The County Fair

Cock of the walk

It isn’t called the county fair any longer.  It is now the Whidbey Island Area Fair.  It is still the same fair, carnival, hotdogs, cotton candy, blue ribbon cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses.  Lots of folks and lots of things to see including vegetables of all sizes and shapes, beautiful flowers, photography, fine arts, crafts, quilts and needle work.  All kinds of people in all shapes, sizes, and some are multicolored, showing off their body artwork in scantily clad attire. Unfortunately, it rained this last evening of the fair and people were leaving in droves.  The band that was highlighted this evening had a small audience after the rain started.  The food vendors lost almost all their customers and the carnival rides were looking wet and deserted.

We usually go to the fair the first day to see the flowers, and vegetables and fruits before they wilt and shrivel and before the mold starts on the pies and bread.  The goods look attractive and appealing then.  They were beginning to look a little frowsy by today.

Vegetable critters are a hoot.  Kids have a competition making things from various vegetable parts.  We like to see these the first day while these critters are still recognizable as something.  By today, the last day, they are morphing (moldering) into something that was never expected by their creators. Some are pretty interesting after four days without benefit of any refrigeration.

Of course there are the commercial displays with the hawkers trying to lure us to the vegimatic choppers or the synthetic jeweled jewelry that is a cheap price.  The cable TV companies want us to subscribe to their four hundred stations and I just smile.  We haven’t owned a television for almost forty-five years now.  They would have better luck trying to sell me a book.

We saw chariot races in the arena this year, something I don’t remember seeing in the past.  Teams of four semi miniature horses racing flat out against each other.  Kind of breath-taking.  All in good fun and not a battle, just a race.

The greatest animal participation is the horses.  There must be five horse clubs in this jurisdiction and they all come decked out for parades, competitions, races and just judging of the animals.  Lots and lots of ribbons there.

The poultry barn was the usual din.  Roosters crowing constantly were competing with the hens squawking.  The bantam (miniature) roosters crowing voices are several octaves above that of the “heavy” (read large) breeds.  The poor, sleepy rabbits cohabitate in the same barn and don’t speak a word as their breathing and esophageal parts are separate and they have no voice box.  Chickens also make a great deal of dust.  Eggs are judged here as well for consistency of color, size and freshness.  This is one of my favorite barns being a chicken farmer myself.

Well it is the second week in August and at nine tonight the fair will close for this year.  All the folks camping at the fair will go home and resume their real lives with 9 to 5 jobs from which they have taken time off for the festivities at the fair.

As I mentioned it rained.  Most of the days were cool in the 60’s for the most part.  This was good for the animals as they didn’t get over-stressed by heat.  I am not sure that they didn’t get over-stressed by people looking, poking them, giving them things to eat they shouldn’t eat and more, so I think the animals are probably the most grateful to return home to rest until we do it all again next year.

email Pig #1 (caught in the flowers again

4 thoughts on “The County Fair

  1. I Love all your pieces, but had to reply to this one since I missed the fair this year. Just did not get to it – was it earlier? I like to go look at the needlework stuff and your art. I adore the painting of the pig looking over the fence. Perfect accompaniment to this piece!! Thanks again for new information, as well as stuff we are all familiar with but do not necessarily see.


  2. Our island’s small fair brings one back to the joy of a real rural fair experience with all the items you have described in your blog post. It’s still remains ‘home town’ and unsophisticated for locals and visitors to feel to experience. I can’t ever imagine calling it anything else but the Island County Fair! I enjoyed reading about the fair with your paintings of the rooster and my favorite farm animal…the pig.


  3. So enjoyed your Blog and your two paintings are excellent.  The chicken wire on the Rooster painting almost looks like it could be a puzzle.  Have you thought of making some of your animal paintings into puzzles?   Okay, just a fleeting thought.  No rain here…darn.  We had some rain drops for about 5 minutes today and that was it.  They promise rain for tomorrow…sure hope so as the garden needs it as well as our forests.  We had some high temps last week……then clouds drifted inland. Bill and I have been getting out for walks more often and trying new places to eat.  Still hope to get to the ocean in September.   Craig and Joy have been coping.  Joy’s back gave out so Craig is trying to help as much as he can with household chores and cooking.  I keep waiting for some positive news health wise for them.  They are real troopers….what a team.  Their love of birds and wildlife keep them going on a positive path. You and Bob are no doubt busy with your place and gardens, too.   Any travel plans in the near future?  Take care and takes again for sharing your blog…. ~ Fran ~

    From: deonmatzen To: Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 9:01 PM Subject: [New post] The County Fair #yiv3788734901 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3788734901 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3788734901 a.yiv3788734901primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3788734901 a.yiv3788734901primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3788734901 a.yiv3788734901primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3788734901 a.yiv3788734901primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3788734901 | deonmatzen posted: “It isn’t called the county fair any longer.  It is now the Whidbey Island Area Fair.  It is still the same fair, carnival, hotdogs, cotton candy, blue ribbon cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses.  Lots of folks and lots of things to see including vegetables” | |


  4. Hi Deon – I love this posting – great description of the fair – and I really LOVE your painting of the pig – would you bring that to class? And how much would it cost me?? Fran



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