Monday, July 15, 2013

Behind the Scenes at the County Fair: Fair Highlights and Closing

As a superintendent, volunteer coordinator, and Fair Board member, I spent a considerable amount of time walking, walking, walking, all over the fairgrounds, to the fair office, to the volunteer locations, back to Textiles, and finally got to spin a little bit, especially after things settled down on the last day. Just to prove that I really did get outside the building, here are a few highlights.

My spinners were there every day, showing people what spinning is all about. Kids are just fascinated with the wheel. Many of them have never seen spinning before -- heck, many of the adults had never seen spinning done before!

I had a quilting club bring in a huge quilting frame for opening day. That made for a lot of color in the demo area!

On day two, we had rug hookers. The lovely woman on the left is 95 years old and still making gorgeous rugs. I sincerely hope she's back next year!

Here are just a few samples of the work these ladies do:

We had lots of visitors to the Textiles exhibit, and handed out lots of useful information for people who want to learn to knit, spin, or make quilts:

This year's floral display was gorgeous:

My weaver and a some of my spinners stayed in the evening to help keep an eye on the displays:

And outside of the building...

How about a concert? We had Kenny Loggins there on Friday night. Great performance!

Dogs and their owners were having a wonderful time at the Flyball competitions:

The dogs have to run a course with hurdles, take a ball from a bin, and come racing back over the hurdles again, then the next team goes. The dogs were all happily barking and running the whole time they were there, when they weren't out back splashing in the wading pools.

Of course there are carnival rides and lots of food vendors selling various combinations of starch, grease, sugar, and processed meats, the four Fair food groups!

Our fairgrounds has several buildings on the National Historic Register,  including our little stucco Poultry Building:

Not quite historically accurate, the Titanic sinks again (it's a blow-up toy, a slide for the kids -- hm, cheerful):

I think this one made Weird Oregon -- a headstone for a champion cow:

In the barns, kids could visit the petting zoo:

And of course, livestock on display:

At 6:00 on Sunday night, the fair closed and the hordes descended on the Open Class area to pick up their exhibits. Thanks to a crack team of knitters and spinners all helping me, we got every exhibit back to its rightful owner. This beautiful lady posed for a picture that I'll send to the quilt shop that sent us the gift certificate that she was awarded for winning Best of Show for quilts.

When it's over, it's over! The Textiles all went home, the flowers all vanished, and the foods all get discarded (because even though the cases are closed, flies find their way in and the food has been sitting out for quite a while).

An hour after the fair closed, the building was already looking empty. Crews were hard at work putting away tables, taking down the drapes, and getting ready to haul off the cabinets.

Outdoors, the food vendors were already vanishing:

Bye, bye, county fair! See you next year!

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