Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's county fair time

And Dan Barry's "This Land" column takes up a slice of that all- American, rural- flavored topic this week. Here's a quote from his story with dateline Sands Township (population 2,127), Marquette County, in Michigan's Upper Penninsula. Barry calls it a place of "farms and blueberries and iron ore mines":

County fairs are about more than whirligig amusement rides designed to make you pay for the cheesecake on a stick you’ve just consumed. They are about tradition, and community, and pride, and something rarely acknowledged: competition. Whether it’s swimming the fastest 100-meter butterfly or growing the handsomest rutabagas, many of us strive to be the best in our heat, however lukewarm.

I'm sure this story evokes a walk down memory lane for many of us who grew up in rural places, where the county fair was anticipated all year . . . .

1 comment:

Janet said...

Although my hometown is not rural, the annual fair and "alfalfa festival" is the highlight of the year for our town.

One of the best fair events is the Antelope Valley Fair's signature Rural Olympics, where ranchers compete at events such as hay baling, hay loading, tractor driving, and tug-o-war.

As the AV Fair website states:

"Even people who have a difficult time fathoming the meaning of rural get just as excited as those who haven't missed a Rural Olympics since its infancy."

I will miss the Rural Olympics this year, as I did last year, but for the 15 years prior I was a Rural Olympics volunteer, helping with grandstand seating. What a great time!

Thanks for reminding me about "fair time." I might have to head on over to the Yolo County Fair this weekend for some corn-on-the-cob and cotton candy, my two favorite fair foods.