It's time for the fair!

I love county fair time.  Maybe it’s because the weather is getting cooler.  Maybe because the garden starts to perk up.  Most likely it’s because I love warm funnel cakes.  Or those juicy hamburgers from the Burger Barn.  And who doesn’t like to throw darts at balloons or ride the Tilt-A-Whirl?
The fair has been a part of my life for almost 50 years.  It’s was a part of my mom’s life, my aunt’s life and my grandmother’s life.  It is truly a family tradition for my family and I intend to continue the practice.
This year marks 155 years of fair traditions in the NW Arkansas area.  It has seen generations of families bring in food, flowers, crafts and animals.  It’s amazing to me that, with all the technology in the world, the simplicity of a county fair is relatively unchanged.
I have worked at the fair for many years on “check-in” day at the Horticulture building.  On this day, the building  is a flurry of activity as kids and adults bring in the best of their best to be judged.

Cockscomb (Celosia)
In spite of the horrendous heat and drought, a large variety of flowers and vegetables were entered.
Cut flowers

Dish gardens

Unique containers
Shovel garden
Flower arrangements

And don’t forget about the fruits and veggies
Veggie plates
Mixed veggies
Pumpkins and watermelons
And Sunflowers and Gourds

There are several exhibit halls at our fair that highlight photography,  sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting and other various crafts.
If you have ever tried to make a quilt, you would be so impressed with these.  Quilting is such an art, I should really try again to learn.
I’m not a yarn person, so I don’t know if this is knitting or crocheting. But, whatever it is, it is pretty.
Tie-dyed shirts
I do can or “put up” veggies from the garden each year.  It was nice to see several entries in the canning division.  Many people I talk to are afraid of canning.  My advice would be to can with someone who has some experience or take a class at your local extension office.  It’s really not that hard but you do have to follow some basic rules.
Canned goods–county fair style
That will taste good this winter!
I have a deep appreciation for those folks who took the time to make or grow these items and bring them to the fair.  I can remember working for months on a variety of projects specifically for the fair.  It brought me great satisfaction to receive a ribbon or two and I still have them today.  I hope I can pass along my love of the fair to my granddaughter so she can carry on the tradition.
So, if  you get a chance, visit your county fair.  Or better yet, enter something in the fair and start your own family traditions.  But, whatever you do, don’t forget to eat some fair food.  It’s the best!