It’s been probably more than 10 years since I attended our local Sonoma County Fair. I found myself remembering many past visits, realizing how much I have changed through the years. I didn’t have any inclination toward the Cinnabon booth, for instance. And the fair has changed as well. I got in for free! (They took me for over 60 and I didn’t care.) So there were lots of old people, wheelchairs and slow walkers, each with their own idea of “fair” in mind, I’m sure.
My reason for going was to stoke up my animal connections with my drawing pad and camera. Horses have been such an important part of my life and they leave a rather large hole. How interesting to meet up with two women demonstrating at the fiber arts section of the crafts barn. They both remembered me from my horse training years. It was great to see them and hear about their lives now, one with and one without horses.
Fairs are almost surreal. Where else can you see a giant plastic rooster, a carved Tall Ship in a bottle, deep-fried artichokes, horse races and judged table settings? In the past it was a place to show off our work, especially agricultural in nature. Now that ag is less part of most people’s lives, what will happen to county fairs? The world is changing, becomes more digital, more plastic. Will the fair’s fast food play a bigger role? Or will sales of spas and special knives and sponsorships by big companies keep people coming? What about the mid-way. I guess we’ll see together, what will happen to this unique type of event.