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Home » Archives » May 2018 » What Is A County Fair?

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05/20/2018: "What Is A County Fair?"


If searching for County Fair in Wikipedia, one is redirected to “Agricultural Show.” We always think of the County Fair as a local event where we go to meet our friends, to see the animals, ride the rides and eat Fair food.

The first two parts, meeting friends and seeing animals hold true to the original definition and stem back to 1768 in England and has since evolved into much more.

If you go to Wikipedia while searching for County Fair it will redirect you to “Agricultural Show.” Pretty weird, huh?
We always think of the County Fair as a local event where we go to meet our friends, to see the animals, ride the rides and eat Fair food.
The first two parts, meeting friends and seeing animals hold true to the original definition and stem back to 1768 in England and has since evolved into much more.

County Fairs provide the locals with a break from the daily routine and are a means to showcase products and achievements. Sound familiar?
County Fairs generally have livestock shows, competitions for best critter, best hay, best dog, best cat, best rabbit, chicken, horse, pig, cow, goat, sheep, flowers, vegetables, art, photography…….and, and, and more.

We’ve got it ALL, including the Fair Feud, Music, Fair Food (most peoples’ favorite), vendors of the exotic, the mundane and the unusual. Of course, there are also the carnival rides. These were introduced to the fairs and livestock shows in North America around the turn of the last century.

4-H is the main producer of animals, some to be sold at auction, some to be shown for their beauty or unusual markings. Most animals are a year-long project for the kids where they keep track of feed, expenses, medications and growth among other things. It’s a REAL job. Some of the larger livestock are then sold at the 4-H Auction and help the kids finance college and other expenses.

Many of the younger kids start with chickens and rabbits for their 4-H projects, and of course, there are the horse kids, again a year-long project which often continues into adulthood. The rabbits and chickens have races, just for fun and of course a ribbon. The horses have gaming and exhibitions to show how skillful the riders are.

But, getting back to Agriculture " The San Juan County Fair has an Agriculture Guild that showcases islands’ ag products, teaches and informs the fairgoers as to what it all means and what it takes to produce some of the best wool, grass, grains and other foodstuffs that we prize here. The Washington State University has an Extension Office on San Juan Island to facilitate ag production.

So, whatever you are looking for, you’ll probably find it at the San Juan County Fair! See you there!

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