Anyway, my history with the fair is long. My first paid job as a teenager was as an Exhibits Worker at the fair. As an adult, I continued to enter my stuff in the county fair. When I started teaching, I would enter my students' work in the fair and take them on a field trip to the fair to see their work exhibited. Eventually I was asked to be a judge at the fair. I still enter items in the fair (though obviously not in the categories I judge!). I love everything about the fair. So does Trevor.
So what can be done to change the fate of the fair? Attending the fair helps. But I'd like to encourage you not just to attend but instead to consider entering something you've made, grown, or collected. Since you're reading my blog, chances are good that you enjoy scrapbooking, cooking, or kids' crafts and perhaps all three. You can enter all of these in your local county fair. There are categories for gardening, photography, gift wrapping, poetry, preserved foods, and cake decorating. You can enter flower arrangements or display a collection. The list goes on and on. People are always surprised to hear just how many different types of things can be entered in the fair.
Entering is easy. Entering is inexpensive. Entering is fun. Entering can be profitable.
If you're local to me and live in or near Solano County, click here:
Most counties allow residents from surrounding counties to enter their fair, so if entering in your own county fair is inconvenient (perhaps you'll be vacationing during the delivery dates) or the deadline for entries has already passed, consider entering in a surrounding county.
And don't forget your kids! The age differs in each county, but Trevor has been entering at the Solano County Fair since age 3. Any child can enter - you don't need to be affiliated with a school or youth organization. The crafts your children do at school, the projects or drawings they do at home, the photos they take, the foods they make.... all of those are things you can enter. Here is Trevor showing off the ribbon he earned in the tablesetting competition last year.
Every year I encourage friends to enter things in the fair and each year I hear people tell me that their stuff isn't good enough. First of all, it probably is. Don't sell yourself short! The cards you make, the scrapbook pages you put together, the photos you take, the stitchery you do, the flowers or vegetables you grow, the cookies you bake... I'd be willing to bet there is something you've made or grown that deserves to be entered in the fair. And, to be honest, entries are down so much in some categories that there are fewer people entering than there are prizes. As a judge, I have awarded first place to the ONLY item entered in a category. A more popular category might only have a dozen entries, with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Those aren't bad odds.
I hope all of you will consider entering something (and helping your children enter something!) in your local county fair If you have any questions or need any help, please let me know. This is something I believe in passionately and am more than willing to help walk any of you through the process of entering. Long live the fair!