Sunday, August 31, 2014

Take Me to the Fair

Our tiny county fair concluded last night. It's quite a feat of volunteerism and dedication for such a small county. With a population of less than 2500 people, pulling off events like the Fair and the Maple Festival (in March) says a lot about the folks who live here. We may be small, but Highland County is a community that pulls together for the important things: fairs, festivals, and helping our neighbors in need.

I worked a shift selling ride tickets on Friday evening. Watching the children on the midway brought back a lot of memories. I grew up less than 20 miles from the West Virginia State Fair. Our family's annual afternoon and evening at the Fair was always eagerly anticipated by my sisters and me. We looked forward to the rides the most and would have gone straight to the midway upon arrival if we had been in charge. But our family's budget didn't allow for unlimited ride tickets, so we slogged through the exhibit halls and barns first. Although there were some interesting things to see, us three girls were chomping at the bit to begin our adventures on the midway. After taking in all the exhibits, it was back to the car for a picnic supper, which Mom brought from home, packed in a Styrofoam cooler. Even though we girls would have rather eaten fair food, we knew that the picnic supper meant more money for ride tickets, which was OK with us! After supper, there was more looking around until it began to get dark. You see, my parents knew that riding the rides was much more fun in the dark, and even though it meant they had to endure a lot of complaining, they made us wait. And then, when the sun finally went down, what fun we had! Thousands of colored lights blinking and twinkling, music blaring, kids (and grownups) laughing and screaming. Ride after ride, we were whizzed, jerked, spun, scrambled, twirled, and whooshed through the night air until our heads spun and our stomachs rumbled long after we headed home. By the time our car pulled into the driveway, visions of Ferris Wheels and roller coasters danced in our sleepy heads.

Now that I'm all grown up, the midway, with all its lights, noise, and stomach-churning rides doesn't hold the same appeal for me. But, after I finished my shift on Friday, I wandered around the midway with my camera. It was a beautiful night: the air was clear, not too muggy, and a beautiful crescent moon hung over the fairgrounds. I had fun snapping photos, playing with the camera settings to see what kind of photo resulted. I learned a lot about nighttime photography, which I hope I can remember! Here are some of the best photos of the evening.

I think of all the rides, my favorite was, and still would be, the Ferris Wheel. It's a kind of glorified backyard swing, which I loved, and the view from up top is exhilarating. What are some of your favorite memories of going to the fair?


  1. We were all four there once for the fair. There was a parade in Monterey that day and we all went to that also and stood down on the corner with the aunties. We clapped and hooted and hollered and got in the lovely community spirit.

    That night we went to the fair in the field across from Irene/Beany's- in that area--and the kids had a blast. Can't recall how old the kids were at that point. Anyhow, the cutest, most adorable part of the evening was Beany on the Ferris Wheel and she had a smile that was so cute and had so much fun. Irene didn't want to go on it and I think she was concerned about John a lot as we wondered around. But that sweet Beany was laughing and having the time of her life.

    There was also a demolition derby and we went to that and the kids had never seen one 'live', only on TV and we stayed for a while and then all walked home laughing and smiling and it was such a wonderful memory for all of us. All four of us keep it stored in our memories and sometimes think of it when we return to Monterey.

  2. As always, love your pictures!!!

  3. I loved your description of our Fair. Your photos of the Fair rides were extraordinary…I don’t believe anyone has ever captured the small-town romance, charm and excitement as you’ve managed to do. The Ferris Wheel shots were the ones I loved the best.

  4. Hey, you did great with those photos! Very colorful and some nice motion play!

    1. Thanks, Donna! It was the most fun I've had with the camera in a while. Hope you're all recovered from your surgery. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. What a fun post. - We went to the Fair as kids but didn't always ride that many rides either. I enjoyed the food, the exhibits and the games. Most of the rides always scared me but the Ferris Wheel was a favorite of mine and I always went on it with my dad so it still holds a special place in my heart. Loved your ride shots, they were very neat.

  6. Your photos are fabulous, my friend :) I remember spending many summer days at the fair when I was younger {{smiles}} Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration - I hope you're able to join us again this week. Hugs!


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