Thursday, August 22, 2013

The County Fair

I Caught It! Now what do we do with it?

             Throughout our wonderful country of United States of America there is a County Fair that has become tradition.  I remember as a girl going to the Fair with Grandma looking at the colorful bottles of fruit and vegetables that lined the display shelves with pretty ribbons on them.  It was like looking at a priceless painting.

        I now take my family to the Fair.  This year a granddaughter put pickles in the fair we made together.  Excitement is felt as you watch the children go to the entry they entered on display on the tables in the fair.  Eagerly they look for there own entry to see the ribbon (all the kids get a ribbon) and money for their entry, an added bonus.

            Quilts line the walls, some machine stitched and others quilted painstakingly stitch by stitch with a thimble, some quilters with older aching hands. 

            After the judging just like the kids women and men look for their entry among the displays to see the ribbon they received and if they won the coveted scissors prize or maybe the dozen quart canning jars.

            Let’s not forget a very important event, the Princess or Queen talent show and pageant that the girls are hopeful to be crowned.  For one night they are the darlings of the county.  Whoever is crowned goes around the fair wearing their crown with honor while they help with judging or just overseeing events.

Then the highlight of the fair, the rodeo where people from all over the county surround the arena to see the cowboys and cowgirls rope the steers or ride the bull.  The young people get to go catch a chicken to take home, or whatever is available that the locals want to donate (mostly roosters because they want to get rid of them.)  This year we got two ducks which we put in the pond and have to feed because they are domesticated ducks and don’t know how to feed themselves, but they are sure enjoying the pond.

            The young kids get to ride on sheep, which is the picture below; he stayed on for quite a while.  It is anything but easy, spitting out the dirt after they do a face plant while landing.. 

            Families plan all year for this old fashioned County Fair, Kids in the 4 H (Head, Hands, Heart and Health) organization raise their animals which are sold after being judged, and the money is usually put away for a college fund or to buy another animal for next year.  The youth in FFA (Future Farmers of America) will do the same thing.

            They used to have a greased pig chase where all the kids would chase the pig.  They discontinued that event probably because the kids couldn’t catch it and were so filthy by the time they finally gave up while I am sure the pig was terrorized.   He probably got over it after a good meal.

            Whatever the event, the cotton candy and hot dogs that are consumed at the County Fair, the Dutch oven contest, cooking contest, pet contest and of course the baby contest which all come out winners (best smile, pretty hair, etc.) the goal is always the same, to come together as a family and community to share a common goal – the betterment of the family and the joining of the community as one.

Prized pickles on display at the fair

Riding the sheep at the rodeo.  Hold on tight Justin!

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