing, and while that would be the end of their interactions, it would not be the end of the smoking for either of them.
I chose to follow the bare-midriffed glam blond next since my previous sighting from her on the midway was brief and didn’t fully satisfy my hunger. I also wanted to get better pics of her, but unfortunately, the best I’d do is an ass shot of her and her friend. Still, as they stood outside the grandstand listening to Cole Swindell’s concert with beers in hand, I had a strong feeling additional tobacco consumption was pending, and my confidence grew as I studied the rectangular package in the back pocket of her jean shorts and knew it was what had supplied her with her tobacco wares when I saw her before on the midway. I only had to wait about three minutes before she reached her hand into her right rear jean shorts pocket and opened the box of Marlboro Lights, plucking one out for herself and

one out for her friend. The mid-to-late 20s friend was modestly attractive, and certainly good enough to qualify as Sighting #23 with her long, ponytailed blond hair, black tanktop, and brown and white striped pants, but my attention was laser-focused on the OG midway girl about to give me the farrow-to-finish second sighting that I craved.
Between 2018 in Missouri and the Iowa State Fairgrounds tonight, I was at this point convinced that Cole Swindell’s music triggers an irresistible urge for females to consume tobacco, and the moment that followed her light- up was my most electric of the night. My assist of the night came from a middle-aged couple who decided to dance outside the grandstand to the song Cole Swindell was currently singing. For whatever reason, my blond smoker took an interest in this and pointed her phone to record the couple’s dance. But as she recorded, she parked the cigarette in her mouth and kept it there for a long-distance tenure I was totally unprepared for. The cigarette must have been perched in her lips for 90 seconds, but what was striking was that the cherry was glowing most of the duration of the dangle, with trickles of smoke coming out of her nose with most of her breaths as she focused her gaze on the dancing couple. It was killing me that I wasn’t able to get her dangle recorded onto my own mobile device, but once again, she was standing right in front of the backlit grandstand stage where her face was a blur. Photo evidence or not, it was one of the most luxurious dangles I’d ever seen, and I was curious if the dancing couple was as creeped out by her recording them and she’d have been if she caught me recording her! When her long dangle finally came to an end, she and her friend resumed traditional smoking, and it continued to be a treat to see them smoke together, with the original girl being far and away my favorite of the two. For whatever reason, the second girl parted with her briefly and my preferred blond finished the cigarette standing by herself, dropping her Marlboro Light to the pavement and crushing it out.
And just as she finished her cigarette, up comes the buxom long-haired dark blond in the company of her boyfriend, the two of them standing there listening to more of the concert. Neither were smoking at the moment, but it was surreal yet again to have my two top finds of the night standing about 15 feet apart. I was hoping for them both to be smoking at the same time, but the period of them standing near each other was short- lived before the buxom blond and her boyfriend drifted off. This time I chose to follow them, suspecting another cigarette would soon be forthcoming….and my instinct guided me correctly once again. As she

walked past Jalapeno Pete’s, an unlit cigarette suddenly appeared between her fingers, and I caught up as best I could before she lit it, not wanting to get too close at this point thinking I might look too familiar to one or both of them. It was hard to keep too much distance once she was smoking again though because she did it so well, taking such natural extended drags and exhaling with a carefree swagger, often tilting her head and blowing the smoke skyward. The boyfriend wasn’t smoking with her, at least thus far, and it continued to be a little depressing seeing what a lowlife he appeared to be walking hand in hand with a girl that seemed so stunning in so many ways.
I stayed close for the duration of her cigarette as she and the boyfriend stood at a juncture near the center of the fairgrounds, clearly waiting to meet someone. Right around the time the girl was putting the finishing touches up on her cigarette, the boyfriend lit one up. I got one last quality glance in at blondie’s final drag, as she leaned forward and dropped her third cigarette of the last hour to the pavement and crushed it out. I never saw her official pack of Marlboro Reds but had seen two butts with that logo and knew it was indeed that hard-core brand that she smoked. I drifted away at that point, content at this point that I’d seen the last of her for the evening.
The concert was just ending and I wanted to get to the grandstand area in case any young hotties with cigarettes were departing. There had to be at least some! And I would run into a couple but once again my attention was dominated by the glam blond and her friend, now sitting on the steps on the side entrance of Jalapeno Pete’s both smoking another round of Marlboro Lights that came from my favorite girl’s jean shorts pocket. Just my luck….I got a decent photo of the two of them….and I ended up pocket-deleting that shot and a couple of other late evening shots. It was my night for sightings, at least by 2021 standards….but definitely not my night for photos! Seeing the glamorous blond in such good light, I was more convinced than ever that she was the same blond I saw smoking at the casino two years ago, making her what I presume to be the first girl who I’ve counted as a year-end casino sighting favorite and a year-end fairgrounds sighting favorite. I wouldn’t see these two smoking again but I nonetheless kept running into them right up until the time I boarded the shuttle bus just before midnight.

The duo of blonds were in front of the Depot just before I left, and that’s the last stop on the concourse before I arrived at the shuttle bus. There I’d get a duo of modestly attractive Hispanic ladies in their late 20s, padding my numbers with Sightings #28 and #29. I was amazed that after 13 hours of walking on Saturday and another seven hours last night, my feet were not particularly sore as I boarded that bus, en route home for a very short night of sleep before heading back to work on Tuesday morning.
There’s no question that even five years ago, I’d have considered this an unsuccessful night, but after Saturday’s reality check about the state of affairs for smoking in 2021, I was tickled to have gotten two sightings of impressive 20-something beauties with solid storylines and multiple cigarettes each. I keep going back and forth on who I liked more. I’m leaning toward the buxom blond, but that glam blond who I believe was the 2019 casino girl might end up nudging ahead in the end because of that incredible 90-second dangle. Hopefully I carry this modest measure of momentum with me for the rest of fair season, which begins with a final trip to the Iowa State Fair mid-afternoon on Thursday. I decided to go three times this year to make up for zero times in 2020, unprepared for just how rough the sightings landscape had gotten. But I’m at the point where any day or evening with sightings like I got last night, which we were so easy to take for granted in the very recent past, has to be considered a really good night.

Iowa State Fair – Day 3
by Mark
My third and final visit to the 2021 Iowa State Fair on Thursday was another mostly disappointing affair. There was a juncture mid-evening where things were getting downright exciting but I was at a crossroads and made the wrong choice, wasting a bunch of time in pursuit of what was poised to be the best sighting of 2021. Numbers-wise I got 55 sightings, which as lackluster as it sounds was actually the most I got on any of my three visits to the fair, getting four more than Saturday even though I was at the fair for four hours longer on Saturday. There were flashes of potential throughout the day but I had absolutely disastrous luck with photos for most of the best sightings of the day, a sadly consistent theme in 2021.
I rode my shuttle bus in and arrived around 3:15 on Thursday, recognizing I was not likely missing much in the morning and early afternoon hours of a weekday. The crowds were indeed modest, but I suspected they would begin to increase quickly enough as the afternoon went on with a Chris Stapleton concert at the grandstand that seemed poised to be a big draw. And even with sightings, the day got off to a surprisingly strong start compared to the previous two days. I made my usual loop opening loop down the concourse and then to the south side, and near the talent show stage I noticed a duo of 20-something women where one had a cigarette. Sighting #1 was late 20s and modestly attractive, a long-haired light brunette wearing sunglasses, a red and white tie-dye blouse and dark jean shorts, and it soon became clear her boyfriend was also smoking. The other female friend was not smoking, nor were the older couple in their midst who I presume were the smoker girl’s parents. She was a quality smoker, taking nice long drags and releasing cloudy exhales, on one occasion walking toward the older nonsmoking parents with cigarette in hand. There was one problem though and it was the usual one. Her back was to me and there was no way to get a closer view for good pictures. The best I’d get was a holding pic from the rear where at least her face was turned my way in profile. She finished the cigarette and crushed it out on the grass, leaving me with a sighting that wasn’t an extra-base hit but a solid start to the day by 2021 standards. I’d see her again on the midway a couple of hours later but she was no longer smoking.

Things really got rolling a few minutes later when I was divinely inspired to make a detour from my usual route and go down this alley near a set of bathrooms. The alley was nearly empty but on the horizon I saw a modestly attractive petite mid-20s redhead and with each step closer it was clear she had an unlit cigarette between her fingers. It was also clear there was somebody just out of my view behind a barrier seated in front of this girl. I figured it would be a husband or boyfriend, but as I got past the barrier obstructing my view, I realized it was an attractive mid-20s blond in sunglasses who was quite a bit hotter than the redheaded friend and also had an unlit cigarette she was preparing to light. Their isolation in this alley was going to be a huge problem, but I hoped to time my passing just right to sneak in a photo of their mutual light-ups, but of course I failed to get it. The cigarettes were nonetheless soon lit, officially making this duo Sightings #3 and #4, but my struggles would not go away in terms of where the hell I was gonna be able to even watch the rest of this setting play out let alone get pictures of it. I scrambled throughout the sighting, in direct sunlight on a hot and humid afternoon and covered in sweat, but managed to at least see most of what there was to see…..
And it was impressive. The vast majority of my attention went to that blond in the sunglasses, her long hair pulled back in a ponytail and decked out in a gray T-shirt and dark jean shorts as she took a steady diet of drags with a natural style and cloudy exhales. From one of two faraway vantage points I settled upon, I snapped a dozen or so photos. I was able to enlarge them enough to salvage some modest holding shots but there’s nothing incredible there. Interestingly though, two additional players would soon join the show as this shaggy-haired brunette guy with a beard joined them in the company of a young boy who looked about six. The boy was probably the son of one of the smoker women, and judging by his features and the body language it was more likely the petite redhead. But what was best about the male adult addition was…he didn’t smoke, which I would confirm later in the day. In a fair season where the far more common couples mix included smoking males and either nonsmoking or vaping females, it was wonderful to see a situation where only the guy maintained pink lungs in the company of stinky females. It was a nice farrow-to-finish sighting, and while I wished I’d gotten better photos, I still felt momentum early in the day that I hadn’t felt yet this season as the dark blond finished her cigarette first and the redhead followed about 30 seconds later, crushing them out and leaving them in the alley. As they walked away, I

went down to inspect. The blond had smoked a Marlboro Light and the redhead smoked a Marlboro Red, which also brought a smile to my face in that they both came with their own respective packs. I already hinted that I’d see this duo again…and it wouldn’t be that long.
My early momentum came to a dead stop in the next couple of hours, with sightings coming slow and mostly being profoundly unmemorable. In fact the next memorable find would be the same as the last memorable find as I encircled the seating area of The Depot and found a familiar foursome that included an adult male and a young boy who were not smoking, and two 20-something females who were. Unfortunately, they were sitting on an isolated curb across the street from The Depot seating area, complete with The Depot fence in my way. It would have been hard for these two to find a more isolated spot to smoke their next round of cigarettes than where they smoked their first round, but they managed! The best I could do was stand up and snap one pic from above the fence, which after considerable enlargement is vaguely identifiable but far from great. Now it was time to sit back and watch the show. When I first got there both girls were smoking, but after a minute or so I noticed the blond had stopped and only the redhead continued to take drags. The blond was highly distracted on her phone and I wondered if she put the cigarette out early. Never fear though as about three minutes later, she picked up the less-than-half smoked Marlboro Light from the pavement near her feet and put it back in her mouth. Now it was an endless pursuit to find her lighter while dangling the unlit all-white. As frustrating as it is for me to watch girls dig and dig and dig into their purse in search of their lighter (or anything!), I can only imagine how annoying it is for them! Thankfully the redhead would deliver as a wingwoman….
The redhead was almost finished with her cigarette but still had enough of a cherry going to hold it to the tip of the blond’s cigarette. Damn do I wish I got this on camera as the blond brought her all-white back to life with the help of the redhead’s Marlboro Red. From there she continued to smoke the cigarette to its demise with the usual litany of nice drags and cloudy exhales. I sure needed these two to inject some excitement into the daytime hours because it would have been a miserable slog without them. They got up and left a few minutes later, leaving their respective Marlboro Light and Marlboro Red butts littered behind in their midst.

Now the bad news is I wouldn’t see them smoking again, but the good news is I would see them again on the concourse and it enabled me to snap a couple of pics in passing. I didn’t get a great angle on the redhead, but I got two shots that very nicely capture the blond, who was by far the hotter of the two as well as the better smoker. They’re not as good as smoking pics, but at least I’ll be able to put faces with the girls when the time comes to post them on my Tumblr page.
It was around 5:30 when I got Sighting #10, a decently rewarding sighting on the south side of an early-to-mid-30s blond in a gray T-shirt and black shorts. She was smoking while her husband wasn’t. She was modestly pretty if not necessarily my cup of tea, but she was a good smoker with a steady drumbeat of nice drags and well-practiced exhales. I also managed to score the bench next to her and got the only set of quality pics I’d get all day of a smoker girl before she finished it off. Again though, the average age of these smoking ladies keeps going up and up, and considering she was the best sighting I’d gotten in two hours, I walked away from this one with mixed feelings.
As afternoon turned to evening, I was ticking off an accelerating pace of sightings as the crowds grew much larger, but they were all mediocrities. It was clear that the Chris Stapleton crowd was gonna be extremely large as lines started to form in all directions heading to the grandstand entrance. I knew a coworker of mine had tickets for this concert and was somewhere in this crowd so I was really pushing my luck wandering through the masses looking for smokers. The best I’d find before the show started was Sighting #24, a dark brunette in a maroon tanktop and nicely fitting jean shorts in a mixed-gender group that included other smokers. She looked like she was in her late 20s and had a very attractive face with an innocence that defied the pack of Marlboro Menthols she was pulling out of her purse as I laid eyes on her. I was holding an ice cream cone in my hand at this moment that prevented me from getting a pic. It was approaching dusk so there’s no guarantee the photos would have turned out anyway, but I was kicking myself for my bad timing and had to try to snap a couple of pics one-handed, which did not end well. I got a couple blurry mess pics not even worth saving but at least got to watch some smoking, and it was refreshing to see toxic smoke flow from the lips of this innocent face. Unfortunately, before she even finished her cigarette she left this location and hustled on up to her spot in line for the concert where I’d have no chance of getting pics and was barely able to see one

more drag from her at my awkward vantage point. A great sighting, but one that could have been much greater.
As the crowd finally settled into the grandstand before the show started, I explored the rest of the grounds, unfortunately discovering not much worth mentioning. The east side of the grounds generally and the Bud Tent area specifically were huge disappointments in 2021 but I would salvage a small reward from there around 8:30 p.m. I saw a late 20s guy sitting next to a brunette with interesting if not necessarily gorgeous features wearing a glamorous yellow dress seated on a bench. The guy was smoking a cigarette but the girl wasn’t, but since the bench next to them (and on her side) was open, I thought I’d take a seat just in case they were sharing it. My intuition was correct and she got her hands on the cigarette and became Sighting #29, taking a few drags before passing it back to the boyfriend. I got a couple of modest pics but none in mid-drag because of her angle.
I finally got some glamour with Sightings #33 and #34 outside the grandstand, where two couples in their mid-20s were all standing out there smoking cigarettes. The prettier of the girls was a light brunette in a green flower-print blouse and matching skirt. She was very attractive, but regrettably had a number of tattoos on her arms. The other girl was also attractive, a shorter-haired blond in a black and white plaid top with jean shorts, and no visible tattoos. Along with their respective boyfriends, both girls had freshly lit cigarettes between their fingers. Once again, however, they stood in complete isolation in a spot that made me stand out like a sore thumb trying to even watch let alone take pics. I didn’t even make an attempt with the camera because they seemed to be keenly aware of me hovering in the background trying to find a good spot to watch as inconspicuously as possible. There was a thick cloud of smoke hovering amongst them with four smokers standing in a semicircle dragging with frequency. I saw the most smoking by the blond as the brunette mostly had her back to me, but I guess the upside was I didn’t have to look at those disruptive tattoos as much. The girls were quality smokers and I wish I could have watched the whole show, but after a handful of drags by both, I was just too exposed to stick around and decided to wander off.
The Chris Stapleton concert was just getting underway and I was gonna settle in at that clearing outside the grandstand where crowds settle in to listen to the concert, the same spot where I was treated to my two great

finds on Monday night. And the spot would come through again this time…..
Standing out in the crowd was this bleach blond who looked about mid-30s. She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous but her presentation was extraordinary, decked out in a white crop top with a pair of pale blue jean daisy dukes that sculpted her crotch and fit her ass and hips like a glove. Very nicely toned legs and a pair of cowgirl boots complemented the image below the waist. She looked very familiar and I immediately decided where I thought I’d seen her before, but since no smoking was going on when I laid eyes upon her, I ventured through the crowd. There were very few smokers, but I couldn’t help take note of a family tucked away in the corner where a nondescript 40ish mom stood with three daughters, the oldest about 14, and what looked like a transgender guy. Mom was lighting a cigarette and I did a quick scan of the daughters, all of whom looked too young to be smoking, so I moved on.
I weaved my way through this crowd and came upon that bleach blond again just as she was digging in her purse. As she pulled something dark out, I despaired expecting it was another vape device, but as I connected the dots of this girl’s air of familiarity with the plastic wrapper that seemed to be covering what came out of her purse, it hit me that this was a cigar! At this point, let’s just say I have a history with this girl and leave it at that for now, and the dots were fully connected when I saw her mid-30s husband/boyfriend standing behind her with a large cigar in his hand. The plastic wrapper came off of the girl’s smaller cigar and she beckoned him for a light to officially become Sighting #36. The crowd was such that my attempts to get a pic of the light-up came up short, but I’d soon settle into a clearing to her left and was better-positioned to watch her show. The cigar was lit and dangling from her lips, standing out in how much it contrasted with her image. I wished her cigar was as large as her husband’s, but damn it was nice to see tobacco touch those lips and stink up the entire area.
They were with another set of friends who appeared to be in their early 30s and were not smoking, and this blond was really letting herself loose, swooning to the sounds of Chris Stapleton and at one point grinding her incredible ass into the cigar-chomping boyfriend’s crotch. I stood there with my phone snapping pics whenever I felt I had an opening, especially when that cigar went into her mouth and she dangled-dragged from it, undoubtedly stunning some in the crowd at both the look and the smell of

her concert activity. I knew given the background lighting I’d struggle to get great pics at this hour, but at one point she used the torch lighter to touch up the cigar and I snapped the shutter, scoring about as perfect of a pic as is possible at this hour of the night, showing off the cigar in her mouth, her face in an attractive pose, and her entire wardrobe ensemble where everything below the neck was the picture of feminine perfection. I was about 15 minutes into this show and had a half a mind to stand here and take it in until she finished off the cigar…..but the other half of my mind was distracted elsewhere.
As I took note of the nondescript mom in that isolated spot to my right lighting up another cigarette, I also noticed a cloud of smoke coming from the oldest daughter. Unfortunately, it was from a vaping pod, but from where I stood this daughter looked 14 at the absolute oldest. It was too dark where they stood to tell for sure but given her body shape and the general way she was carrying herself, it would have been astounding if she was much older than that. I watched her hit that vape pod a few more times as mom kept smoking the cigarette. I kept one eye on her and the other on the cigar girl for the next several minutes, and I couldn’t get over how much this girl reminded of the 13ish Slipknot girl smoking with mom in 2019. This mother looked completely different as did the siblings so I didn’t figure it was her, but the vibe was similar enough that it convinced me this girl might not limit her nicotine consumption to vaping, just like the 2019 Slipknot girl didn’t. The family would soon walk to the bathroom and emptied their bladders before coming outside and drifting away from the grandstand area and toward the concourse. I decided I absolutely had to follow.
Once in the light, I could tell this was definitively a different girl than the 2019 Slipknot girl even though everything about her build and energy was similar, and she couldn’t have been older than 14. And then I took a note at her pale black jean shorts pocket. Despite her phone being in one hand and her vape pod tucked into her front pocket, there was a rectangular box tucked just out of sight in the back pocket of her shorts. I know the shape of a box of cigarettes, and this was absolutely that shape. Just as I suspected, this young teen was using a vaping device to camouflage her smoking habit while at the fairgrounds. That was problematic for me, unless I could wait out a situation where she found the necessary isolation to light one up. It was a risk, but it was worth trying given the payoff.

I maintained a comfortable distance as this family moved east on the concourse about to buy food. They stood in various lines for a seemingly endless stretch and then went to a common seating area where I took a distant bench to wait them out. They ate slowly and I kept telling myself if she never does light up I’ll have wasted a tremendous amount of time on her. When they finished eating, girlie got out her vape pod again and hit that thing repeatedly, enough to prove how fiercely addicted she was to nicotine. She exhaled recklessly and I watched the vapor gush right into the faces of the younger sisters and whoever this transgender father-figure was. I was hoping mom would break out her cigarettes and the girl would believe she had enough isolation to smoke one with her. But eventually, they all got up to leave. I got up as well and walked ahead of them for a bit, hoping to not tell on myself for following. Big mistake. When I looked behind me after only about 10 seconds with them out of my sight, they were nowhere to be found. It was baffling and I hustled in every possible direction, unable to find them. I still don’t know what happened but was devastated that I had spent a good 45 minutes on this girl only to lose her in the crowd. Moral of the story: 2021 sucks!
It was now 10:45 and I moved back in the direction of the concert as it was about to wrap up. I walked back into the clearing just outside the grandstand and my cigar-chomping power couple was still there, but unfortunately the guy was down to the end of his cigar and his better half had already finished hers. She was still the best sighting of the night by no small amount, but I didn’t get to see as much of it as I should have because I was pursuing what I hoped would be the best sighting of the night. Still, there were hordes of people just leaving the Chris Stapleton concert and I was determined to salvage what I could.
Quite a few people were coming out of the concert lighting up cigarettes, but not many of the preferred demographic. Ultimately though, one would as I took note of this wholesome and attractive late 20s blond with long hair running over her shoulder in a braid as she stepped out of the women’s bathroom and placed a cork filter cigarette between her lips to become Sighting #39. She certainly didn’t fit the profile of the others lighting up as they left the concert, and I was gonna make sure I enjoyed this show as she stood against the grandstand wall ingesting carcinogens into her shapely body decked out in a maroon tanktop and jean shorts. She was an understated beauty who was nonetheless a beauty, somehow looking at home with that cigarette between her lips despite not looking at all like a

smoker. She changed locations and moved to the back stairs of Jalapeno Pete’s. I’d follow and watch her smoke the rest of her cigarette, assisted by her cell phone distraction that kept her oblivious to my enjoyment of her show. I got a few pics, including one in mid-drag, but between the distance and the lighting the pics are mediocre at best, but was pleased to be able to smoke her cigarette to its completion.
I ticked off a few more sightings before I’d get the last one of the night to impress. Standing between two food stands near the grandstand were two couples, with both males and both females smoking. A blond and brunette technically made up Sightings #43 and #44, but as far I was concerned, this show belonged entirely to the ponytailed blond, in her mid-to-late 20s with an expressive face full of character decked out in a plain gray tanktop and dark jean shorts. She didn’t look like a smoker and was fun to watch generally as she talked mostly with the brunette smoking friend, but she was really fun to watch when she smoked. After every drag, she placed that cigarette to her lips at a 45-degree upward angle, breathing in the smoke at the same time as she expelled the smoke from her nose. I always love the image of a girl breathing in and breathing out smoke at the same time, and it was really a stunning visual coming from this girl’s face. The stage was set in this unusually well-lit spot to score some amazing pics….and I thought I was. But for whatever reason I wasn’t. I readied the camera three different times thinking I was getting pics but for whatever inexplicable reason the settings were screwed up and nothing was happening. I did manage one pic, but neither girl had the cigarette in view for the pic. I was so frustrated, and I couldn’t correct it quickly enough before the blond was dropping her cigarette to the pavement and crushing it out, putting her arm around the lucky boyfriend’s waist and walking off not to be seen again. I was already frustrated before this sighting began after losing the 14-year-old, and now I was really beside myself.
With less than an hour to go on the night, I’d tick up my numbers as I perused the still-impressive late evening crowd but I wouldn’t get any other particularly memorable sightings. I kept hoping I’d run into the family with the 14-year-old again but that ship had sailed. I could have easily walked the grounds another hour but the last shuttle bus leaves the grounds at midnight and I’d be up a creek if I missed it. It’s a shame I couldn’t have had at least five more minutes though because on the way out in front of The Depot, a cluster that including two attractive late 20s brunettes smoking freshly lit 100s bantered together. Of Sightings #54 and

#55, the younger-looking brunette in a black top and black shorts impressed most and didn’t look like a smoker. I tried to get a couple of pics but with the darkness and neon backlighting, I knew it would be hopeless, and it was as the pics were completely unsalvageable. I fled a few minutes before I’d have preferred to and made my shuttle bus with less than two minutes to spare.
It was the easily the worst Iowa State Fair of the 16 years I’ve attended, yielding only 135 sightings over three nights. For perspective, on Slipknot day in 2019, I got 130 sightings in only one day…..and 247 sightings in three days. That’s an astonishing 45% decline in just two years, a pace of decline that I didn’t anticipate even though I was pessimistic going in this year. In retrospect, it’s amazing that smoking held on to its cultural relevance as long as it did considering how aggressively antismoking measures were beginning to take hold more than 15 years ago, but its relative slow-motion erasure up to this point gave me a false sense of security that it would never fall completely off a cliff in a short time period. But at least in Iowa, it appears that is has, so much so that I doubt I’ll spend nearly as much time at the Iowa State Fair (maybe just one day) in 2022 unless there’s any evidence of a tobacco turnaround by this time next year, which seems highly unlikely with Tobacco 21 wiping out nearly all potential for replacement smokers. It’s just too depressing to see only vape devices touch the lips of the youngest and prettiest faces while cigarettes mostly touch the lips of Patty and Selma on “The Simpsons” types.
By tomorrow at this time I’ll be in Sedalia, Missouri, in hopes that the vaping craze might be less dominating than it is in Iowa. It might be possible with cheaper cigarettes available in Missouri, but I noticed vaping boomed quite a bit between 2018, when it had a light footprint in the state, to 2019 where the kinds of girls who would have been smoking the year before traded in their cigarettes for glowing flash drives. And I’ll never dismiss the potential of the Minnesota State Fair coming through for me the following two weekends, as it almost always has despite the antismoking culture in Minnesota. It could well be that smoking retains its relevance in the northern and western parts of the state, which seemed to be somewhat the case as recently as last September when I last visited northern Minnesota. I’m not taking that for granted by any means though and am right now anticipating more of the steep decline I’ve seen at my county fair and the Iowa State Fair.

Missouri State Fair
by Mark
After taking an unplanned year off from fairgrounds fetishing in 2020, I made my triumphant return in 2021 to discover a frightening new world of rapidly diminishing female tobacco use. I anticipated it coming but through my first few fairgrounds venues this season, I discovered things were even a bit worse than expected. Heading to Sedalia, Missouri, bright and early on Saturday, August 21, 2021, I was wondering if a “good day” of sightings as I had previously defined it was even possible anymore. I’m happy to report that a good day of sightings is still possible because I had one at the Missouri State Fair.
It was a day that had multiple adrenaline-charging moments, a long list of extra-base hits and a couple of all-out stunners, including the frontrunner for my top sighting of 2021. Overall, I finished the day with 74 sightings. Now that’s not in the same league as the 98 sightings I got here on my peak year of 2018, but it’s actually up from the 68 sightings I got in 2019. Considering I was down by nearly half compared to 2019 at my county fair and the Iowa State Fair, to be up from 2019 at Missouri was quite an accomplishment. To be sure, this has been an inconsistent venue the five times I’ve visited, but the common denominator seems to be a popular musical act bringing larger crowds with more smokers. I had mixed feelings whether Hank Williams, Jr. would be a good fit for my demographic preference, but I can’t complain with the results compared to 2019’s Brothers Osborne who didn’t draw nearly as large of a crowd. I’ll get to the not-so-great news later in the writeup and focus on the positive of when this inspired day began.
Whenever I go to Sedalia, I eat lunch at this barbecue place that used to have a franchise where I live but closed down several years ago. It’s a much better deal and more to my liking than anything I’ll get at the fair, plus the day doesn’t really get rolling until after noon at the Missouri State Fair anyway. I rolled into the fairgrounds around 12:30, my excitement building as I pulled into the lot to park my car. Before I was even parked, I saw Sighting #1, an early 30s blond in skin-tight black leggings with a cigarette in hand in the company of a college-age girl who must have been a younger sister or acquaintance. The girl was too old to be the smoker

gal’s daughter. She approached the parking attendant and asked in a semi- southern Missouri drawl, “What’s the best way into this park?” to which the attendant pointed her toward the gate. It was actually a good question because they sent me to a totally different spot in the parking lot than I was used to in my previous visits. Anyway, I wouldn’t see anything else from that encounter, but only about 20 minutes after I entered the “park” I’d see this same blond in the tight leggings smoking again just outside a crafts building. You usually get a pretty good feeling about a day based on the first impression, and yesterday’s first impression was very strong.
It’s a rush entering the gates of all three of my state fairs every time, a full day of sightings bliss (hopefully) ahead of me, but there’s something about this Missouri fair that is hallowed ground for me, producing two of my all- time best sightings in 2015 and 2018, and I was tickled to be making my first lap around the grounds yesterday. It’s the only fair I attend that still sells tobacco, with cigarettes for sale at the “General Store” and a specific cigar stand that yielded my best MOSF sighting of 2019. With that said, it was a slow start before sightings started rolling in, but I was prepared for that and didn’t panic.
On my first trip through the midway, I came across Sighting #3, a decently attractive blond in sunglasses standing by herself smoking a cigarette in front of a carnival ride. She was a dark blond who looked mid-30s and I suspected she was a mother waiting for her kids to get off the tilt-a-whirl. I snapped a couple of lackluster pics from a nearby bench while observing the show, and then confirmed my suspicion that she was a mother when her kids got off of the ride and approached mom. But I was nonetheless surprised that the “kids” were two teenage girls. It would have been hard to imagine 20 years ago that the women I would count as “sightings” at my fairs would be mothers of teenagers…..yet here we are. I stand by her attractiveness though and was grateful for the sighting opportunity in those marginal early afternoon hours.
Sighting #4 was also a good find for early in the day. I was on the relatively sparse south side of the grounds when I spotted a blond with a cigarette standing behind the bleachers for this aquatic show. Her rear presentation was a bit frumpy in a black tanktop and loose-fitting jean shorts, and I anticipated when I got there she’d either be middle-aged or the kind of genetic misfire that is pretty common in rural Missouri, but I was pleasantly surprised to see was she pretty cute. I’d guess she was

about 30 and not bashful about indulging in the pleasures that cigarette offered her. I was standing in a good spot for photos and got two great ones….one in mid-drag and the other in mid-exhale, with both shots speaking volumes about her quality smoking style. I don’t know if she sensed I was watching or if she just walked away because she wanted to be closer to that aquatic show, but she soon walked in front of the bleachers with her cigarette still going. A couple of hours later, I saw the same blond smoking again sitting in front of one of the buildings.
I’d outdo that one a bit later near the center of the grounds when I came upon Sighting #5, a mid-20s light brunette whose hair was bunched up in a ponytail, decked out in a light green tanktop and a flattering pair of dark blue daisy dukes with a button fly, an outfit that really showed off her well-toned arms and legs. But with as nice as her general presentation was, the half-smoked cigarette between her fingers was what interested me most. Hard as it was to believe with as perfect as her body was, she appeared to be a mother, the guy with her lugging around a wagon with two young sons in it as mom attended to her own selfish nicotine needs. Unfortunately the cigarette only had a couple of drags left in it and I didn’t get a great chance to study her style. I snapped a single holding pic just before her final drag, regretfully watching her crush out her cigarette on the pavement and then toss the butt in the nearby trash can. The boyfriend parked the wagon at the edge of the sidewalk for a bit, presumably going to get something to eat, leaving mom with the two boys. I took one final pic for a visual aid of her nice body before walking away, satisfied with my finds in the first hour of the day.
The next couple of hours wouldn’t be as productive, with only a slow roll of mediocre finds. This pattern used to be unique to Missouri but I experienced it last week in Iowa too, so I wasn’t panicking yet and instead used the opportunity to take some mental notes of young ladies I came across who had potential. The gal at the top of this list showed up at the south side of the grounds, wheeling a stroller out of a fairgrounds building with mixed company following her. I’ve found that I’ve been extremely adept this year at identifying smokers by their features, and my radar was buzzing all over the place as I visually consumed this badass-looking ponytailed dark brunette wearing sunglasses, a lavender tanktop, and dark blue jean shorts that matched up beautifully with her tanned skin. She looked about 26 and I approached to get a closer look, and as my eyes zoomed in on her incredible ass, I saw a rectangular box stuffed in the left

back pocket of her shorts, a telltale sign of cigarette possession. In addition to the young son in the stroller, she appeared to be there in the company of a wholesome-looking boyfriend/husband and an older couple that seemed like her parents, even though mom was not at all attractive. Especially after seeing that cigarette pack in her back pocket, I decided to hang close for a bit, watching as mom and daughter chatted extensively while slow- rolling through the fairgrounds. Unfortunately, they disappeared into the DNR building a few minutes later and since I had no idea how long they’d be in there, I decided to move on. But the beauty part of the Missouri fair’s comparatively lower attendance is that the odds are quite good I’d run into people again. Who knows….maybe that would be the case here….
It was the second half of the afternoon when I took the best-timed midway run in fair history, being surprised how sparse the back portion of the midway was as I turned the corner to loop back around. My eyes almost bugged out of my head when I saw a trio of cigarette-wielding smokers standing in between the Tilt-a-Whirl and the octopus ride. Front and center was this incredibly shapely long-haired blond in a pink tie-dye tanktop and white shorts with her back to me, shockingly without a single defiling tattoo in sight. I said a quick prayer as I hustled on up to get a closer look, desperately hoping the frontal view would be as good as the rear view and that this blond wasn’t either an unusually shapely 50-year-old or a horse- faced genetic deviant. As I arrived on the scene, I’d soon discover Sighting #14 was very much as attractive as her presentation indicated. She looked about 24 with a tanned face that looked like an avatar of Midwestern wholesomeness while still sporting the features of a heavy smoker. Her very long blond hair hung all the way down her back in a loose ponytail, adding one more dimension of femininity to the incredible presentation. The only thing that didn’t fit was that cigarette that kept approaching her lips as she consumed its carcinogens with solid and timely drags, the majority of which I got to witness.
The trio also consisted of a young guy who appeared to be her boyfriend as well as a middle-aged guy who was either her father or the boyfriend’s father. Their location for this cigarette break was isolated and difficult, so I wouldn’t have much opportunity for quality pics, and of course my early efforts were failures. I moved back to the edge of the nearest ride and managed one lackluster holding pic in a pose that didn’t flatter her. No sooner did I get that only pic before watching her lean down to crush out the cigarette in the grass. She held on to the butt until her group vacated, at

which point she tossed it into the nearest garbage can, denying me butt identification. I looked in the trash can to see if it was resting on top but it had apparently rolled on down there out of sight. I was frustrated that I didn’t have more to take away from this epic sighting and committed to at least getting some nonsmoking pics of her as she and her group progressed deeper into the midway. I hustled on up to an empty bench and snapped a shot that pretty much said it all about this girl and her electric life-of-the- party energy, which I was only now picking up on as she walked next to her boyfriend with a beaming smile on her face. Below the neck, the frontal presentation was breathtaking, her pink tanktop showing off an impressive chest and just a bit of midriff, and her highly stylized white shorts gorgeously encasing an amazing lower body. The absolute perfect summertime presentation to me is a beautiful young woman in a pink top and white shorts, and I never would have imagined in the year 2021 that the kind of girl who’d present herself that way at a fair would be a cigarette smoker. If I got nothing else from this sighting, I was thrilled to realize there was still at least one out there who was.
I walked out of the midway feeling pretty good, but still a little disappointed I didn’t get more or better pictures. But I wouldn’t be out of the midway long before I saw my favorite blond in pink and white on the main block of food vendors trying to decide what to have to eat. Some carnival barker type passed them trying to interest them in his low-rent sideshow, and the blond briefly and playfully engaged with him, reinforcing my first impression of her relentlessly positive energy. Her pastel look very much evoked the image of Haylee McPherson from my Trevor stories, but her personality was much more in tune with the sweetheart Lauren Nelson character from the series. I decided to keep close tabs on them as the afternoon progressed. They sat down to eat their meal but I reconnected with them when they were done about 15 minutes later, again heading into the midway. I had a pretty good feeling I was gonna get to see more from her, and about 100 yards into the central part of the carnival she stopped with her boyfriend and presumed father, and in a couple of minutes, the boyfriend produced a cigarette, apparently from the pocket of his shorts, and lit it up.
Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the blond wasn’t gonna get a cigarette of her own, and I was briefly bummed contemplating that maybe she wasn’t as heavy of a smoker as her features indicated, but I held out hope she’d at least get to sample some of the boyfriend’s cigarette. After

only two drags from the cigarette, my wish would come true as she held out her hand and claimed the cork filter cigarette as her own, the couple proceeding down the midway as she took nicely timed drags from it. My photos wouldn’t fail me this time as I nailed a number of holding and dragging shots, and those shots continued when the couple got in the back of the line for the most extreme ride on the midway. I found a bench in the shade right across from them that enabled me to watch the smoking show and tick off multiple pics as she exposed a line of kids to her noxious secondhand smoke for the next couple of moments. I didn’t think things could get any better, but somehow they did.
Her father was sitting on the next bench over, and she apparently had to convey a message to him. She proceeded to walk right towards me, cigarette approaching her lips, and I scored a perfect pic of the moment. She put that cigarette stub in her mouth and dangled it as she walked right past me to her father, dangle-dragging the stub in a way that made clear this girl was an adept and well-practiced smoker. The dangle lasted about 10 seconds before she began talking to her dad. I couldn’t hear what she was saying to dad and somebody was sitting between us preventing me from getting more pics, but it was adorable watching her talk to him with that stub now between her fingers for the next couple of moments. She took a final drag and exhaled it straight down to the ground as she stepped on the butt with her flip-flop. It was at this point I noticed a pack of Newports sitting on the bench next to dad, and as I got up to walk past I could tell by the green ring on the cork filter that her cigarette was a Newport just as her litter indicated. With the show over, I zipped on out of there to take a look at how well my pics turned out, and I was thrilled to see there were several good ones.
My adrenaline was now surging and the second act I’d hoped for from this incredible girl delivered beyond my wildest expectations only about a half hour after the first act. I was on my way out of the midway, but even though I knew she and the boyfriend would still be in line for that extreme ride, something just called me back to that spot. Suffice it to say my intuition delivered for me again, albeit from an entirely different source. Only about 50 yards from the ride blondie was in line for, I took at a gander at the midway ticket line and saw a familiar female face from before in possession of a cigarette. It was the homely and overweight mother of that badass brunette in the dark jean shorts with the cigarette pack stuffed inside. At the exact moment I took note of mom taking a drag,

it hit me that her daughter was standing right next to her. And just as I laid eyes on the attractive daughter, an expulsion of carcinogenic filth spewed from her mouth and nose. I changed positions to get on the other side of the ticket line and, sure enough, the sighting I was holding out for an hour or so earlier had officially become Sighting #15 for me, the hot brunette mommy standing right next to her mother with half-smoked cigarette in hand, both obnoxiously smoking in the close presence of kids in the ticket line for the midway.
Neither of the men nor the young boy in their party were present for this stinky wait in line. I didn’t get a good look at the boy earlier so I don’t know how old he was, but small enough to be pushed in a stroller and I suspect the black-lunged women were buying tickets for whatever kiddie rides he could go on, but as of now nobody else from their party was in sight so I had full clearance to snap some pics. Mother and daughter continued to smoke shamelessly in this line, the daughter’s style compatible with her look as a long-time heavy smoker who was addicted enough to be smoking in this setting, with nice long drags and messy exhales only barely directed away from the children in line with them. While I managed a handful of pics from different vantage points to effectively convey the brunette’s milieu, all were holding pics as my dragging shots didn’t turn out. Plus it was the time of day where I was beginning to fight the afternoon sun. So ultimately I got good pics but not great pics, and I could tell as the cigarette approached her lips it was poised to be the final drag. I took it all in one last time and watched her lips consume a snootful of tobacco, a final messy burst of smoke escaping her face as she dropped the cork filter to the ground and crushed it out. Once they were out of line, I approached that butt for a closer look and discovered the pack concealed in the pocket of those tight-fitting dark blue jean shorts was Marlboro Reds. Not bad, mama! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t see her again yesterday, but it was massively rewarding to have my original intuition vindicated once again this fair season and being able to follow through on that nice opening teaser earlier in the afternoon and I’d ultimately rank this among my elite five sightings of the day.
Now it was time to check up on my blond sexpot just down the midway block and see if she was off of the extreme ride yet. In a couple of minutes, I caught up with her and her boyfriend. Her pink top and white shorts made her impossible to miss, which came in handy for me multiple times yesterday, and her vivacious perkiness that she wore as well as those tight

shorts also made her stand out like a beacon of positivity in this large crowd. The girl and her boyfriend were wandering aimlessly between souvenir vendors and carnival games, and the boyfriend decided to play this “can you hang on for two minutes” game that tested upper-body strength. Now I gotta say that it’s at times depressing to see these hot girls in the company of lowlife boyfriends like I saw with that Iowa State Fair girl last week, but that was not the case with blondie’s boyfriend, who looked like a solid guy, and was well-built enough to endure the two minutes on this bar to win the prize. They proceeded to get lemonade from there and slow-walk their way through the midway a bit more, but given what I’d seen in the past hour I suspected they would soon have another pressing priority, and sure enough the couple began to migrate to the far end of the midway. I thought they were gonna take a bench by the ferris wheel, but to my concern, they just kept walking to this exit tunnel that led to the parking lot. But I’d get one more lucky break as they stopped right before getting to the tunnel, a cigarette once again appearing between the boyfriend’s fingers….
There was no way I could get a closer look at this one given their isolation, so I moved on back to the pig barn across the street to watch what I could from afar. The boyfriend held serve on the cigarette for three drags after lighting it, but having seen blondie take command of the last one, there was precedent for her getting her grubby hands on it before long. And sure enough, history repeated itself as my favorite blond took hold of the cigarette and proceeded to pump more carcinogens into her greedy lungs for the majority of the cigarette’s duration, her third of the last hour or so. I was totally immersed in the show from my comfortable distance, so much so that I was startled when two young girls approached me and asked if they could “pet the piglet”. I didn’t know what they were talking about at first until I realized they thought I was the caretaker of the pig at the exhibit behind me in this livestock barn. I conveyed this to them and they just walked away, blissfully unaware the best exhibit at the Missouri State Fair was going on across the street at this tunnel entrance where smoke that smelled worse than pig manure was blasting out of the face of this beautiful blond. I watched her smoke the cigarette to its completion, stubbing it out on the cement railing of the tunnel before progressing down into the tunnel and into the parking lot, presumably to leave for the day. I looked for the butt she left behind but as she held onto the first one to toss it into the trash, I suspect she did the same with this one rather than litter it as it was nowhere to be found.

What a ride! There’s no guarantee of greatness at the sparsely attended daytime hours of the Missouri State Fair, but I had just experienced it with a full-blown adrenaline rush consuming my body that helped cool down the sunburn. It was hard to believe I could top what I just saw, but I still had more than six hours of fetish time left and it’s usually the early evening, when the grandstand crowd for the evening concert begins to roll in, that the Missouri State Fair typically starts to really get good. So there was cause for optimism that more greatness awaited.
Almost exactly at 6 p.m. I got my last pre-concert sighting of note. Two girls and a guy were walking toward the south side of the grounds with one of the girls being the only person of the group in possession of a cigarette. Sighting #20 cut a different profile than most at the Missouri State Fair, a cute early 20s brunette with her hair down to her shoulders wearing a conventional tanktop and jean shorts but covering herself in a kimono that seemed like an odd choice for a hot Saturday at the fair. A freshly lit cigarette protruded from her fingers as I walked past. At the first opportunity, I turned around and doubled-back hoping to follow and get a better look, but she had turned toward one of the buildings and made eye contact with me in a way that I knew I couldn’t follow without telling on myself. She was now hand in hand with the other less attractive girl in their group. It’s pretty rare to see a lesbian couple where the cute one is smoking and the unattractive one isn’t. I admired a couple of drags from the rear as she walked on and then walked away, eager to see how that line for the grandstand was coming along.
The crowd size was living up to expectations, with long lines waiting outside the grandstand to see Hank Williams, Jr. The crowd skewed a bit older as I suspected, but as I hoped to see, there were plenty of scantily clad younger gals attending with boyfriends and parents. Hank had the potential to draw a politically incorrect demographic that could disproportionately include smoker girls, and I kept walking further from the grandstand gate to see a line that never seemed to come to an end, I was increasingly optimistic that Bocephus was gonna be my friend tonight.
When I finally got toward the end of that line, I got my first of many Hank-inspired gifts of the night as I came upon a duo of blond 20- somethings standing there, dressed identically in sunglasses, gray-striped tanktops, jean shorts, and cowgirl boots. One was average height and the

other was very tall, and the tall one was the smoker. Sighting #23 stood there with freshly lit cigarette in hand, the length of her cigarette feeling oddly compatible between the fingers of such a tall gal. The crowd and location was such that photos were very difficult, but I managed one holding pic and another that gives a pretty good look at her face. The girls seemed frustrated, presumably about the presence of their men in this crowd, and eventually got on the phone to investigate. I’d only see a couple of drags from the tall blond because she was smoking so slowly, her mental energy centered around the location of whoever was on the other end of the phone line. Since it was very awkward to be standing where I was in this crowd and she’d only taken a couple of drags in three minutes or so, I decided there was too much else going on to stand here investing a ton of time on this one the way I would have a few hours earlier.
The midway had been very good to me in the afternoon, so I decided to make one more pass while awaiting the Hank Williams. Jr. crowd to be let into the grandstand. Once again, it came through. Toward the back of the midway, my first find was this petite long-haired blond in a camouflage T- shirt and tight-fitting jean shorts with a cigarette between her fingers standing amidst what I expect was her family. Sighting #26 was so petite that she looked like an early teen girl from afar, but upclose it was clear from her face that she was in her 20s. She wasn’t a classic beauty but her size and outfit gave her a cuteness factor that was accentuated by the cigarette in her hand and her willingness to smoke in the immediate proximity of her family. Considering there were people on all sides of her, it was a struggle to get photos, but I managed three pics, two of them with the cigarette visible in her hand. I didn’t get any pics of her drags, but I did manage to see the final three and they were nice, particularly with the aforementioned context of the surrounding family inadvertently consuming her exhales. She dropped the cigarette to the pavement and crushed it out before I walked away, taking one last look at her from a distance and appreciating how nice her ass looked in those jean shorts.
I looped around the back of the midway planning to return to the grandstand area to see what was going on with the Hank Williams Jr. crowd, but would discover the midway wasn’t quite done with me yet. I’d mentioned how I spent much of the early afternoon taking mental notes of potential smokers, including that brunette in the dark jean shorts. I was about to be vindicated on another young mother as I came upon Sighting

#27 with freshly lit cigarette in hand. She was one of the most glamorous girls of the day, a long-haired platinum blond in a pink bare-midriff top and a pair of tight white pants. I’d seen her in the company of two young children a couple of hours earlier and thought she looked like a smoker, and now here she was barking mildly at the kids with cigarette in hand as the young boy and young girl ran from one ride to the next. She cut such a striking and impressive profile, a knockout beauty who dressed for the occasion, in most ways yesterday’s glamorous equivalent to my girl-next- door smoker in the pink top and white shorts. Unfortunately, there was one problem for me. As perfect as this girl’s presentation was, she managed to mess it up with visible tattoos, both on her arms and her midriff. She was hot enough that this wasn’t disqualifying, but it took some power away from it….for me at least. Those who don’t mind tattoos would undoubtedly be thrilled with her. And lucky me, I had a bench overlooking her at close range that was gonna be perfect. And it almost was…..
The sighting was playing out a few yards away, with blondie smoking as fashionably as her look suggested, all while she was playing mom attempting in vain to lay down the law with the kids, smiling in the presence of the nonsmoking observers near her at they took in her interaction with the kids in between drags from her cigarette. But there was a problem that went beyond the tattoos as I tried to take photos. The early evening sun was shining directly into my camera and I had my doubts whether the pics would turn out at all given the impossible sun angle. I got a half dozen photos and hoped I’d be able to mess around with the filters enough to salvage something from them, but unfortunately I couldn’t get much. Her general beauty shone through and those white pants definitely made the cut showing off her figure, but the image of her cigarette wasn’t salvageable at all. And thus, I won’t be able to share with readers the pleasure of seeing her smoke that I got to enjoy, but not for lack of trying. I sat there through her entire cigarette and watched her drop her cigarette to the ground and crush it out. I wanted to ID the butt, but since she wasn’t going anywhere for the immediate future, I decided to split, believing more treasures awaited with that Hank Williams, Jr. crowd….and boy was I right.
When I returned to the grandstand, the first wave of the Hank Jr. crowd was inside. I’m not familiar enough with how these concerts work but it was the same way at the Iowa State Fair where the first wave got in an hour or so before the next wave. Maybe it’s a matter of prepaid tickets

versus same-day ticket sales. No idea. Whatever the case, Missouri has a sweet set-up with a huge caged-in area under the grandstand where smokers can go for a smoke break, and it’s entirely visible to would-be onlookers, such as myself, from the other side of the fence. On several occasions in years past, it’s been like shooting fish in a barrel walking from one side of that grandstand area to the other picking off attractive female smokers, and that was gonna be the case again last night.
The first sighting to kick off my second adrenaline surge of the day was Sighting #29. Standing just inside the grandstand fence was a long-haired early 20s platinum blond with a glamorous presentation, decked out in a black tanktop and pale blue jean shorts, the tanktop having glossy fringes hanging onto the shorts and giving her a really distinctive presence. Most distinctive of all about her presentation, however, was the unlit cigarette dangling from her lips coupled with the pack of Camel Menthols in her hand. As she lit her cigarette, it became clear that the boyfriend standing next to her was a nonsmoker, which made the show that much more endearing. The bars of the grandstand fence would prevent me from getting great photos but I nonetheless was hard at work trying to get pics. Sadly, all I’d get was one shot when her cigarette was still not yet lit, but the image of it dangling from her lips is still a wonderful look. It was a solid show of steadily timed drags and nice exhaling as she conversed with her nonsmoking boyfriend as she smoked. In the middle of the show, she turned toward him and put her left leg up on the top of the asphalt berm next to her. The bad news was that she now had her back to me so I didn’t get a great view of her drags, but the good news was her incredible booty was front and center, and the pose she put forth with one leg elevated on that berm really sold the unintentional display of her spectacular ass in those pale blue jean shorts. She turned in a way that I could see her face again briefly toward the end of her cigarette, so I got to enjoy the visual of her last couple of drags before she dropped the cork filter cigarette to the pavement and crushed it out with her cowgirl boot, heading back to the grandstand seating with the nonsmoking male accompanying her. Less than half an hour later, I’d briefly see this hottie out smoking again at the same spot under the grandstand, only this time without her boyfriend. Unfortunately, I was only able to see the final drag before she crushed this one out in close proximity to the previous one she littered. This sighting was definitely one of my more memorable extra-base hits of the day and I wish I could have gotten better pics to document it. Thankfully, she would

prove to be merely the first of many extra-base hits made possible by the Hank Williams, Jr. crowd.
Only a few minutes later, I’d get another great one when I walked near the indoor bathroom area about 50 yards north of the grandstand, a fairly common destination for concertgoers at this fair who want to empty their bladders and enjoy a cigarette in the moments before they head to the show, where only port-a-johns are available under the grandstand. Just beyond the bathrooms stood two young couples with one smoker amongst them, but it was definitely the right person. Sighting #31 stood there with a freshly lit all-white between her fingers, a country girl presentation arguably even more striking than the previous girl. Her long blond hair hung in curls over her shoulders, with a black tanktop, cowgirl boots, and a tight-fitting denim miniskirt below the neck. She was in her early-to- mid-20s and looked very wholesome and sweet, definitely not compatible with being the only smoker in her group. Unfortunately, their isolation meant I only had one shot at a passing pic before I’d have to retreat, and the pic didn’t turn out. I nonetheless observed from afar as she plugged away at the cigarette skillfully with nicely paced drags and skyward- directed exhales that spared the nonsmokers in the group. I witnessed the show from beginning to end before she lifted her cowgirl boot up and stubbed the cigarette out on the heel, then walking over to the nearest trash can to toss the butt into. I was really intrigued with this girl and watched as she headed to the nearby bathroom right after finishing her cigarette. I really wanted a photo of this girl even if it was a nonsmoking pic so I sat outside the bathroom with my camera ready, waiting for a shot when she came out. I got a pretty solid pic of her in profile when she walked out, although her arms look odd as she was reaching up to adjust her bra under her tanktop at the moment I snapped the shutter. I’d have liked to have seen more from this girl, and even though what I’d end up seeing later was brief, it was profound.
And while I was sitting outside the bathroom to get that pic of #31, a new girl would surface in the same general area. Another attractive blond in her late 20s wearing a black T-shirt and jean shorts would become Sighting #32, lighting up a cork filter along with her boyfriend/husband. In mid- cigarette, they stood up and began to walk toward the grandstand, the blond recognizing another couple walking by and greeting them with a cigarette between her fingers. A half hour or so later, I’d see the same

couple standing under the grandstand smoking another cigarette before the concert started and I enjoyed another solid smoking show from her.
A second line was forming to get in to the Hank Williams Jr. concert, again possibly same-day ticket purchasers who didn’t get in with the first bunch. Standing in line was my #31 blond in the miniskirt who so intrigued me, chatting with some older people who she may have just met in line but felt like extended family. I didn’t stick around but made a mental note that she was heading into the concert. About 15 minutes later, after that line was allowed inside, I was slow-walking past the fence to look in under the grandstand for the umptieth time and once again caught the cute blond in the miniskirt with another cigarette in hand as she waited in line for a souvenir. I could tell she only had a couple of drags left on the cigarette and kicked myself for not getting there a couple of minutes earlier, but I was still able to see the last couple of beautiful drags in that dense line of nonsmokers forced to choke on her smoke. Once again, she raised her cowgirl boot and leaned down to crush her cigarette out on the heel just as she did with the last one a half hour earlier. I was lost in the moment watching this beautiful display when she looked my general direction outside the fence and shouted out “Hey!” I was stunned, nervous that I had been busted for stalking her, but quickly noticed she was instead making eye contact with another couple of guys hovering a few feet to my left. For a split second, I figured she knew them until she made a simple but substantial request. She walked toward the guys and held out her cigarette butt through the bars of the fence, asking “Would you mind throwing this away for me?”
So here this cutie was, asking a complete stranger to grab hold of the cigarette butt she’d spent the last few minutes slobbering all over and throw it in the trash. This would be a big ask in normal times, but seemed especially ballsy in the middle of a pandemic. Nonetheless, one of the guys near me accepted her request, as most guys would in the presence of a pretty girl, and grabbed hold of her cigarette to throw it in the trash. She smiled sweetly and thanked them before casually getting back in line. The only thing better than witnessing this would have been to be the guy on the receiving end of her indecent request, having the opportunity to take hold of her cigarette even at the risk of getting COVID. If her gaze had been directed only a few feet over, perhaps I’d have gotten that chance, but it was damn exciting to get to see it play out between two strangers even if I was just a spectator. This girl was definitely in my top-five sightings of the

day and I really hoped to see more of her after two great sightings thus far on the night, but that would be it for her story.
Fortunately, it wouldn’t be it for my extended adrenaline surge moment picking off more smokers in the grandstand area leading up to the Bocephus concert. My next stunner would also come from that fenced-in area under the grandstand when a very stylish and truly gorgeous brunette in her mid-20s walked out by herself with a pack of Marlboro Black Menthols in hand. She lit herself up to become Sighting #39 and I was in awe at her presentation, her mane of dark brown hair flowing onto her bare shoulders with a tasteful yet sexy white dress with a brown pattern that crested below her knees, and a pair of cowboy boots completing the ensemble. She was absolutely beautiful, the prettiest face I’d seen all day, and the face was that much adorable as she attacked that cigarette with urgency, a litany of frequent and aggressive drags ensuing that sent my poor little heart fluttering. I snapped a few photos and, unfortunately, it was close enough to sunset that they were blurry. I caught her in mid-drag and the photo manages to give a general sense of her epicness but unfortunately doesn’t convey her gorgeous features with detail. It was also a quicker show than I’d hoped for because I got busted halfway through the cigarette attempting to snap another pic, her eyes looking up to me with smoke flowing through her lips just as I was about to snap the shutter. I was lucky at that moment to have the fence between us as I was able to turn around and slip away without confrontation, my latest reminder of how risky my little game is….but not the last reminder. To be continued on this one.
The evening sightings surge continued as I drifted northward to find a trio of two females and one male drifting toward the exit to leave the fair for the day. Only one of the three had a cigarette and it was the early 20s girl in the middle. Sighting #41 was a redhead with very long hair going down to her waist in a loosely held ponytail. She wasn’t one of the most beautiful girls of the day, sporting a bit of that Missouri backwater look, but her presentation rocked. She wore a bare-midriff lavender tanktop and a pair of dark blue jean shorts, both of which flattered her slender body very nicely. Nobody from that trio looked like a smoker, yet here she was casually indulging a cigarette as they walked toward the exit, her nicely timed drags and exhales being wonderful to witness as I followed. Despite sunset’s fast approach, I managed one more clear and solid pic the split second before her cigarette touched her lips. I followed them to the exit as

she walked outside the group with her friends, cigarette still in hand. I continued to walk on the clouds as my early evening sightings surge pressed forward.
I’d head back southward down the grandstand block and, as I always do at the Missouri State Fair, I kept close tabs on that cigar vendor (previously advertised as Weston Tobacco in years past but going without a banner this time) just in case any cute girls were buying as was the case in 2019. Every year at the Missouri fair, that stand has produced a cigar sighting and 2021 would continue that streak. It started disappointingly as I came upon a group of six in their mid-20s, three guys and three girls. All three of the guys had large freshly lit cigars in hand, but none of the girls did. I nonetheless figured it would be worth my time to stick around a moment just in case there was some sharing going on, and I’d soon discover there would be. The light brunette female in the group of six held out her hand, curious to try the cigar. Sighting #42 was the least attractive of the three young women in the group, a light brunette in a lime green tanktop and modest-fitting jean shorts, but she was still gonna be exciting to see with a large cigar touching her lips. In one sense she didn’t disappoint, drawing from the cigar….and then drawing from it again….and then drawing from it again, wrinkling her nose a bit in mild disgust and shrugging her shoulders to the guy who handed it to her as though she didn’t get the appeal. Nonetheless, she beckoned him to hand it to her again two more times for subsequent draws. It was too dark by now, especially at this spot, to get a good photo of her with cigar in hand but I did snap a distance shot of the group of six. I was hoping to see one of the two prettier brunettes in the group to get hold of the cigar, and at one point I thought it was gonna happen as another of the cigar-wielding guys held out the cigar to her, peer-pressuring her to take a draw. She wrinkled her nose in disgust and wanted no part of it, at which point the guy proceeded to blow smoke directly at her face. She wrinkled her nose again and pulled back in an adorable way. It was a dick move on the guy’s part, but it was fun to witness. Damn would it have been a trip to see this hottie trying a cigar.
About a half hour later, now well after dark, I’d come across this same group of six, with plenty of cigar left. I was heartened to see that the light brunette in the green tanktop who gave the cigar a chance earlier now had the cigar in her hand again as I approached. I found an open bench in a dining vendor’s seating area and watched her plug away at that cigar for a few minutes before handing it back to the guy. I was hoping by now that

the other two brunettes would be inspired to try the cigars as well, but it appeared as though they never did.
I picked off a few more modest sightings in general proximity of the grandstand in the moments between the opening act and Hank Jr. taking the stage, but the last marquee moment under the grandstand would be a familiarly gorgeous face. That exquisite brunette in the white and brown dress who busted me taking a pic of her earlier was back outside, walking to the corner of the fenced-in area with her cell phone to her ear and her pack of Marlboro Black Menthols in hand. I had to be very careful here, standing far enough back to where I figured she wouldn’t see me, waiting out her phone call’s completion when I was confident another cigarette would be forthcoming. I admired her beauty from afar, particularly struck by the fact that not only was this pretty girl a smoker, but that she was likely the only smoker in the party she came with. I doubt she came to the concert alone and this was the second time in the last hour she came out by herself to reward herself with a toxic nicotine fix from a cigarette. I was giddy when the phone call ended and the cigarette was placed between her lips, a flame quickly bringing the cigarette to life. That cherry glowed bright as she pulled the smoke into her body with the same frequency and level of urgency as I’d witnessed less than an hour earlier. I was hovering in the distant background pretending to be checking out merchandise at this T-shirt stand, with others in general proximity giving me some measure of anonymity. I never sensed that she made direct eye contact with me again, but I was confused when she moved around and drifted out of my sight. I’d soon discover she was wise to me….
I changed positions again, wanting to see more, finding a clearing with a vantage point of where she had moved. This time she looked over her shoulder to land her eyes directly on me just as her cigarette approached her lips. She had a bit of a smirk on her face as if thinking it was kind of amusing, and I began to pull away, doing my best to pretend I hadn’t been thoroughly busted. But as I attempted to glance over my shoulder one last time walking away, she was craning her neck with that same smirk on her face continuing to make eye contact and forcing me to completely abandon my post. For better or worse, I felt better that she seemed to be having a little fun with it and was possibly even flattered having an admirer, but I was still grateful for that fence separating us as I didn’t know what she might have reported to either a fairgrounds police officer or a jealous boyfriend when she returned to her seat smelling like an ashtray. I didn’t

run into her again for the rest of the night, which was probably for the best, but something about being the Elmer Fudd to her Bugs Bunny was exciting, enhancing the storyline of a sighting that already featured one of the prettiest smoker girls of the 2021 fair season. She’ll go down as one of the best inadvertent “rivals” I’ve ever had in my more than two decades of fairgrounds fetishing.
The early evening adrenaline surge had now ended with the Hank Williams Jr. crowd now hidden out of view in the grandstand and surprisingly little smoking going on in the overflow crowd outside the grandstand. In fact, that overflow crowd presented another bummer for me in that two gorgeous mid-teen identical brunettes I’d seen at various points in the day were standing there in the presence of their parents, both of whom were smoking but there girls were not. I get that expecting mid-teen brunettes to be smoking in the presence of their parents in the Tobacco 21 era is a lot to expect, but it would have really put a cherry on top of my huge night if I had seen it. Unfortunately, what I was seeing elsewhere on the grounds was plenty of vaping by the young ladies and girls hovering on the block of bars stretching from the grandstand to the midway. For years, this spot has been where the cool kids hung out after dark at the Missouri State Fair, and in 2021 the cool kids were all vaping. And it wasn’t a matter of some attractive late teen and early 20s girls pulling in nicotine-infused water vapor from their flash drives….almost all of them were. One after another pretty young face was cupping their black flash drive in their left hand while holding their beer in the right. Even with so much smoking greatness going on generally yesterday, some of the day’s power was taken away seeing all this damn vaping among the key demographic of hotties who’d have all been smoking five years ago.
Considering that vaping had very little presence at the Missouri State Fair in 2018 when it had already begun to take over my other fair venues, it had certainly surged in the three years since, again raising doubts about whether there willl be enough replacement smokers to keep cigarettes in stock on store shelves at the end of the decade. There was also a mystery element here about seeing dozens and dozens of girls vaping, above and beyond the number who used to smoke at any point in the last 15 years. A lot of girls used to be social smokers, indulging a cigarette only when they went out for a drink or hung with friends. Is the same phenomenon in place with vaping nowadays? It would seem like it would almost have to be because it was unfathomable to believe this many girls were as addicted

to nicotine from vaping pods as appeared to be the case weaving my way through this crowd. But if all of these girls are as hopelessly addicted as they appeared to be, then the potential exists for a mass shift to cigarettes in the event of another 2019-style puritanical vaping purge where we were right on the cusp of seeing it outlawed. I doubt that will happen now though, as the past two years seem to have solidified the narrative of harm reduction for vaping compared to cigarettes.
Anyway, as cigarette sighting numbers stalled and vaping numbers surged in the mid-evening hours, the day hit its lowest point, but I was still riding high from all the greatness I’d already experienced in the last several hours. My next big find would come from the Chuck and Dee’s bar and live music venue, which was the source of the majority of my great original “12-hour sighting” at the 2015 Missouri State Fair. I remembered an attractive late 30s blond singer performing inside Chuck and Dee’s two years ago with a pack of Marlboro Lights on the table in front of her. The same gal was onstage singing yesterday with the same pack of Marlboro Lights within arm’s reach of the stage. She was now done performing for the night and was mingling at a table with friends, one of her Marlboro Lights now between her fingers. Sighting #55 had a glamorous presentation with chin-length blond hair and decked out in a black tanktop and tight black shorts that really showed off her impressively toned legs that flowed into knee-high black boots. She was older than most girls I count as official sightings but I was impressed enough that I wanted to watch the show, and luckily for me there an open bench just outside the entry to the open-air bar where I could watch it. It was well after dark now but the lighting inside the bar might make a couple of the pics salvageable, so I took advantage of my wide-open spot to snap some modest pics, capturing a couple of holding pics along with one blurry dragging pic. Her smoking style was solid if a bit slower than I’d prefer, but I was able to observe until she finished the cigarette, pleased that Chuck and Dee’s was able to produce at least one decent sighting again this year in keeping with the legendary reputation it attained for itself in my maiden MOSF voyage.
It was around 9:30 when I decided to make another trip down the still- bustling midway. The midway had been extremely good to me in the daytime hours but I’ve grown cynical about its sightings potential in the evening hours in recent years, at this fair and others. Suffice it to say I made the right choice to make that evening midway voyage as it would produce my second-best sighting of the day. There’s a tent on the east side

of the midway with several tables providing a shaded place for families to take a rest during an exhausting day on the midway. I hadn’t seen any young female smokers occupying any of these tables thus far today, but that was about to change in the most bombastic way as I laid eyes upon Sighting #59, a very pregnant dark brunette in her mid-20s wearing a flattering purple dress with a freshly lit cigarette dangling from her lips. She was walking toward a trash can in mid-dangle to deposit whatever container she and her family had just eaten their fair food on. It was an explosively inappropriate image to see this unmistakably pregnant brunette beauty strutting around so shamelessly with that cigarette parked in her mouth. After she walked back to her table, she removed the dangling cigarette from her mouth and it was clear she was there with a pretty big family group that included her parents and a couple other kids I suspected were hers. Luckily for me, a bench was open across from theirs and I was gonna get the opportunity to watch this entire show.
As I settled in, I was struck by how attractive she was, easily the most attractive visibly pregnant smoker I’ve ever seen, defying the stereotype I had in my mind of what a pregnant smoker in central Missouri would look like. Her long, dark brown hair hung in curls onto this exotic purple dress that made me think I was at church on Easter Sunday, the dress fitting snugly enough to reveal to all that she was no more than two months away from giving birth to what appeared to be her third child. The Easter analogy worked in so many given that this day of robust sightings in Missouri felt like a resurrection after weeks of crucifixion-like suffering that preceded it at the FCF and ISF. She stood in front of her two kids for a bit, cigarette in hand as she sent a couple of messages on her phone and occasionally redirected her attention to the kids. The location also presented me a golden opportunity for photos as I was seated at the bench and was able to position my phone underneath the table and take snapshots out of sight. I had to deal with a tablecloth that was a bit in my way, but my subject was not cut off by it in most pics. If this were the daytime, my pics would have been otherworldly. But of course it wasn’t daytime…it was almost 10 p.m. so the background carnival lighting made the images blurry. Some were better than others though and you can make out her holding shots, dragging shots, and swollen belly. As one would expect from a girl publicly smoking in her seventh month of smoking, she was very skilled at her trade, her drags and exhales matching her generally attractive presentation.

About halfway through the cigarette, she migrated to the back of the tent but was still in range for my photo-taking. This was a good news/bad news situation. The good news was she was now standing in between her smoking mother and her nonsmoking father, adding incredible narrative dimensions to this wild sighting. The bad news is the brunette was standing directly behind the tent pole and I didn’t get her entirely on camera for a couple of my pics. Still, the visual was surreal, this mom-to- be looking so glamorous while casually conversing and smoking with her mother, all while dad stood on the other side neither bashful nor visibly disturbed in the immediate public presence of a smoking display from his daughter that would horrify most. The daughter briefly stepped away from behind the tentpole, allowing me one final holding photo. In mid- conversation, she took a closing drag on her cigarette, smoke flowing from her beautiful face as she flung her smoldering cigarette to the grass without bothering to crush it out. I desperately wanted to identify her brand but since they didn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, I couldn’t walk up there to check it out. With her cigarette complete, I got up to depart, my third adrenaline surge of the day now underway after my most incredible pregnant smoker sighting in memory.
As I left the midway, the waves of people coming from all directions made it obvious that the Hank Williams, Jr. concert had ended, which surprised me a bit as it was only 10 p.m. and I figured he’d go long as so many other concerts had at the Iowa State Fair last week. The deluge of humanity made me both excited and nervous….excited by the prospect of additional female tobacco use from the departing crowd….and nervous about the possibility of an awkward face-to-face encounter with that beautiful brunette who had twice busted me. I wouldn’t see the brunette again though, so my anticipation was unwarranted. Instead, I kept my sightings surge alive as I found myself heading in the direction of the main fairgrounds exit with the departing crowd and found myself walking behind an attractive young smoker.
Sighting #61 was a long-haired blond who looked about 22, very attractive with a killer presentation decked out in a black tanktop and tight-fitting pale blue jean shorts that perfectly contained a spectacular ass, her smooth legs flowing into a pair of cowgirl boots. She was in the company of what I presumed to be a smoking boyfriend and a nonsmoking male friend. The density of the crowd was gonna make photo-taking a challenge on top of the usual after-dark lighting challenges, but I managed a couple pics

walking behind her, including one holding shot that turned out pretty damn good for after 10 p.m. It was a simple but great show, her drags being timely and relative intense, and of course taken amidst this shoulder-to- shoulder crowd of fairgoers leaving the concert. The crowd worked to my advantage as well, as I was able to walk close enough to consume her cloudy exhales. On three occasions, I saw her drag and moved directly behind her, watching the smoke pour out of her face and then stepping through it, savoring that tobacco aroma that had just been inside female lungs. Yesterday was not my day for butt IDs though as, yet again, she walked outside the fairgrounds gate en route to the parking lot with cigarette still in hand. I didn’t want to head outside the gate and then try to get back inside with this crowd so I just let her go, thrilled at having seen what I did and thrilled for another extra-base hit under my belt.
I turned around at the gate in hopes of seeing more smokers, and I wouldn’t get 20 yards before I came upon a duo of female smokers, one blond and one brunette, headed in the exact same direction as my previous blond did, also with smoldering cigarettes in hand. Neither Sighting #62 or Sighting #63 was as attractive as the last blond, but the blond of this duo came fairly close and was hotter than the brunette. They were in the company of the nonsmoking parents of one or both young 20-something women, and it was again enjoyable watching them converse with elders with cigarettes in hand. This would be a shorter-lived sighting than the last but would end the same way, with both girls exiting the fairgrounds gate with their lit cigarettes still between their fingers. It was starting to feel like Groundhog Day as I turned back around, heading in the direction of the crowd once again to see if I could run into even more attractive ladies smoking an after-concert cigarette.
I wouldn’t get any additional memorable sightings of concert girls as I trekked back to the grandstand area, but I’d get something even better…..something genuinely shocking. Across the street from the grandstand nibbling on snacks on the block of restaurants and bars was the day’s most familiar face and familiar wardrobe presentation. My late afternoon blond in the hot pink bare-midriff top and stylish white shorts was back! It’s not unprecedented to see people leave the Missouri State Fair in the afternoon and return at night. My 12-hour sighting trio appeared to do that back in 2015, resurfacing at night hours after I thought they left. In the back of my mind, I’d hoped this blond would return that evening, but by 10:30 I had let that thought drift from my mind. Yet here she was,

beaming smile and all, wearing the same clothes but now with her long blond hair hanging loose rather than in the ponytail that it was earlier in the afternoon. Her boyfriend was still with her as they finished eating fair food, and her mostly male group of friends seemed to have gotten larger as well. I was in a bit of a conundrum as I desperately wanted to see another act from her but also didn’t want to waste any of my last hour and a half on a possible wild goose chase when so much potential smoking was going on throughout the grounds. But as I remembered the frequency of her smoking in the afternoon, I decided she was worth the risk to hang close to for a while.
Her group began to proceed back toward their favorite destination–the midway–busting through the heavy crowd of teen vapers that represented the primary demographic on this densely-packed block. Luckily, her ass served as something of a flare in those neon white shorts that kept me from losing her as I followed from a comfortable distance. Along the way, she joyously interacted with a couple of random people, continuing to be as friendly and personable as any pretty girl I’ve come across. spreading positive energy to everyone in her path. They entered the crowded midway and slowly proceeded, still nibbling on caramel corn she was sharing with her boyfriend, starting and stopping as they chatted with the friends group and checking out various rides and games. I’d invested about 10 minutes in her now and was crossing my fingers that there’d be a reward. She hadn’t let me down yet on August 21, 2021, and she was about to deliver again….
As had happened the last two times, the boyfriend was the first to produce a cigarette. By now I knew the routine and was comfortable with the idea that he wouldn’t be in possession of that cigarette for long, his girlfriend poised to hijack it from him with extreme prejudice. Jealous as I was of this guy, I also felt a little bit sorry for him. He has nicotine needs of his own, but never seemed to get more than two or three drags from his cigarette before being forced to surrender it to his gorgeous lover who would under no circumstances be giving it back to him. It was an odd and unique arrangement they had going, and perhaps she requests he maintain possession of their cigarettes because she knows she’d otherwise be powerless to control herself from smoking three packs a day! Anyway, the couple’s attention was quickly directed to a ring toss game, the location of which worked perfectly for me as it was a square stand with people on all sides of it, meaning I could stand directly across from them for a front-row

seat. Sure enough, blondie stretched her hand out after the boyfriend’s third drag demanding he hand over the cigarette. Needless to say, he complied…..and I was about to get one final explosive chapter to my astounding day of fairgrounds sightings.
Just as she claimed the cigarette and began to smoke it, it was the couple’s turn to be handed a bucket of rings to try their luck at the ring toss game. They were surrounded on all sides by young children, and here blondie was holding a cigarette in one hand while tossing rings onto empty bottles with the other hand. Blondie’s face was as full of puerile excitement as ever, her long hair now hanging loose over her shoulders as she tried to concentrate tossing the rings. This overweight male guy in their friends group stood to the left of her watching, and after blondie took a deep drag, she briefly stood up and began chatting to him, nailing him in the face with an entirely thoughtless and obnoxious talking exhale from about three or four inches away. Sweet Jesus! A moment passed before her next drag, this one directed straight ahead into the ring toss stand for the carnival operator and the surrounding kids to choke on. Meanwhile, I’m considering whether it’s worth the risk to go for one clean photo given that the lighting was probably good enough to moderately pull it off. I stood there with my camera and held it up, snapping the shutter once for a holding shot that turned out very well given the circumstances, and then putting away the camera and standing back to enjoy the final couple of drags.
She wasn’t having much luck with the ring toss, at least not as much luck as I was watching her play the ring toss, her ample cleavage briefly exposed as she leaned forward to toss the rings and those stylish white shorts so perfectly framing her hips and crotch. She took two final drags, the exhale of the last one directed straight to the ground as she leaned down to stub the cigarette out on the base of the carnival stand, once again denying the boyfriend any additional nicotine beyond those first two or three drags. The show was likely over, and I walked around to her back side to confirm what I already suspected, the cork filter butt of her Newport remaining in her left hand where she probably planned to dispose of it in a trash can rather than litter as she had the previous. It really struck me as I took one final look at this handsome couple that they couldn’t be more perfect role models for smoking, especially in the modern era where most attractive people don’t smoke. Here were these kids surrounding this stand watching this beauty and her stud boyfriend smoking while playing the ring toss, and I hope at least one of them was as moved by their power

couple presentation as I was….as well as their unashamed consumption of cigarettes that seemed like it came from a bygone era. It’s incredible that young adults like these two still smoke at all this day and age, but even more incredible that they do so in the wide open on the state fair midway while their similarly aged peers were up the block sipping beers and cupping vaping devices in their hands.
The adrenaline surge from this final act of my best sighting of the day kept me going for the remainder of my time at the fair, which is good because I wouldn’t see anything else of particular note in the last hour and a quarter of the night. I went into the 2021 fair season skeptical I’d get any sightings worthy of some of the epic #1’s I’ve pulled off in previous fair seasons, but I managed this year because of Sedalia, Missouri. Fair season isn’t officially over yet with two days of the Minnesota State Fair ahead, but damn if this one isn’t gonna be near impossible to dislodge as it tripped so many different triggers for me at once. It was as if fate decided I was worthy of one more spectacular, comprehensive fairgrounds sighting that touched upon so many of my favorite elements of a “perfect smoker girl” at the same time despite the odds being so stacked against it. I’m humbled and eternally grateful to the Missouri State Fair for making her possible.
As I said, the last hour or so of the fair was a pretty unproductive slog. I continued to nudge my numbers upward over the 2019 total of 68 sightings but most of what I saw was unmemorable. Most of the young party girls continued to vape, and while that would have brought me down at this point on any evening at the Iowa State Fair, it was gonna be hard to dethrone me from the high I was on last night.
Fittingly, my final sighting of the night came from a hot blond who mixed and matched her nicotine delivery devices of choice. Two young couples stood in the street behind a live music stage. The two guys were smoking and on first glance it appeared the two girls were vaping. This was all too common of an observation this fair season, but as I looked again, I saw a cigarette in the hands of the attractive blond. Sighting #74 was a very attractive blond in the first half of her 20s wearing a black dress. She was engaged in conversation with her brunette vaping friend and clearly under the influence of the alcoholic beverages she’d likely been consuming for much of the evening. She took a deeply indulgent drag from her cigarette, the kind of drag that usually comes from a girl who’s drunk and for whom the feeling of cigarette smoke represents euphoric sexualized bliss. She

pursed her lips and released an intensely satisfied drag into the sky as she continued to chat with the friend. A moment later, she took another drag that was just as indulgent as the previous one if not more so. That smoke clearly felt like heaven inside her body. As I got a closer look, I noticed that in the same hand she held the cigarette was the Juul pod that I thought I had seen in her hand on my original passing. Unfortunately there would be no third drag as she handed the cigarette back to the boyfriend. Disappointing as it was to see her surrender the cigarette, I was gratified that even with a Juul pod in hand, she still felt the need to poach her boyfriend’s cigarette for a nicotine hit that genuinely satisfied her.
It was almost midnight and while the crowds were still substantial, it was time for me to go. I turned this trip into a three-day vacation and had a ton of driving ahead of me the next couple of days, so I needed to get some sleep. At any point up until this year, I’d have thought 74 sightings at the Missouri State Fair was a below-average day, but I walked away last night absolutely walking on the clouds. My expectations bar had been lowered after those disappointing nights at my county fair and the Iowa State Fair, so a genuinely great day at the Missouri State Fair wasn’t even really in the realm of possible scenarios I had seriously entertained. Even discounting my downwardly adjusted expectations, August 21, 2021, was incredible. I only wish I could have experienced the Missouri State Fair in the comparative smoking heyday of 10-15 years ago, where I bet a 200- sighting day was entirely common.
The dearth of youth smoking was the only place I fell far short. Only one of my 74 sightings was a teenage girl, and she was one of the ugliest teenage girls I’ve ever seen in my life. This probably portends a steep rate of sightings attrition ahead even for Missouri, but right now I think this venue is second only to Minnesota for me moving forward. Minnesota will always be first because their daily attendance numbers assures a better chance of sightings even with overall smoking rates way down there. I’ve been to Missouri five times and it’s been extremely uneven, but the fact that it produced my #1 sighting of the year twice in the previous four visits and has an excellent chance of being the source of this year’s #1 as well, it’s clear that the demographics and culture are holding up better than elsewhere for producing the moments I spend so much time and energy looking for. So I will continue to work my August vacation around a visit to the Missouri State Fair in the years to come. Of course, a day like yesterday threatens to overshadow anything else I have planned for a given

vacation. That was certainly the case this year. No matter what I was doing or where I was going for the remainder of the three-day road trip I recently got home from, I wasn’t able to wipe that smile off my face thinking of my favorite moments at the Missouri State Fair.

Minnesota State Fair – Day 1
by Mark
I’m glad I had the high of the August 21st visit to the Missouri State Fair to coast on because the days leading up to my first visit to the 2021 Minnesota State Fair were dreadful. I visited my parents’ place in southern Minnesota for a long weekend and was met with three days of endless heavy rain over the opening days of the Minnesota State Fair. As usual, my plan was to attend the MNSF on Saturday, but with wave upon wave of thunderstorms passing through, Sunday became the only option for opening weekend.
It was the last thing the Minnesota State Fair needed this year. Every other Midwestern fair came and went without controversy in August but in true Minnesota fashion the virtue-signalers made an example of it, going ape- shit about its potential as a super-spreader event and co-opting local media to bad mouth the fair. It struck me as likely that fair organizers would impose a long list of mitigation measures but surprisingly took no steps at all, not even an indoor mask mandate that seemed like a certainty, presumably because they were already short-staffed and expected to lose a good chunk of their workforce if they were mandated to mask up. All the bad publicity coupled with the terrible weather has led to a serious decline in attendance in the first days of the fair, compared to years past. Considering the ranks of smokers has been cratering at my other fairs, this seemed likely to be a bad combination for preserving my long-held robust sightings numbers at the usually well-attended Minnesota State Fair.
So how did I do on August 29, 2021? Over 14 long hours, I got 110 sightings. This was a number consistent with the eight or nine daytime- only hours of fetish time I got at the fair 20 years ago before I started staying in the evenings. But the decline was less than I expected going in, particularly since the crowd was noticeably thin for a weekend day at the Minnesota State Fair. And while I got a number of extra-base hits over the course of the day, the exceptionalism of the Missouri State Fair a week earlier was nowhere to be found. I’m used to the demographics of smoking growing older and less attractive, but scarier yet was to be walking by the “designated smoking areas” to find nobody at all far too many times during the day. It’s easy to see why with cigarettes at $10 a

pack or more in Minnesota. With all that said, the day wasn’t as horrific as Day 1 of the Iowa State Fair two weeks earlier, but there were none of the “adrenaline surge” moments I so crave at any day fetishing at the fair.
The uncertainty that always comes with finding a parking space on the weekend was amplified this year with seven out of 10 park-and-ride buses not going to the fair, so the folks and I arrived before 8 a.m., far earlier than I’d prefer, just to be safe. Turns out we got there far earlier than needed which led to considerably more sightingless dead time in the morning where all I accomplished was straining my feet earlier than needed. Sightings were very slow to roll in and the first one of consequence I’d get was Sighting #4, a late 20s blond in a conservative green T-shirt and leggings puffing away in the smoking area at the edge of the beer gardens in the company of her nonsmoking boyfriend. Even though she was only modestly attractive, the contrast was stark with this blond being the smoker given how macho her burly, bearded boyfriend was. I was able to sneak in a trio of holding pics but my vantage point was very exposed and I didn’t want to tangle with that boyfriend who seemed to be wise to me. I got to see three drags from her before she tossed the butt into the nearby community ashtray, which still had a bunch of standing water in it after the heavy rains from Saturday night. It was nice to be on the board with something vaguely memorable as patience was certainly a virtue in these sparse morning hours.
Over the course of the day, I’d say a good 20% of my sightings were Asian women. I’ve always scratched my head at reports that Asian women have the lowest incidence of smoking of any demographic as they punch well above their weight in Minnesota and have for some time. Sightings #9, #12, and #14, which I scored in the late morning or early afternoon, were all younger Asian women. None of them were extra-base hits but I enjoyed seeing them. The best of the bunch was Sighting #12, a mid-20s grandstand worker who seemed very paranoid about being identified as a smoker, which made it awkward for both of us since I wanted to see her smoking. She made nervous eyes with me as I approached, sitting on the far end of a bench and trying to hide her cigarette. The more I tried to get a closer look, the more paranoid she seemed, not necessarily because she feared me but I suspect because she didn’t want to be seen as a smoker. She took one final drag and sprung off the bench, crushing the cigarette out against the pavement and then approaching a trash can before walking back under the grandstand with the vendors. It’s sad that it’s come to this,

but interesting in this specific example that she’s this nervous about being seen as a smoker yet still chooses to step outside and smoke on her break anyway.
It was a long time coming but I finally got my first extra-base hit of the day around the 1:00 hour when I stumbled upon a duo of 20-something smoker gals in the smoking area near the beer gardens. Sightings #16 and #17 consisted of one blond and one brunette, but it became instantly clear that the blond was gonna dominate my attention for this one. Decked out in a flattering blue and white sundress with sunglasses, considerable exposed cleavage, and considerable bare leg, she left an incredible first impression and that impression was compounded by what she did next, sticking the cigarette in her mouth for what I figured to be a final drag but instead carrying on with a lengthy talking dangle. I would have loved to have gotten this on camera but didn’t figure I’d have time and was too transfixed by the imagery of this cigarette stub bouncing up and down in her lips as she spoke. Much as I love talking dangles generally, seeing a girl this adeptly talking through the stub of her cigarette was an extremely enticing image. Unfortunately, that was it. She disposed of the cigarette in the community ashtray and resumed talking with the less attractive brunette friend. I got a few post-cigarette pics and as I studied her a little more closely, I was struck by how familiar she looked. I’d known this girl from somewhere before, and I was pretty sure it was from a designated smoking area of the Minnesota State Fair.
With little else going on, I stuck around a bit, expecting there was a decent chance she’d go for another cigarette. My instinct was right as a pack of American Spirits came out of her purse and she plucked two more cigarettes, one for herself and one for the brunette friend. I should have figured her out then but it took me a few more hours before I put the pieces together. This was actually my #1 sighting of the 2016 fair season! Back then, she smoked three American Spirits in a row, with considerable no- purpose dangling throughout the show that year, along with a very exotic pair of shorts covering her bottom. She was still attractive, still smoking American Spirits, and still dangling five years later! There would be fewer histrionics on this second cigarette as the girls just chatted and smoked. I’d get a double-dragging pic but there was an issue in that another girl in white shorts stood in the background and the white from her shorts obstructed the image of my dragging blond. Much as I love white shorts generally, this isn’t the only time during fair season 2021 where cigarettes

have blended into them! I continued to enjoy the show until the cigarette’s rather unceremonious end at which point both girls got up and wandered off.
Later that afternoon, I’d see the same duo take a bench just outside the beer gardens and smoke another round. I was not in any position to watch let alone take pics of this beyond just a passing image, but by this point I put together that the blond was repeat smoker girl royalty from the top of my 2016 pyramid. She was holding up well, still attractive and still very much looking like a smoker. Had I seen more of that opening image of the talking stub dangle, she’d probably make it into my year-end list for 2021 as well, but unfortunately the trajectory of the sighting lost its spark as it went on. Logistics weren’t on her side here, but I was nonetheless thrilled to have seen what I got to see and knowing that five years after her spectacular show, she was still addicted to cigarettes and was still capable of smoking them like a beast. Even more interesting that supposedly additive-free American Spirits are her cigarette of choice given that she seems to be so addicted.
Another extra-base hit came in the next hour at the smoking area in front of the dairy building. I’ve had some great success with sightings here in years past but it was the most depressingly vacant of the prominent smoking areas yesterday, with the notable exception being Sighting #21. A slender mid-20s blond in a black tube top and black jeans stood in the middle of the smoking area with a boyfriend unzipping a backpack strapped to her back. It didn’t take long to notice his fingers fumbling around between two packs of cigarettes, Marlboro Lights and cork-filter Camels. The Camel pack was the one that came out and he produced two cigarettes, one for himself and one for the blond. I had an open bench behind them to score some decent pics of this farrow-to-finish sighting, starting with her unlit dangle and following up with the light-up, even though the light-up pic was partially obstructed by her shoulder. As you might expect from a girl with two different brands of cigarettes in her backpack, she was a solid smoker, taking a steady string of no-handlebars dangling drags while conversing with the boyfriend. She was quite attractive as well, her long blond hair held up in a ponytail that fully showed off her well-toned shoulders in the tube top. I snapped a number of photos and while her back was to me in most of them, I got a number of good holding pics and, toward the end, a decent profile shot of her in the middle of one of her dangling drags. It was a solid show and the best

extended smoking show I had seen up to that point yesterday. She flipped the cork-filter butt into the community ashtray and walked off with the boyfriend, leaving the dairy building’s smoking area vacant once again in her absence. There was a girl-next-door quality to this blond that’s been hard to come by with smokers all fair season and especially so at the Minnesota State Fair. It felt good to know there was at least one girl of her pedigree who had multiple packs of cigarettes in her backpack for a day at the fair.
A short while longer I had another strong find with a late 20s husband and wife duo east of the grandstand. The son wandering in the background looked like he was about eight years old, waiting for mom and dad to fill their lungs with carcinogens. Sighting #23 was not going for anything particularly glamorous, a dark brunette with a long ponytail decked out in a black tanktop and utilitarian medium-blue jean shorts, but she had a cute mom look about her with a pair of glasses that not only made her seem studious but also reminded me of my ex-girlfriend Courtney, herself a heavy smoker. Her back was to me for most of the sighting, but she helpfully turned her head leftward when she took a drag so I scored a couple of decent dragging shots with her face in profile. She knelt down and stubbed out the cigarette on the pavement before I was ready for the sighting to be over, but she was a welcome pretty face with a cigarette sticking out of it in the first half of the afternoon yesterday.
I’ve gotten quite a few decent sightings in front of the free stage at the International Bazaar over the years, and while it generally disappointed yesterday, there was one memorable moment in the mid-afternoon when I came across two late 20s couples relaxing with a drink, and one member of the party very much relaxing with a cigarette. Sighting #31 was nothing extraordinary to look at, a light brunette in a tanktop and jeans who was too chubby for my taste, but she deserved a quick paragraph of recognition for her indulgent smoking style. After every drag, a look of primal satisfaction filled her face and was followed by exhales entirely through her nose. When I saw her the first time, I wondered if I was just seeing the exception, but I stuck around for five drags and every one of them exited her face through her nostrils. She was clearly really enjoying that cigarette, and I wonder if anyone else in her nonsmoking group was picking up on how much she was loving it or if I was the only one.

And while there were genuinely few electric moments yesterday, one of my favorites came next at the smoking area east of the grandstand, which was my most productive yesterday and, for that matter, for the duration of years that the MNSF has had designated smoking areas. Sitting on a bench in the middle of the smoking area was the face of an attractive mid-to-late 20s dark blond who was the most surprising girl of the day to see smoking a cigarette. Once again, there was a boyfriend/husband lurking in the background with a cigarette of his own, making me wonder if he was the bad influence on Sighting #33, or maybe she was the bad influence on him! Her very wholesome face had just a hint of badass cover with a pair of sunglasses that for whatever reason put an exclamation point on her overall look. Below the neck was where she really stood out though, wearing a white T-shirt with just a little exposed midriff and a pair of skin- tight black leggings that perfectly framed her lower body, hugging every feminine curve with the kind of precision only polyester and spandex are capable of. Sitting there on the bench with her legs crossed, she casually looked over a fairgrounds map with a cigarette perched between her fingers, pondering at considerable length where she was gonna go next at the fair after she finished blackening her lungs. I got some delightful photos of her in that pose, including a mid-drag photo, an “about to drag” photo, and an adorable holding photo where she’s lost in her analysis of the map…..
I got to watch her smoke the majority of the cigarette from a safe vantage point, in awe every time the cigarette approached her lips and in even greater awe as she contaminated the area with slow-churn exhales that lazily spilled from her face in a way that suited her look. The boyfriend had wandered off for a bit, giving me a little extra cover to watch her closely right up until the point she stood up and approached the community ashtray with the cigarette I would sadly be unable to identify. As she stood near the ashtray waiting for him, I took the opportunity to snap a final standing pic of her decked out in the T-shirt and leggings, just to authenticate her girl-next-door look and its crazy contrast to the cigarettes she’s addicted to.
This sighting solidified its standing as one of my favorites of the day when, a couple of hours later, I saw her again at another smoking area sitting next to the boyfriend, puffing on another cigarette. My positioning was not conducive to photos here so I just stood back from a distance and watched, her impressive drags and breezy exhales consistent with what I

loved about the first sighting. Unfortunately, I was a little too exposed this time and I sensed she knew I was watching. Much as I wanted to stick around until her cigarette’s completion, after the second time she made eye contact with me in mid-drag, I decided it would be in my interest to split before she nudged in the burly boyfriend’s direction and pointed my way. The second sighting confirmed to me that this cutie was a committed smoker, and the wholesomeness she brought to two different smoking areas at two different points in the day felt like I was on a time warp to 20 years earlier when it wasn’t so unusual to see a girl like her smoking. Couple that with her great presentation in those tight leggings and she was my second-best sighting of the day.
I said earlier that Asian women made up about 20% of my sightings on the day, and easily the most memorable of those sightings was a trio of 20- something Asian women seated at a table near the beer gardens, each with cigarettes between their fingers. Sightings #35, #36, and #37 provided a pretty stunning visual as I approached that table, my eyes processing one cigarette after another after another in the early stages of consumption by this trio, all of whom had pretty distinctive looks about them. On the left was a girl in sunglasses, who I got to see the most smoking from given the angle from the seat I was able to take at a nearby bench. In the middle was the most wholesome-looking girl of the three, who held her cigarette behind her, even though I couldn’t understand who she was trying to spare from the smoke given that all three girls were smoking. On the right was the most glamorous of the three, a long-haired blond in a gray tanktop, who I got to see the least smoking from because of where I sat. I maneuvered my camera and managed to get all three in a single shot, with the girl on the left in mid-drag but no cigarettes visible from the other two. I sat and watched a few minutes of the show from my vantage point but was so close I dared not take any additional photos. It was the second half of the afternoon by now and I was behind schedule, but I had hope that my vaguely accelerating pace was positioning me for some momentum.
That didn’t really happen though as I would soon take my late afternoon trek to the sparser north side of the fairgrounds. Some years this yields quality sightings but yesterday wasn’t one of them. I stopped for lunch along the way and probably wasted a half hour of prime late afternoon fetish time before I got back to the core part of the fairgrounds. Then again, maybe I didn’t waste too much time because pickings continued to be slim. Luckily, another three-for-the-price-of-one sighting would save

me in the usual spot….the smoking area east of the grandstand. A trio of gals who all looked about 30 hovered either on or near the bench decked out in leggings with freshly lit cigarettes between their fingers. Sightings #52, #53, and #54 presented an image I didn’t see much of at my other fairs….a group of young women reinforcing each other’s habits as they chatted amongst each other with cigarettes in hand. The brunette who was seated interested me most, with chin-length dark brown hair, sunglasses, and a black T-shirt with her leggings, giving off a chill vibe as she plugged away on her cigarette. I got two photos, one of which features her about to take a drag. The other two girls were standing, with a blond in the mix who interested me least and another brunette who was also attractive but who I got to see the least of because of her position. Both of my photos are okay, with cigarettes visible in both shots, but neither are awesome. For that matter, the smoker girls’ performance itself wasn’t particularly awesome either, with long waits between drags as they were more interested in the conversation than their cigarettes which were treated like an afterthought, but I’m more than willing to deal with distracted smoking shows if it means trios of young women are smoking…..
But what would ultimately make this sighting an extra-base hit was the second act. After walking away from them, I decided I was gonna grab a Dr. Pepper at a nearby stand and then double back and resume with the pattern I was going. I didn’t even have this trio in mind when I charted that course, but when I returned about five minutes later, I’ll be damned if all three girls weren’t at the same spot smoking another round of cigarettes. Moments like that kept yesterday from being as disappointing as it occasionally seemed at various points. Several of my better finds of the day had encore acts….and in some cases such as this one, they ended up being my better finds of the day because of the encore acts.
Afternoon was transitioning to evening and the grandstand crowd started to form as it usually does. Sunday evening’s performers were TLC and Shaggy, and while they drew a crowd that largely came of age in the 90s, that’s probably a pretty good demographic for boosting numbers because even though that group is aging out of its peak attractiveness years, they’re more likely to smoke than girls 10 years younger. And so it went last night as I scored a larger harvest of sightings in the 6:00 hour than any other hour of the day, and by no small amount. Most of these sightings took place in close proximity of the grandstand, and one of the more interesting among them was Sighting #62 at the smoking area west of the grandstand.

where an early 20s, ponytailed light brunette with glasses (and unfortunately tattoos) was sitting next to her nonsmoking mother smoking a cigarette. The smoking daughter was only average on the attractiveness scale and mom wasn’t attractive at all, but it’s such a rare dynamic these days to see a daughter smoking in the presence of mom, in this case with casual jocularity ensuing between them as the daughter continued smoking. A seat was open right next to the daughter and I was able to get three photos, including two of her dragging. The daughter was decked out in a pretty plain red tanktop with plain jean shorts on the bottom so the presentation was by no means glamorous, but it was still nice to see this unlikely moment of bonding before a TLC show. The daughter finished her cigarette and then they both got up and stood in line for the concert.
By contrast, my next sighting of note did have an air of glamour to it, even though it was short-lived. A trio of mid-to-late 20s gals were standing around drinking beers and only one of them had a cigarette, but lucky for me it was the best of the three. Sighting #65 was a long-haired blond in a cleavage-bearing red top with very tight pale blue jean shorts on the bottom and long, smooth legs coming out of them. Even though there was quite a bit of cigarette left, I could tell by her body language that it was not long for this world, so I had to move fast if I wanted a photo. I only had one shot but I made it count, snapping the shutter just as she was beginning to close her lips around the final double-pump drag. She knelt down and stubbed the half-smoked cigarette down on the pavement after that, smoke spewing from her mouth and nose as she descended. She and her friends then wandered for a bit en route to a nearby barbecue restaurant for dinner. Her ass was absolutely incredible in those tight pale blue jean shorts, probably the nicest one of the day on a smoker girl. But given how quickly she put that cigarette to bed, I suspected she may only be a social smoker indulging a cigarette while having a beer. Perhaps not though given that neither of the friends were smoking and you’d think a young woman of her fashion consciousness wouldn’t want to deviate from the group unless she was guided by addiction. Either way, I was very lucky I didn’t come upon this sighting 30 seconds later or there wouldn’t have been a sighting at all let alone a great photo.
I stayed relatively close to the grandstand area in the 6:00 hour but wandered a couple of blocks to the east down Dan Patch Avenue at some point, stumbling upon a separate duo of women smokers sitting down on benches outside the designated smoking areas to indulge a cigarette. The

more interesting was Sighting #72, a mid-to-late 30s brunette who wasn’t entirely my cup of tea but won me over with a verifiable smoker’s look and shameless flaunting of smoking rules. She was a long-haired brunette with a green sweatshirt and black shorts, sporting the lips and cheekbones that are instantly identifiable as a long-time smoker even though she was definitely past her peak attractiveness years. There was an open seat right next to her and I got a trio of pics, including one dragging pic. Unfortunately the pic cut off the top of her head but it’s close-up enough that you can appreciate her general profile and you can tell just by her lips that she was very much used to having a cigarette between them many times a day.
Heading back to the grandstand area where the line for the TLC and Shaggy concert was really starting to grow, I came upon an early 30s trio of gals where two of them were smoking, briefly interacting with an older couple and talking about “planning ahead”, and I suspect the context involved having a cigarette before the show. Sightings #75 and #76 at first struck me as unremarkable, but something about the tall, long-haired light brunette of the duo kept me interested enough to stand there to observe a little bit. Decked out in a black tanktop and shredded blue jeans, she was modestly attractive but I had a feeling she’d impress as a smoker, and when she let rip a dangling drag for about 10 seconds when the cigarette approached her lips, I was glad I trusted my instinct. I changed positions to get a better vantage point of her where I could attempt some risky photos. It was even riskier since I was struggling to work the camera again for whatever reason and kept having to retry, but I’d get the money shot when it counted. The half-smoked cigarette went into her mouth and she carried on with an extensive dangle that must have run for 30 seconds. I got a half dozen pics of it, and lucked out because it was late enough in the night where photos start to get blurry. In this case, a couple of the pics were blurry but a couple are perfectly clear, the cigarette positioned at an upward 45-degree angle from her lips as she began digging for something in her bag. When the dangle ended, I put the phone away and enjoyed the rest of the show from a distance, effectively forgetting about the dark blond across from her who was also smoking. It was a nice show and all these sightings leading up to the grandstand concert was getting me as close as I’d get to an adrenaline moment yesterday.
The last sighting of note before the concert crowd was allowed inside came at the smoking area west of the grandstand where a fresh-faced blond

in a wholesome blue T-shirt and jeans was sitting on the pavement near a community ashtray, cigarette in hand. Sighting #79 was likely the youngest smoker I saw yesterday, quite possibly younger than 21, but unfortunately she made eye contact with me the second I approached. When I took a seat on the paved steps about 10 yards away from her, she had immediate suspicion in her eyes and I knew I had to tread very carefully. It’s crazy how you can be lurking in the immediate presence of some girls for an extended period and they seem to have no idea while others sense instantly that they have an admirer. Anyway, as I said it was close enough to dusk that my photos were hit and miss and the only dragging shot I got of her was a blur. I did manage two distant holding shots, but she was posing for a selfie in one of them and flashed the most adorable smile, one of the most innocent-looking poses for a smoker girl of the summer. Standing on his feet behind her was a boyfriend who was also smoking, and unfortunately he seemed to be picking up on my presence as well. Much as I wanted to maintain my vantage point of this sighting, I left my post and tried to wander around to a more obscure spot where I’d at least be able to watch. The blond was distracted by her phone but the boyfriend seemed to notice me lurking again. It was time to go. I wish I could have seen more of this one but it wasn’t worth the risk. A couple of hours later on the midway, I almost got my chance as the same couple walked past me, but unfortunately only the boyfriend was smoking this time.
I met with my parents briefly at 7 p.m., our long-running routine to touch base and eat a few chocolate chip cookies. It’s a good 15-minute respite for my feet but I don’t like missing that period for sightings. I prefer to have 110-125 sightings at this intermission, but I’m afraid those days are probably over forever. By 7:00 last night, I only had 83 sightings, and even that was quite a bit better than I’d have guessed I’d have two hours earlier before the pre-concert surge. Unfortunately, I had low expectations for the evening. It was a Sunday night and not the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, meaning the party crowd would be sparse and that the outstate visitors to the fair would likely have gone home. This meant a disproportionate circle of metro area kids who come from places with smoking rates near zero. Twenty years ago, the evening hours were when the smoker girls could be counted upon to be out in full force, but nowadays, especially on a Sunday night, the demographics that used to be able to be counted upon no longer can be. I expected to see a bunch of vaping as day turned to night, and of course I did, but what I saw and smelled in addition to the vaping made the vaping seem like the more favorable option.

But before the evening took a nosedive, it would reach its crescendo moment as I left my parents and drifted back to the smoking area east of the grandstand. The same bench already responsible for greatness on two occasions yesterday had plenty of potential again as four late teen girls sat there chatting, with older smoking ladies sitting near them on the other side of the bench. As I scanned the crowd, one girl in particular tickled my fancy, a dark brunette with shoulder-length hair falling onto her bare shoulders, her chest held together with a sparse black leather top with an exposed midriff and some loose-fitting jeans below the waist. She had a pretty intense IT factor. But she also had a Juul pod in her hand. I shook my head as I encircled the bench to get a better look at the others in the group, also taking a shine to the blond next to her in a white tanktop and jeans. The other two were also attractive, but not in the same league as the main two. It struck me as a bit odd that these girls were sitting here in the smoking area since none appeared to be smoking, but I’d get some clarification on that when I suddenly saw an all-white placed between the lips of the dark brunette in the leather top who intrigued me most, followed by an adept light-up. Sighting #88 was officially my youngest sighting of the day, but her style immediately took on a glamorous air as she put her left elbow on the table with her wrist fully cocked holding the cigarette like a pro from an old film noir.
It was approaching dark and this point and I knew my pics would be blurry but I was circling her trying to find a good angle and got a semi- respectable rear shot of her holding the cigarette with the cocked wrist. I was now prepared to take a seat from a nearby bench and watch this show of this very attractive 18ish brunette smoking a cigarette, but I was quickly detoured from that original plan when I then noticed another cigarette approaching the lips of the blond sitting next to her. Just that quickly, Sighting #89 was added to this mix, and she came aboard memorably and colorfully with the help of the brunette. I had to look up the term for a Trevor story last year but the brunette brought the blond’s cigarette to life by “monkey fucking”, leaning into her with a lit cigarette in her mouth while the blond was inhaling from her unlit cigarette trying to get a flame. I’m not sure why they didn’t just use the brunette’s lighter but I certainly wasn’t complaining, and their cigarettes were pressed together long enough that I managed a photo, albeit a blurry one…my first photo ever of two girls monkey fucking. Apparently the blond’s cigarette still wasn’t fully lit and they pulled together again this time making sure that both of

them had sufficient means for an analog nicotine hit. Once both girls were lit, I took that bench across from them to enjoy the show, my eyes mostly concentrated on that adorable brunette who was now adding even more color to the sighting by stretching her hand out with a dollar bill to a middle-aged smoker gal sitting across the table from them. I had missed the full context but it seemed pretty likely that the brunette poached a cigarette for herself and her friend from this middle-aged woman and was now paying her back, expressing her gratitude for nicotine satisfaction that came from a higher-quality source than the glowing flash drive she had been relying on up to that point. Perhaps this was the reason she and her friends sat down in the smoking area in the first place, waiting for the first adult generous enough to supply them with a real cigarette.
I continued to settle in for this exciting show, taking my clearest photo of the bunch capturing the brunette and blond’s faces. It’s still blurry and no smoking is visible, but it’s a better shot than the others. The brunette continued to dominate the show with a spectacle of lugies that followed most of her drags. I’ve always found it cute when teen girls feel the need to spit after every drag and back when teen girls smoked with greater frequency I got a number of sightings that involved chronic spitting, but this girl was the first example I’ve seen of this in quite some time and once she got to releasing salivary discharges, she couldn’t quit, leaning over to spit four times as she continued to work the cigarette. It started as an unfortunate distraction when the fourth friend of the group, another late- teen blond in a white tanktop and slacks stood up directly in my line of vision of the brunette, but ultimately she added to the storyline when the brunette handed her the cigarette for a couple of drags, turning this sighting that involved two teenage girls into a sighting of three teenage girls with Sighting #90 now onboard. I took one final photo of the standing blond dragging, but it’s a rear shot and you can barely see anything.
The sighting came to a fairly unceremonious close as the brunette and seated blond finished off their respective cigarettes and dropped them to the ground. I had a sighting with a somewhat similar storyline two years ago as well, taken on the midway where a teenage brunette poached a Newport from a stranger and then gave her hot friends a couple of drags. This sighting was about on par with that one quality-wise, full of surprises along the way where I wasn’t expecting even one girl in this group of teens to smoke and ended up seeing three, with a rising tide of triggers getting tripped along the way. It was a great way to start the evening shift and

gave me some hope that maybe the final three hours of the fair would go better than I anticipated. Unfortunately, this was not a harbinger of great times to come.
As darkness set in, the vaping pods became more visible, which was expected. There seemed to be fewer of them among Minnesota State Fair girls than the other fairs I attended, but they were still plentiful compared to cigarettes in those evening hours. More ominous was a trend I started picking up on in 2018 and 2019 at this fair, and that was the lurking skunk smell of marijuana in the air. I certainly noticed it on the midway, the beer gardens, and the teen hangouts a couple of years ago and was less than thrilled with the trend, but it was wide-open reefer madness last night. Young people, in particular black males but certainly not exclusively them, were openly standing there with lighters firing up giant blunts….and on a Sunday night no less. The offensive and overpowering odor was at times unavoidable and there appeared to be absolutely zero efforts toward enforcement. I didn’t run into this at any of my other fair venues and marijuana is not legal in any capacity in Minnesota, so I was taken aback by the culture shift toward full acceptance, and the contrast between that acceptance and the hyperbolic obsession to condemn cigarettes. I was probably giving off more fumes than the doobies being lit as I stewed about this, although my fumes certainly didn’t stink as bad as theirs!
Quality evening sightings would be few and far between, and making matters worse, the early start to the day meant my feet were reaching their limit earlier than was needed, with every step beginning to hurt and more rest breaks being needed. Being a Sunday night, the beer gardens area was sparser than usual so I spent a fair amount of time in the midway, particularly the smoking area of the midway near the bathrooms. This would produce a couple of rewarding finds. There was a line for the women’s bathroom and I was surprised when I took note of an attractive early 20s brunette standing in that line with a freshly lit cigarette. Sighting #93 had a glamorous presentation as well, her light brown hair slung over her bare shoulder in a braid, a skimpy black tanktop, and tight blue jeans featuring the late 80s-era shredding that’s back in style again now. Another more moderately attractive young lady stood in line with her and at one point got hold of the cigarette for a single drag to become Sighting #94. I managed a blurry holding photo as the primary girl stood in line for the bathroom, but the pic wasn’t worthy of her. I only got to see a couple of drags and while I wasn’t convinced she was a daily smoker, it was

impressive that she was one of the few young ladies indulging a cigarette rather than a vaping pod or a blunt, and doing so while standing in line for the bathroom no less. Unfortunately, her turn to enter the bathroom arrived before the cigarette ended, so she stomped it out only half-smoked and went inside. I sure would have liked to have gotten a full sighting from her as that stylish feminine glamour was hard to come by last night.
And so it went for the next hour and a half, the pace of sightings slowing to a crawl during the very hours where it inevitably spiked 10 years ago. 9:30 came and then 10 and my fetish time was quickly running out, but not as quickly as my feet were. Every step was agonizingly painful after 14 1/2 hours of mostly uninterrupted walking, and I was beginning to mentally check out just as my body was. After my final pass around fairgrounds hotspots, I decided I’d make one more visit to the midway smoking area before I met with my parents at 10:30, and was prematurely congratulating myself on getting through another fairgrounds day without a confrontation with one of my photograph subjects, not expecting the evening was likely to produce anyone else worthy of any risky photos in these last 10 minutes. I would end up being wrong about that though….
As I arrived at the designated smoking area near the midway bathroom, my cursory glance yielded nothing, but then I took one gander behind the front tier of benches and was struck to see an extremely flashy and glamorous mid-20s blond standing there with cigarette in hand, immersed in conversation with a nonsmoking friend. After more than 14 hours of time invested at this fair, I waited for the last 10 minutes of the day for my first 150-proof dose of smoking glamour, and my third-best sighting of the day. Sighting #108 looked like a 90s version of Gwen Stefani, her platinum blond hair held back in a tight ponytail that really helped her attractive yet cigarette-shopworn facial features stand out. A nice-fitting white tanktop tightly compressed her boobs and flattered the rest of her upper body while an even nicer pair of button-fly pale blue jean shorts accentuated her lower body. And best of all, her left hand was cocked with a fairly fresh cigarette between her fingers. This incredible presentation and an open bench right next to her would allow me to enjoy the whole show. Everything was in place except for one complication…..
The bench wasn’t entirely open as there was a young male midway worker sitting between where I sat and the blond smoker, his head directly in the

path of my vantage point, particularly for my camera. I was pessimistic photos would turn out anyway given the lighting so I was content to sit back and watch. But when I saw how deep her drags were and how she continued to hold that cigarette in a sexy, cock-wristed position, I decided I just had to take the risk and snap a couple of shots. Amazingly, a couple of them turned out, including a holding shot where she briefly leaned forward and I was able to photograph her frontally without the midway worker’s head in the way, and then another solid dragging pic, both of which were vastly better than I imagined possible at this time of the night with this kind of lighting. Not only was she a stunning find with a cigarette in the modern age, she was a quality smoker as well. While I personally tend to go more for the soft and innocent type, there was no question at all I found the right girl to end the night on, reinforced as I watched her take her final drag from the cigarette that was every bit as indulgent as those that preceded it before tossing the butt into the community ashtray, sadly denying me the brand ID once again.
It was 10:25 now and time to head to the Coliseum to meet my parents, my hobbled feet less of a distraction now that I was riding high in the aftermath of that midway sighting. My parents nonetheless noticed the hitch in my step as I approached and knew it was time for me to get off of those feet, likely scratching their head why I ended up walking so much more of the day than they did. Unfortunately, my final sighting of the night was cockblocked by my parents’ presence as we walked along the perimeter of the Coliseum and I laid eyes on a girl and her boyfriend that I had noticed earlier in the evening and had a suspicion about. Sure enough, sitting on a bench along the perimeter of the Coliseum, the cute late 20s blond with the long braided hair was now smoking a cigarette as I suspected her of regularly doing when I first spotted her….while the boyfriend next to her wasn’t smoking. Sighting #110 would have been a much better find if I had more time to observe her in detail, but all I could do was sneak a glance as I walked past while in mid-conversation with my dad.
From there it was a shorter walk than usual to the car since we were able to park closer to the gate having arrived so early, and that was great news since I was desperate to get off of those feet. While nobody will accuse yesterday of being a particularly great day for sightings, it was less awful than I feared was possible going in having suffered through that first day of the Iowa State Fair two weeks earlier which truly was a dumpster fire.

The moments of surging adrenaline I experienced in Missouri were few and far between but on balance I had a number of good finds, got some decent photos of them, and saw repeat performances from others.
Still, I’m only a few years removed from the baseline of a good day at the Minnesota State Fair being almost 200 sightings, and it’s unlikely 110 sightings will even be a new baseline because of the lack of replacement smokers, meaning today could easily seem like “the good old day” in the near future. Could I have done better if I went on Saturday instead of Sunday? Or if the grandstand act had been different? Or if attendance was higher than the COVID-adjusted 149,000 I had yesterday compared to the usual 200,000 per day on opening weekend? Maybe a bit, and that gives me some hope for a stronger second day when I return for Labor Day weekend, likely on Saturday. If I do no better or worse then than I did today, I’ll have to consider it at least a minor victory in comparison to as badly as this fair season started.

Minnesota State Fair – Day 2
by Mark
Uff da! That’s the term that seems most fitting after a truly dreadful day of sightings at the Minnesota State Fair on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Now there’s important pretext here that 2021 is an off year all around for the Minnesota State Fair and attendance has been down significantly day after day. In addition to COVID paranoia, the park-and- ride shuttle bus system that’s been the fair’s attendance lifeline for a generation cut back seven out of 10 routes this year. That’s left a mark. The Minnesota State Fair has packed as much of a punch as it has sightings-wise for so long because of robust attendance. A really good weekend day at the Iowa State Fair will have 130,000 attendees. A really good weekend day at the Minnesota State Fair will have double that crowd. Not this year. Two years ago, there were 266,000 attendees at the MNSF on Labor Day weekend Saturday. Yesterday, that number was down to 153,000.
Ultimately, I think that’s the biggest reason that the borrowed time I’ve been living on with Minnesota State Fair sightings came to an end on September 4, 2021. The prior week, I thought I held up respectably with 110 sightings, but this week I crash-landed with only 78 sightings. Few of them were memorable and very few of them genuinely impressed. It was right down there with that dumpster fire of a day I had for Day 1 of this year’s Iowa State Fair, although perhaps a bit less devastating since I didn’t yet know how bad the new normal for smoking was yet when I got that ISF reality check. Either way, I got zero early evening bounce from last night’s grandstand crowd like I got last weekend for TLC’s show, and I didn’t really expect one with geriatric rockers George Thorogood and Night Ranger performing. My expectations yesterday weren’t great, but it sure ended an already abysmal 2021 fair season on an even more sour note.
I got to the fairgrounds about 8:45, nearly an hour later than the previous week as I convinced my parents with the smaller crowds we didn’t need to get to the fairgrounds as early to get a parking spot. This would help take the edge off of my feet at the end of the evening….not that it really mattered that much. I stumbled around the grounds for more than an hour

before my first sighting, buying food and going through some of the buildings to kill some time knowing that sightings would be scarce. Of course, go back even five years and sightings at the MNSF weren’t THIS scarce before 10 a.m. The first smoker worth mentioning yesterday was a familiar face. Unlikely as it was, she was the same girl who was the first smoker worth mentioning the previous Sunday. The late 20s blond smoker who was Sighting #4 last week was the second girl I saw smoking this week, albeit at a different post. The smoking area near the Heritage Center on the northwest side of the grounds, often bustling with tobacco users in the past, was all too often a ghost town this fair season. The one noteworthy exception was when this blond was standing by the community ashtray once again smoking a cigarette in the company of her nonsmoking boyfriend. Considering the boyfriend seemed on to me the week before, I didn’t bother with any photo attempts this time, but did take an open bench to watch her smoke. She had a pretty decent style, and frankly after an hour and a half I welcomed any young female face inserting a cigarette into her lips.
Since I counted the blond as a sighting last week, I didn’t count her again this week, but as it happened another younger gal stepped into the smoking area near her and lit up a cigarette of her own to become Sighting #2. She was a light brunette who looked early 30s and was moderately attractive. I noticed that like the blond, she was in the company of nonsmokers as a couple of family or friends waited on a bench outside the smoking area for her to finish her cigarette. By the standards of yesterday morning, this situation passed for a success story as two young women were smoking in the same place at the same time.
It was almost noon before I’d get another sighting worth mentioning. The primary smoking section in the midway is only about 50 yards deep into the midway so I often wandered in there when in the general area, given that it had been relatively productive the previous week. And sure enough, Sighting #7 awaited there, in the back of the smoking area where I found my blond beauty at the end of the night the previous week. This week’s girl was nowhere near that girl’s league but was a decently attractive late 20s blond in a black T-shirt and black leggings, smoking in the company of a smoking boyfriend and a nonsmoking friend. Her drags were deep and her exhales very cloudy, and she really proved her mettle with a long- distance dangle that lasted a good 20 seconds as she rummaged through her bag. Unfortunately, she always seemed to be on the left side of her

boyfriend to where my photo attempts were obstructed. Thankfully, she eventually sat down on his right and I managed a single dragging pic. It’s not great though as her hair was in her eyes. I was finally on the board with something memorable and was hoping the fast-approaching afternoon hours would give me some momentum, but that proved incredibly elusive yesterday.
Another hour passed before the next sighting I got worth mentioning. I was perusing the smoking area on the west side of the grandstand and found a couple who looked to be in their early 30s preparing to have a cigarette. I took a seat on the cement steps of the grandstand entrance for a decent if slightly distant vantage point. The blond gal in the couple had an unlit cigarette dangling from her lips and was approaching her lighter to the tip of the cigarette to light herself up and officially become Sighting #15. I figured she’d be too fast for me to get the light-up on camera but I caught a break in the form of a broken lighter. With no butane in the lighter to deliver that desperately needed nicotine to her lungs, she made her husband live up to his marital vows and take care of her in sickness and in health. He had a working lighter and approached his flame to her cigarette, her cheeks hollowing as she consumed her inaugural blast of nicotine from her 100 mm slave master….and I got it on camera, albeit from more of a distance than I’d have preferred. I wasn’t noticed by the couple, but comically, some middle-aged guy in a wheelchair eyeballed me as I took the pic, and he proceeded to move his wheelchair several yards over as if thinking maybe he was the one getting photographed. I was nervous at this point but lingered for another minute or so, impressed enough by this blond to see what other guns she had in her arsenal. She was definitely in her 30s and definitely looked like a smoker, her hair in a ponytail, wearing sunglasses, a blue tanktop, and jeans. I stuck around for a couple of her intense drags and got one of them on camera as well, but given that the guy in the wheelchair continued glancing my direction, I decided it was in my interest to split rather than watch her smoke the whole cigarette as I’d planned to. It had been a pretty dull day up to this point and in years past this gal would have been older than my usual preferences for extra-base hit sightings, but with the slim pickings of 2021, she certainly made me sit back and take notice.
A shorter but moderately rewarding sighting came next at the bathroom area leading up to the north side of the fairgrounds. Walking toward the bathroom was one of the younger smokers I saw yesterday, a ponytailed

brunette who was probably 21 or 22 and had a hint of a Gothic look with her black blouse and black shorts and fake long eyelashes, but she was still cute and really stood out yesterday by proceeding through the fairgrounds with a cigarette between her fingers. Sighting #17 was not likely the homecoming queen, but she had an alternative cuteness to her. I tried to maneuver myself to her side and get some pics but always had people walking in between us when I attempted to snap the shutter. I only managed one mediocre holding pic just before she walked up to the front of the women’s bathroom. Things got briefly interesting when I saw this wholesome 19ish blond beauty step out of the bathroom at the exact moment my brunette smoker approached, and as they made eye contact I thought for a split second that maybe they knew each other, unlikely as it seemed that they’d be hanging out. But the blond gave her a friendly but ultimately dismissive smile as she observed the brunette taking the final drag from her cigarette, just before the presumed mother and sister of the smoker came out of the bathroom and they walked away together. This was never gonna be a sighting worthy of any end-of-year lists as the Goth look isn’t my thing, but it had a lot of potential and I really wish I’d gotten to see more smoking before she surrendered that cigarette to the pavement.
Nearly an hour later at almost the exact same spot, another brunette caught my attention walking past me with cigarette in hand, ignoring smoking restrictions on the grounds and choosing not to limit herself to designated smoking areas. The dynamic here was also a bit complicated as the mid-20s brunette was the only smoker in the trio, with another 20- something woman in the mix as well as a guy pushing a stroller with a toddler inside. Sighting #25 didn’t have a glamorous presentation, her dark brown hair up in a ponytail and decked out in a white T-shirt and black leggings, but her shamelessness in publicly smoking intrigued me, as did her dialogue with this guy. She was having a low-intensity, passive- aggressive, Minnesota-style argument with the guy pushing the stroller, and while I didn’t hear anything specific she said, his counterargument caught my ear as he responded, “But that’s where your story falls apart.” Things didn’t seem to get heated even after that sucker punch, but the cherry of her cigarette remained heated as she pulled it to her lips for intermittent drags. I got a few photos, including one of her in mid-drag, and while it seemed more likely than not that she was the mother of the child in the stroller, it still seemed possible that other woman in the group, walking quietly with the bickering smoker girl and guy, was the mother. Ten years ago, this sighting wouldn’t have merited five minutes of my

time, but by yesterday’s standards it was fascinating enough to follow the sighting through to its completion.
The smoking area on the east side of the grandstand has traditionally been the most productive of all the smoking areas. That was certainly the case a week ago, but yesterday it was just as uneventful as most of the other smoking areas, with almost no pretty faces to be found and startlingly few smokers at all there at times for a Saturday afternoon at the Minnesota State Fair, where it’s been shoulder to shoulder in this smoking area only a few short years ago. The closest thing I’d get to something memorable yesterday was Sighting #30, a woman who appeared to be of South Asian descent lighting up with her white husband. I’d guess she was mid-30s, wearing a white ball cap over her black hair with a green sweatshirt and black leggings below the neck. Once again, a decent percentage of my sightings yesterday were Asian women, and even though this gal wasn’t really doing it for me beyond counting her as a sighting, I was standing right there and went for a pic as the cigarette approached her lips. The pic turned out and I walked away. But yesterday’s standards, that had to be counted as a minor victory.
It was now 3:30 and I was behind schedule even from the previous Sunday, desperate for a dose of smoking glamour. I’d come as close as I’d get to getting it yesterday on the benches just east of the beer gardens when I came upon Sighting #32, my best sighting of the day. It was the kind of sighting where optics and location really sold it as I approached the bench to find this very sexy early 30s light brunette decked out in a black tanktop and jean shorts smoking an all-white. Once I got past the tattoo on her arm, I licked my lips at her presentation, those long and smooth legs folded right in front of my eyes coming out of those daisy dukes and matching perfectly with her too-cool-for-school sunglasses and general demeanor. Best of all, an open space on the bench right next to her that would be perfect for a close-up view of her performance and scoring some pics. She cooperated beautifully with the pics, taking a very steady diet of intense and wildly smoky drags, polluting the air quality to the point that I didn’t want to crop the photos too closely and cut out all the smoke that was being produced by her blackened respiratory system. Now it should be said that her boyfriend/husband was seated to her left and he was smoking as well, undoubtedly contributing to this gigantic haze of secondhand smoke lurking in her presence, but it was easy to see the size of her drags and the amount of smoke pumping out of her mouth and nose that the

majority of that pollution was coming from her. She was talking to a nonsmoking female Asian friend, herself quite cute, and doing so helped her pivot her face in my general direction enough to where I got multiple dragging shots from her, where her concave cheeks gave away how intensely she was attacking that cylinder of tobacco. She made quick work of the cigarette, as you might expect, and I was close enough to tell that it was a Marlboro Light, still my favorite brand being a guy who came of age in the 90s when the majority of girls smoked them. When she finished the cigarette, she casually flung it to the ground and let it smolder without crushing it out, my favorite way a girl can dispose of a cigarette. As “best sightings of the day” go, this was pretty thin gruel I suppose, but damn did I ever need that moment at this point on a highly lackluster day. And unlike so many other sightings where I just couldn’t get the timing or location right, the stars were aligned for a bombastic show and some solid pics for this one.
I had a boomlet of momentum for the next few minutes and when I walked north of these beer gardens I ticked off a couple more sightings, including Sighting #34, a late 20s blond in a blue dress who didn’t really look like a smoker, yet was nonetheless wielding a cigarette while walking with a nonsmoking brunette friend outside of a designated smoking area near this display of hammocks. My problem was she kept wandering around aimlessly and, unlike the previous girl, her drags were few and far between. This was a frustrating combination, and the best I could manage was a holding pic as I never did pin her down enough to be directly in her line of vision for a drag. Ten years ago, this sighting wouldn’t have been impressive enough to mention, but in a sad sign of the times, she was good enough to warrant one in 2021 simply because nothing about her profile fit the mold of a smoker.
At around 4:30, I took my usual mid-afternoon stroll up to the north side of the grounds, coming up empty much like the previous week. I remember having 43 sightings on the day last week when I went up to the north side and I was very close to that number yesterday as well. At that point in the day, it seemed possible I’d do no worse than the previous week in overall numbers, but the previous week my early evening numbers surged when the crowd for TLC and Shaggy congregated around the grandstand for the evening concert. I was pessimistic that this Saturday’s performers–George Thorogood (“Bad to the Bone”) and Night Ranger (“Sister Christian”), neither of whom has had a hit in the last 35 years–

would draw the same demographic. And unfortunately I was all too correct…and it was clear quite early that the crowds for this show would be microscopic and consist of virtually nobody under 50. I feared my early evening sightings prospects would be dim….and was I ever right. Never in two decades of fetishing have the 5:00 and 6:00 hours at the MNSF yielded this few sightings.
With that said, there was one moment of potential greatness at the smoking area in the midway, surprisingly my best performer on Saturday, shortly after 5:00. A pretty large assortment of people were lurking in the area, and one of them was by far the prettiest and most glamorous young female face I’d see all day (or night!) in possession of a burning cigarette. Sighting #46 was a truly gorgeous early 20s blond wearing sunglasses, a black top, and jean shorts, regrettably with a sweater tied around her waist that hid what I presumed to be a body as excellent as her face. As I encircled the awkwardly laid-out lineup of benches in the midway smoking area, I first laid eyes on this girl’s Asian friend who was vaping, and thought my sightings-deprived brain was playing tricks on me when I looked past the friend to see this beautiful blond with an analog cigarette. But right off the bat, logistics were a problem. The girls were standing behind the first row of benches while the back row of benches were full giving me no place to observe. Then it managed to get even worse from there. A couple little girls were running back and forth to their grandmother on another set of benches to the side with granny shouting, “1…2…3….go” and my smoker girl felt like she was standing in the way and decided to crouch down behind the first row of benches, almost completely inaccessible even for me to see let alone get pics of. This was a disaster!
I got creative though and took a risk, reaching my hands behind the bench and snapping a photo from an angle I couldn’t even see from where I sat. Considering anybody could have seen it, including the granny thinking I was taking a pic of her grandkids, the move wasn’t without risk, but it paid off in that I was at least able to get a solid holding pic of this very attractive smoker crouched down with a cigarette in hand. I hoped to get another when I saw that she was about to take a drag, but she was an incredibly slow smoker and before she even got around to taking the first drag in a good two minutes, she stood up with the friend and headed to the back row of benches once they opened up and she could take a seat. This left completely out of luck for additional photos and given the layout of

the smoking area, only able to watch the rest of her show from a horrifically awkward standing position. She didn’t disappoint in what I was able to see though, sitting at the bench and propping her elbow on the top of it, her wrist cocked with smoldering cigarette in hand. Streams of smoke rose from her elegantly held cigarette, indicating she’d taken a drag that I had just missed. I waited around another 90 seconds or so before the next one came, her elegant form persisting as she took a deep drag and exhaled it. Unfortunately, the girls’ respective boyfriends were now walking out of the bathroom and meeting with them, standing in my line of vision and further diminishing an already lackluster vantage point. I had no choice but to walk away, drawing attention to myself standing there and glaring at the back of the smoking area and at this point getting no reward from it. She was by far the most rewarding find of the day, and would have been fast-tracked to a year-end favorites list if I had seen more than one drag from her. I was so frustrated walking away from that sighting, but a couple of moments later was at least grateful for the consolation prize that my long shot photo attempt turned out and I can at least show readers what she looked like. I really hoped this opening teaser would yield a follow-up from this same beauty later in the night, but that didn’t happen. Once again, yesterday was just a really bad day for sightings.
The next two hours would confirm just how historically bad September 4, 2021, would be in the annals of Minnesota State Fair fetishing. During the dinner hour when my sightings numbers spiked last week (and just about every week I’ve ever been at the MNSF), they were coming no faster than they had been in the lackluster hours that preceded it. The numbers trickled in and I was heading to the beer gardens area for a quick look-sie just before 7:00 when I was supposed to meet with my parents, and I ran into a sighting that I knew would delay me. A trio of three mid-20s females was sprawled out on the sidewalk with adult beverages in front of them, and two of them holding cigarettes in their hand. Easily the cutest of the two was Sighting #58, sporting long auburn hair and wearing a loose-fitting tanktop and jean cutoffs. She was far from being in the league of the last girl profiled who I saw in the midway, but she was cute and a smoker, and had an infectious energy about her that made her fun to watch. Sighting #59, on the other hand, was an overweight blond with braided pigtails who was good enough to qualify as a sighting but easy to ignore in the presence of the cuter friend. There was also a guy in the mix–smoking himself but standing while the girls sat–who seemed as though he was the auburn- haired girl’s boyfriend as he stood behind her and she kept looking up to

him. Unfortunately, she was another slow smoker and every time she took a drag, she turned toward the boyfriend’s leg where I couldn’t get the drag on camera. I got several shots, some of them relatively clear but others with a bit of a blur given that sunset was now approaching. The better of the pics captured her upbeat energy, but none of them caught her directly in mid-drag. I stuck around for most of the cigarette, even though doing so was gonna make me late meeting my parents, but as it became clear she was gonna turn toward the boyfriend’s leg for every drag, I took off, once again frustrated that the few opportunities I was getting for something memorable were getting messed up by logistics.
I was five minutes late arriving at the information booth area to meet my parents. My recent baseline preference was at least 110 sightings by the 7:00 hour. Last Sunday I was lagging badly enough with only 83 sightings. But tonight I met the parents with only 59 sightings, a disastrous showing, my morale in the gutter despite a picture-perfect day at the fair with sunshine, temps in the mid-70s, and low humidity. I had to grit my teeth and agree with my mom as she rhapsodized about what a perfect day it was at the fair. Now the one thing I had going for me compared to last week as I was about to begin the evening shift was that this was a Saturday night on a holiday weekend as opposed to a Sunday evening on a workweek. This meant I at least had a chance of better and more prolific evening sightings than the lackluster haul I got last week. How’d that work out for me? Not so good.
The usual hotspots near the beer gardens and the grandstand were alarmingly dead while most pretty faces continued to have glowing flash drives rather than cigarettes approaching their lips. I was now resigned to the fact that 95% of females under 30 consuming nicotine were doing so through vape devices, but it sure didn’t make it easier every time I saw a gorgeous girl exhaling water vapor and knowing that not that many years ago she’d have had a cigarette in her hand. I was also prepared for the even worse indignity of walking through an endless haze of marijuana smoke near the beer gardens and midway, and while there was some of that, there was decidedly less of it going on than the previous weekend, even though that was a Sunday.
The midway was incredibly crowded and all signs pointed to my best course of action being to visit that midway smoking area and visit it often during those evening hours. This was a departure from a few years earlier

when the midway was proving to be one of the least productive places on the grounds for sightings. At this point, it wasn’t that the midway had gotten that much more awesome though. It was more a matter of the rest of the grounds–including the beer gardens area–becoming just as unproductive as the midway was three or four years ago. With that said, the midway delivered a very unusual sighting around the 9:00 hour that would end up being my best sighting of the evening hours last night. I sat down on an open bench in the midway smoking area to rest my aching feet for a bit, not finding much of anything to my liking in the immediate vicinity, but raising my eyebrow shortly after sitting down when an ethnic- looking girl walked in front of me and lit a cigarette before sitting on the bench next to mine and beginning to consume it. And consume it she did……
Sighting #65 was a dark-complected girl who was about 30 years old and looked like she was from South Asia, possibly India but not necessarily, sporting long dark hair but an otherwise very Americanized presentation, decked out in a black ball cap, a black blouse, and tight camouflage leggings. Only in Minnesota! The community ashtray obstructed part of her image but most of her was still in open view of my camera as she began to ingest the bejeezus out of that cigarette, taking an incredibly intense drag that left that cherry glowing for a good seven seconds as she pumped the cancerous content into her lungs. I was lucky enough to get two pics of that lengthy drag, both of them relatively clear for this hour of the night. The next couple of moments were delightful as she continued attacking that cigarette with mercilessly long drags, releasing tight plumes of smoke straight ahead through pursed lips when she exhaled. At one point, she carried on with a no-purpose dangle for about 10 seconds, still desperately feeding her lungs with nicotine she’d clearly deprived herself of for too long prior to this beloved cigarette. I didn’t want to risk getting busted at such close range so I put my camera away after the successful duo of dragging shots, but now I wished I’d kept the camera out to have gotten this dangle. The performance’s high points came early, as she apparently satisfied her basest bodily urges with those first few drags and turned the histrionics down a notch for the rest of the cigarette….
It seemed odd for this girl to be sitting by herself at this location, and I’d soon discover she was not alone, as another South Asian guy emerged from the bathroom in the company of a son who looked about seven years old. The husband was also smoking but it seemed odd that the couple

hardly spoke and didn’t even really acknowledge one another as they finished their cigarettes and then got up and walked away together, evoking stereotypical thoughts of a loveless arranged marriage that probably had no real-world basis. I couldn’t directly see the butt she dropped in the community ashtray between her bench and mine, but every indication by the filter was that it was a Newport. Looking at the photos today, it’s striking to me how women of color, particularly those with darker complexions, often have even more obvious signs of being heavy smokers than white women, and that was the case with this gal. Her skin tone around her cheekbones along with the color of her lips really gives away that she’s a pretty heavy smoker, despite an ethnic pedigree that likely puts her in rare company. I wouldn’t say she was entirely my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed the sighting and especially the bravado she put into that smoking performance, which was exactly what I needed on such a ho-hum night.
And speaking of women of color, the next sighting of significance I got was another Asian woman who I came across toward the east side of the grounds after making the rounds from the midway over on the west side. Sighting #70 was an East Asian gal, the stereotype that comes to mind with generic racial designation of “Asian”, but she had a sexy Americanized presentation decked out with a white blouse and pale blue jean short cutoffs that looked really sexy on her. Her long dark hair had considerable blond highlights and her face looked youthful. It’s really hard to tell age on a lot of Asian women but considering this girl had a child in a stroller in front of her, my guess is she was mid-to-late 20s, which certainly fit her presentation. Incorporating a cigarette into this milieu made for a sexy image and I found a bench pretty close to her group to observe the show, which was nice. She didn’t smoke with the bombast of the South Asian girl on the midway but her soft image really sold the cigarette consumption from the drag to the exhale. Unfortunately there would only be a couple of drags before the cigarette reached its end and even more unfortunately I managed an otherwise decent up-close photo that would have turned out well if not for the bright lights of The Garden beer stand shining directly into her face and obstructing visibility of her cigarette touching her lips, At least the photo successfully sells the image of his wholesome young Asian gal standing there polluting her lungs, but as I watched her drop her all- white to the pavement I wished I could have gotten more from this one.

With about an hour and 15 minutes fetish time left, the 13 hours I’d been walking were starting to catch up to me, the pedorthic pain being all the more noticeable given the scant rewards that the hard work of my feet was producing. Since my day started an hour later than it did the previous week, they held up better a little longer into the evening, but by about 9:30 they were becoming noticeably hobbled as I desperately tried to organize a game plan on how to squeeze out whatever sightings I could on an evening that was likely too late to salvage. This would of course wrap up a day that was destined to be a historic flop in the first place. It wasn’t until the last 15 minutes when I started putting a button on the day with a couple of sightings that were at least modestly memorable.
The beer gardens area had been a complete bust all day, and the previous week for that matter as well, in stark contrast to years past when I could be counted on to miss a half dozen sightings if I blinked near this beer gardens area. But finally, after 10 p.m., I got a decent duo of cigarette- wielding 20-somethings with Sightings #74 and #75 hovering in the street a few yards away from where the band was playing. The blond on the left was mediocre, but the brunette to the right was more my style, decked out in a Minnesota Twins jersey and a pair of medium-blue jean shorts. She wasn’t flashy or glamorous, at least not tonight at the fair, but was nonetheless the prettiest face I’d seen in quite a while approaching a cigarette to her lips. She was a better smoker than the blond too, with more frequent and more skillful drags, engaged in conversation with a nonsmoking guy. Rather than attempt any doomed-to-fail photos in this poor evening lighting, I just stood back and enjoyed several drags as she smoked, enjoying it but also lamenting how far we’ve fallen that it had taken me from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. to get my first worthwhile sighting of a pretty girl smoking in close proximity to the beer gardens on a Saturday.
I was down to my last 15 minutes or so of fetish time and my feet were reaching their breaking point, but after scoring a bottom-of-the-ninth save in the midway smoking area the previous week, it was a no-brainer to wrap my evening by checking out that same area. There were no Gwen Stefani lookalikes lighting up this week like there was last, but one bench had an intriguing family mix with mother, father, grandma, and kids. The grandma already had a cigarette going, but the blond mid-30s daughter next to her had such an unmistakable smoker look to her that I couldn’t imagine she would not take her mom’s lead sooner or later. I waited a couple of minutes and my instinct was confirmed when I looked up to see a long

cigarette dangling from the lips of the blond daughter just as the lighter flicked to bring it to life. My first instinct was that Sighting #76 was in the process of lighting up a 120 but I soon dismissed that as a mirage of the modern-era, where 100s are the new 120s as fewer women smoke 100s and almost none smoke 120s, making the 100s appear artificially longer when you see one. She reinforced my instinct on her smoker’s look as she took her first drag, indulging in that cylinder of tobacco she just fired up with obvious signs of physical pleasure and bodily need. Unfortunately, her kids began standing in her way from there and it was hard to see much after the second drag, and I wasn’t gonna attempt any photos with this lighting at this point in the night. As I got up to leave, there was no question that the midway was the MVP for smoking on September 4, 2021, insofar that anyplace on the grounds was deserving of that designation yesterday.
I had a few more minutes to painfully meander through the south side of the grounds and pick up a couple more mediocre sightings en route to meeting my parents. Much as my body was ready for this day to be over, my head was not ready to let go. I’d spent a lot of mental energy toward seeing this fair season happen in 2021 when it was no sure thing given the recent COVID spike, and the day that statistically should have been my most productive of the fair season was pretty close to a disaster. The whole fair season mostly lived down to my worst fears, confirming that missing 2020 was a huge loss because smoking was beginning a trajectory of accelerated decline, leaving a landscape in Minnesota and Iowa that was barely recognizable even compared to 2019.
Well over 90% of females under 25 who consumed nicotine did so through vaping devices this fair season. While 2019 was nobody’s idea of paradise as far as attractive young females smoking was concerned, the nearly unanimous consolidation of vaping over analog cigarettes was nowhere near this far along 24 months ago. I recalled my evening on Labor Day weekend at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair and it was a decidedly different affair, with a half-dozen extra-base hits, and two sightings that made my year-end top-25. Even that evening seemed like a generation ago based on what I was finding last night. As I said, attendance was down nearly 40% from this same weekend in 2019 as well, but I’m not convinced my sightings numbers would have grown proportionally even if there had been the usual 250,000+ people there yesterday.

Over the past decade, I’ve added venues and additional evenings at my fairgrounds to compensate for the slow-motion slumping of sightings playing out over the 2010s. In 2019, I wrapped up the fair season with 712 sightings, which was consistent with the baseline of sightings I’d scored in years of the recent past. In 2021, after investing nearly the same amount of fetish time at fairgrounds, I end the fair season with 445 sightings, an astonishing 38% decline. I was in the dark going into this fair season about what the state of vaping would be among young females, having not been plugged in for any real way about its trajectory. I was a little surprised to see just how popular it was at every venue I attended, and just how much it’s stuck in the current 18-24 generation after its inaugural run in the 2010s, further reducing the likelihood of youth cigarette initiation anytime soon.
So while it’s always sad to leave the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the final night of the year knowing another fair season is (if I’m lucky!) another year away, it’s even more depressing when contemplating the very real possibility that with smoking’s current rate of attrition, my sightings are probably gonna decline another 38% next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *