The competition is high and the prizes are small but winning something… anything at your local county fair (or the state fair) creates memories you’ll never forget! You can enter your favorite photograph, a flower that bloomed especially nicely this year, a freshly baked pie, that special quilted pattern, or even an enormous pumpkin! There are categories for lots and lots of items, most of which require being home grown or home made by the person who enters their contestant. The special thing, the reason for most entries is the fact they have created it themselves! And they are proud of their creation. Let’s go to a local county fair and watch what happens.

A small county fair in the heart of the nation

A formal description of a fair is the gathering of people for the purpose of displaying goods or produce, animals or plants, etc. for entertainment and enjoyment. Competition is encouraged and local people can compete along with those who come from afar.

The location could be in Springfield, Missouri at the Ozark County Fair or the Faribault County Fair at Blue Earth, Minnesota, or even a “big city” fair like the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California because they’re all basically the same thing… a fair for local people with competitions and displays as well as food rides and carnival type games for everybody to enjoy. And even though the competition is generally local and in the novice category, it’s taken quite seriously by all entrants.

1)    Take Pete who brought his latest version of “monster” size pumpkin. He won second prize last year for a 625 pounder that only lost by 5 pounds! Of course what is perhaps the world’s record behemoth weighed in at 1725 pounds so Pete has a way to go to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. But he’s a local hero just the same.

2)    And Margaret, a former school teacher, entered a quilt she had worked on for 5 years. Her intricate pattern earned her the first prize, a blue ribbon, plus bragging rights for years to come!

3)    Tom, who lives five miles out of this small town, raises award winning Angus cows and bulls. He has entered calves and bulls for 20 years now and usually walks away with multiple ribbons, all of which help sell his bulls and calves at local auctions.

4)    Shelly love to take photographs. She sticks to black and white because it’s easier for her to develop at home and she can manipulate the lighting to get just the ideal photo. Her pictures of old barns and farm houses have consistently earned her blue ribbons at several local county fairs as well as some prominent wins at the big Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, Kansas.

These are but a few examples of proud winners who work hard all year to come up with an award winner that may not pay off monetarily but gains them pride in accomplishment that is appreciated and admired by their peers.

Midway means rides, candy and funnel cakes ‘til you burst!

Kids of all ages enjoy rides on the Mega Drop, Merry-Go-Round, Ferris wheel, or the Sizzler. Be prepared to be scared and thrilled at near super sonic speed or dropped perhaps 100 feet or more in 2 seconds flat! Then when you can’t take anymore of that particular brand of “fun” you will move on to the food. Funnel cakes, kettle corn, cotton candy, corn dogs, and just about anything that can be deep fried on a stick is up for grabs at your local county or state fair. Much of it is not exactly health food but then that’s not what you go to the fair for, right?

Be prepared to be entertained by “big names” at the fair

The state fair and even many county fairs is the place to see your favorite rock band or country singer during the summer months. Big name celebrities take to the “fair circuit” for their own brand of socializing. They meet up with friends and fellow musicians while also making money performing at the smaller venue like a local fair. The crowds aren’t exactly huge but the enthusiasm is! See your favorite entertainers like Journey, Larry the Cable Guy, the Oak Ridge Boys, 38 Special, or Hank Williams, Jr. or watch a demolition derby for some very affordable entertainment, all at your local fair!