The County Fair came to Mariposa last weekend.
I used to love going to county fairs. I loved eating the cotton candy and corn dogs, seeing the largest vegetable contests, and watching the 4H children with their animals. I even have a few ribbons from the sunflower, zucchini, and pumpkin I entered in a fair long ago.
Now though, it’s easy to be more cynical about fairs. The cotton candy is pure artificially colored and flavored sugar and who knows what goes into making the corn dogs. The docile animals paraded by their young owners are brought before the auction to be slaughtered after the fair. The carny contests are rigged so that you have to spend more and more money to win even the smallest of prizes. Parents throughout the fair were buying their toddlers toy machine guns. It was dusty and hot and food and drink cost a lot of money.
Then I walked into the Rabbit Barn. There was an assortment of rabbits in various sizes and breeds and a young girl named Trinity She offered to show off her rabbits and pose for me. She had four rabbits at the fair. They were all her pets. She was just happy to share them with me.
Trinity reminded me that there’s a lot more to the fair than crass commercialization. People of all ages still go to the fair just for the fun of it.
This serious young man was quite willing to pose with his rooster. The rooster was quite content to be still in the boy’s arms – it was obviously used to being cared for. Nor was this chicken for sale.
Not everyone looked like they were having a fun time.
The band, Hwy 4, was good and played for hours.
There were many families playing games at the fair.
The old and the very young found entertaining things to do and see there.
Papa was right behind this youngster rooting her on with her tosses.
This boy was happy pretending that he was driving this tractor.
This girl was having a quiet conversation with friends.
So yes, there are still reasons to go to county fairs. You only have to look at the people there to know even in this day and age of computer games, internet dating services, and home entertainment, county fairs are still a fun event for the entire family.