County Fair Definitions:
According to Webster: a fair usually held annually at a set location in a county especially to exhibit local agricultural products and livestock.
Wikipedia’s definition of Fairs: A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary with scheduled times lasting from an afternoon to several weeks.
Dictionary.com defines a fair as:
1. an exhibition, usually competitive, of farm products, livestock, etc., often combined in the U.S. with entertainment and held annually by a county or state.
2. a periodic gathering of buyers and sellers in an appointed place.
3. an exposition in which different exhibitors participate, sometimes with the purpose of buying or selling: a science fair.
4. an exhibition and sale of articles to raise money, often for some charitable purpose.
Fairs are so much more. A County Fair is a community’s celebration of their accomplishments, a place to reconnect with friends, learn about a new product, be entertained, or just sit and relax.
Any event can have food stands, vendors selling products/services, carnival rides, entertainment, and even competitions (who hasn’t heard of the Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island every July 4th?).
In reality, many events call themselves “fairs”, however, most lack what makes a county fair unique – and that’s their competitive exhibits.
I started my Fair Industry career when I was in 4-H and FFA. I was a member of 4-H for 9 years and FFA for 3 years. I showed some livestock and also participated in what was called “home arts” and can now be considered hobby, arts/crafts, etc..
We would spend all year long preparing our items for the annual county fair. The excitement of completing the item, and then taking it to the Fair to drop it off for judging, getting our animals ready for the Fair, packing up all the feed and grooming items. And then it was off to the Fair.
Opening day we anxiously waited for the exhibit buildings to open to see what our items had won….or in some cases didn’t win. Either way, it was always exciting to see our item “on display” at the Fair!
And that is truly what makes a county fair unique.