Love coming to sudden stops in the middle of a crowd to check your phone?
If you answered "yes," this handy guide to pedestrian etiquette at the Minnesota State Fair is for you.
The fair, which broke attendance records with over two million visitors last year, is famous for its formidable crowds. They'll never be a walk in the park, but each of us (especially you) can make it easier for everyone by keeping a few simple things in mind.
1. Pretend you're a car
The rules of vehicle traffic and foot traffic are much the same. As this Non-Jerk's Guide to Sidewalk Etiquette from City Lab advises, you should adhere to the rules of the road by doing the following:
- Always stick to your right (unless you're walking in Britain, naturally)
- Keep a good speed and follow the "rhythm" of pedestrian traffic
- And, simply, watch where the heck you're going
Regarding that last point, City Lab writes that "multitasking, even if you think you’re pretty good at it, makes you a less attentive pedestrian."
In other words: need to check how many Instagram likes you got for your Sweet Martha's bucket pic? Whether you're behind the wheel or on foot, pull over and do it on the side of the road.
2. Please, please, please stop walking in groups
Let's be clear: there's nothing wrong with going to the fair in a big group. That's part of what makes it so great (depending on who you go with, of course).
But when you're making your through a particularly dense crowd, you've got to be smart about it.
Multiple pedestrian etiquette guides agree: Walk single file.
"Yes, you’ll want to chat with your friends while you walk, but... doing so means you form a moving wall that blocks the path of everyone else," The Points Guy writes.
3. Keep an eye on your kids
This is always good advice, of course, and it applies to walking at the State Fair.
As Gothamist points out, children and pets (NOTE: only service dogs and exhibition animals are allowed on the fairgrounds) have a tendency to "roam all over the place" and wreak havoc in pedestrian traffic.
Though watching your little ones and keeping them moving may seem obvious, there's a lot of distractions at the fair — food, music, your smart phone (see Section 1), and the crowds themselves, to name a few — so vigilance is a must.
Your fair-walking cheat sheet:
Here's a quick overview of everything you need to do to be a good walker at the fair this year:
1. Always stay to your right, just like you would on the road.
2. Don't text and walk.
3. Do NOT stop in the middle of a crowd. If you need to stop, get out of the way first.
4. If in a group, walk single-file
5. Keep an eye on your kids
Enjoy the fair — and watch where you're going!
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