County Fairs

Do you go to your county fair? Does your county even have a fair anymore? If you’ve never been, you should go. County fairs (and many state fairs) are an excellent mix of carnival rides, fried foods, agricultural displays, and 4H-y, home-makery type contests. You know, the kinds that win you a blue ribbon? If you’re lucky.

The Hudson Valley happens to have lots of county fairs. We’re going to another one in a few weeks. The are not cheap these days (admissions were $8 and $15 at the two we’ve been to so far), but you can often spend all day at them. My favorites are the spectacles of tractor and horse pulls. Though demolition derby’s aren’t bad either. Loud, but not bad. The concerts are generally pretty good too, especially if they’re free.

One of my favorite things to do is peruse the 4H displays – especially the ones done by kids. Some of them are adorably rustic. Some are amazingly good for the age of the person. And the knitting and sewing displays are often really good (though sometimes they are hilariously awful). My only real wish is that the food displays would have better labeling.

And then there’s the food. Fresh squeezed lemonade and orangeade, kettle corn, fresh-cut fries, fry bread, funnel cakes, and if you’re lucky, all sorts of ethnic street food. Of course, the trick is to not overeat until you feel kinda sick (harder than you might think) and to try and walk enough to undo some of the massive amounts of calories you’ve just consumed.

So here are a few photos of the two county fairs I’ve visited so far.

This adorably hand-painted sign was sitting outside of - what else - the Home Arts building.

This hand carved chess set was so neat!

I love cable knits, but am incapable of doing them. Thus this impresses me.

This fair had lots of cake and cookie entries. But see what I mean about display? I want recipes! Alas, I was too late to enter anything of my own this year. Next year I'll be more on top of things.

Even the chairs were entries to be judged!

These little tomatoes won the grand prize.

Percherons are one of my favorite draft horses. They only come in black, grey, and white.

They had a whole bunny barn. This one reminded me of Bunnicula. Do you remember Bunnicula? Don't worry, there weren't any drained veggies in the cage.

These two adorable Jersey cows were fighting over a food dish.

This little grey runner duck didn't win any big price (apparently his bill was too thin), but he was my favorite in the duck barn.

Crowd at the demolition derby. There were so many people, the show started an hour late just so they could get everyone in the door. We ate dinner while standing in line.

I am incredibly sad that I am now too old for the carousel.

The Ferris wheel at this fair had lights that changed color and moved!

Unfortunately, we did not go on the Ferris wheel (one of the few rides my stomach can handle), mainly because we are old and were tired by 10 pm.

And that’s the fair! Actually, two of them. So what do you think? Would these pictures make you want to visit one? Tell us about your favorite parts of the county fair in the comments below.

Stay tuned for a post on the tractor pull (plus a video!) and some recipes inspired by the fair.

One Response to “County Fairs”
  1. So sorry now I didn’t go to the Ulster Co. Fair, especially since there was a bunny barn.

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