July 30, 2014
County Fairs: Competition, Critters and Community
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“I haven’t seen you in at least 20 years,” the rural Ettrick women exclaimed as she shook the older man’s hand. “Catching up with friends is a great part of the county fair,” she leaned over and told me.
It’s county fair-time.
Walking through the fairgrounds I see the efforts of many volunteers. Thousands of hours go into preparing for the fair. Preparations for this year began shortly after last year’s fair concluded.
Young people compete for fair premiums, blue ribbons and trophies. Their preparation begins in the selection of projects, generally through 4H and FFA. Detailed records are kept of animal’s production. Young animals are taught to lead. Youngsters learn the proper way to show. Parents encourage, prod and persevere through the stressful last weeks of preparation.
Oldsters get into the action thinking of quilts, preserves, crops or tractors to show.