Handiwork, or something that is made or done, has become less popular as our time has become more focused on convenience. But in every town, there are the makers. Makers like that girl who sewed her own prom dress or that guy who decorates cakes for special occasions. We should celebrate the makers whether they have baked a loaf of bread from scratch or built a pirate ship out of Lego bricks.
That is where your county fair comes in.
Your county fair isn’t just for kids in 4-H, even though they are a huge part of it. Your county fair showcases the talents and abilities of all ages.
Did you sew a blanket this year with fabric from your grandpa’s work shirts? Did you make a wreath for your front door? Paint your own pottery items are something to be admired. Barn quilts and painting party creations can be entered as well.
Can you bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies that rival Martha Stewart’s? Do you have a great cake recipe that uses a mix? Those would be terrific entries for your county fair.
Don’t care for baking and you don’t know how to sew? Get a fair preview book from your county Extension agent—yes, you have one—and find a category that fits your hobbies. The recent pictures you posted to Instagram could earn you a blue ribbon at your county fair. Your county fair most likely has a category for those but you will never know unless you ask.
Does your child like to build Lego sets but isn’t enrolled in 4-H? The Open Division is a perfect fit, no matter your age or ability. If your little Picasso prefers paint-by-numbers there is a place for them, too.
Celebrating our place in this world and the variety of our talents is the heart of the county fair experience. Watch the older kids teach the first-year 4-Hers how to show their sheep. Meet the great-grandma who knitted a blanket for her granddaughter’s graduation gift. One mom took pictures while she was out feeding cattle during the ice storm this past winter and they might be only displayed at your county fair.
Even if you aren’t a maker, I urge you to make time to attend your county fair. If you’ve been known to grumble that there isn’t anything to do in your hometown, I’m asking you nicely to attend your county fair. If you have little kids at home, your county fair offers a long list of activities that are free to attend. All they ask is that you appreciate the work they have put in to make it great. Celebrating the makers isn’t about who is better than everyone else, it is about celebrating the best in us all. This is what your county fair has to offer you.
Jennifer Theurer can be reached at 620-227-1858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.