I always looked forward to the county fair while growing up. It was the last big event before my birthday, which was the last big event before school started up again. From when I was in 2nd grade or so, and then all on through high school, I always entered something from my summer of 4-H into the fair.
4-H is where I learned to cook and to sew. My older sister and I had a little club with my mom as the leader where we’d meet each week and learn some new thing about nutrition or a cooking technique, and then we’d make a new recipe. Some, like orange julius, were delicious. Others, like the broiled grapefruit, were not. All summer we’d practice baking cookies or biscuits or bread so that the first week of August we could enter our polished product into the county fair. It was always exciting to go back to the fair after the judging had taken place to see what color ribbon we got – and figure out how much money we had won.
I think I was feeling nostalgic about my childhood fair experiences lately. When I was writing about my summer of growing flowers, I thought, “Well, even if I won’t be selling any at the farmer’s market this year I can still enter some into the fair!” I looked up the requirements, sweet-talked my husband into entering the flowers on the appointed day since I would be away on a work trip, and happily re-lived my 4-H days of going to the fair with the expectation of seeing something that I had made (or, in this case, grown).
We entered the ‘Flevo Eyes’ gladiolus and the 3 best looking stems of ‘State Fair’ zinnias that I had this week. The anticipation of seeing what color ribbons they were rewarded was just the same as when I was a kid, and the red-ribbons didn’t disappoint.
Were you in 4-H as a kid? What are your favorite “fair” memories?