Posts Tagged ‘County Fair’

Back where I grew up, they are picking their best produce, whipping up their best recipes, scrubbing down their 4-H animals, gulping  gallons of lemonade and indulging in dozens of “Happy Bowls” at the annual County Fair this week.

It was always a fun time of year as a kid. Everybody went at least one day. I remember strolling through the animal barns with my dad, begging for a bag of cotton candy and gawking at the huge and sometimes bizarre produce on display. I have never liked the carnival, so that wasn’t a big draw, but you could get all the junk food a little body could hold, see friends and family you hadn’t visited with for a while and, in general, enjoy all the spectacles the fair provided.

When I was in college and desperate for a summer job, I spent several weeks working at the fairgrounds, first as a grunt and then in the office (which was way more fun!). The fair manager was a sweet and wonderful lady who made going to work a pleasure.

Even where we now reside, we can go to any one of three county fairs in our immediate area.

For those of you who are too far away from a county fair or not into the whole carnival/dirt/smell/crowd thing that goes along with it, think about hosting a county fair themed party. It could be a lot of fun for both you and your guests.

Start out with the invitations. Make it look country using red or blue checked paper with contrasting red or blue gingham ribbon.

Set tables with red and white checked tablecloths. Nothing says “county fair” quite like those fun table coverings. You can find inexpensive plastic ones at party or craft stores or cloth ones at most department stores.

Use sunflowers as centerpieces and to highlight tables. Loosely arrange them in canning jars and tie a piece of gingham fabric around the top of the jars. If you have old jars that have turned blue, even better!

Ask guests to bring something to enter in a judging competition. It could be produce, a craft project, whatever. Although I recommend leaving the animals at home. Trust me on this one. Have everyone vote on their top three favorite entries, tally the votes and give ribbons out. You can easily make your own (or have the kids make them). Here is a website with a fun step-by-step guide. How to Make a Fair Ribbon

The food could be potluck or you can go “whole hog” and make a fun selection of  fair food like corn dogs, funnel cakes, lemonade and home-made ice cream. Here is a link  Funnel Cake Mix to some good funnel cake mix if you don’t want to make it from scratch.  You can also get a tasty corn dog batter mix here. Please ignore the fact that I know you can order them from Bass Pro Shops. Please. Thank you.

You could even set up some fun country fair type games. Attach balloons to a piece of foam board and have darts people can throw to pop the balloons. You can use jar rings and empty pop bottles for a ring toss. Sack races, water balloon fights and tug-of-war are all inexpensive and fun. Prizes could be fun little trinkets picked up from the dollar store.

Have fun with this theme and see if it doesn’t become a great party you and your friends remember for a long time to come. And eat a funnel cake for me!

Happy Entertaining!


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