Friday, July 23, 2010

My State Fair, Part I

My bout of nostalgia ended up taking me to the State Fair which opened yesterday.  In a larger state, this would be like a county fair.  Here, we have only 3 counties so we have a statewide fair.  It has all the same things I remember from the old county fair from my youth, plus some of the more modern draws which have been added over time.  Early in the evening, the Citizens Hose Band of Smyrna (a volunteer fire company band) played some Sousa marches.
I ducked into the nearest exhibit hall (air conditioned to some extent) to see what there was to see.  (And to get out of the 92 degree heat and 50-55% humidity after my long walk from the parking fields.)

I love the home arts (as regular readers must already know), so this was the best place for me to begin.
So many quilts and crocheted, knitted and other sewn items to see! The colors were vivid, and more than anything else, I marveled at how diverse the works were--some classic, some bright and modern, some traditional designs and some highly creative new designs!  (clicking on the photos should give a much enlarged version).

Behind the crocheted flag, there are dozens of scarves, sweaters, and many hand sewn quilts in traditional patterns as well.
Moving toward the back of the exhibit hall, I toured the traditional displays from competitions in the Farm, Fruit & Apiary and Garden Vegetable Departments.  Here are: Best 8 Ears of Corn, Any Variety; Biggest 8 Ears of Corn, Any Variety; Best 5 Ears Old Fashion Indian Corn, Best gallon jar Yellow Corn, Shelled, and more.  (Love the categories, which have probably been unchanged for ages.)
Here are a few apiary entries: at center, comb honey in frames (jars of honey and the purified wax were on the end.)    Above the frames are quart jars of various seeds, such as several types of clover.  The upper right shows a back view of some huge sunflower heads, which were at least 20 inches across. On the bottom are peaches, plums and nuts.
I love this next shot just for the colors.  These are the Garden Vegetable Department's tomato varieties--red, green, and yellow classes.

Below are the yellow squash and a glimpse of some of the peppers (hot banana peppers are just above the squash.)

Finally, along the back wall, were shelves and shelves of canned goods.  This is only one of 4-5 tiered units full of canned produce.  These are beets and pickles (shown for my husband, who loves both) and there were rows and rows of canned fresh vegetables, fruits, jellies, jams and preserves.  They're not readily visible, but on every single jar there was a sticker that said "I Have Been Opened," which I thought was a great example to the public in accordance with the Department of Agriculture's home grown food safety program.  

One final shot for this edition: each night of the fair they have featured entertainment in the grandstand, which includes big name country singers and other shows.  For opening night though, it was the Demolition Derby. That says a lot.  This picture says even more.  Although announcements were made that $10 tickets were still plentiful, this is a part of the fence surrounding the track at the grandstand:

Just can't take the "country" out of the boys, I guess--and they're not all boys.

I have two more installments in mind to give you a flavor for the rest of the fair. Y'all come on back now, y'hear?


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