Starting to settle back in to life in Rhode Island, so I wanted to finally get back to writing about my experience at the State Fair in Ohio. State Fairs create all sorts of different communities that come together and for the two weeks form one large community. This includes those who attend the fair as well as those who participate in making it happen in some form.
I have no idea how I managed to get a picture of the entrance with so few people. I’ll chalk it up to it being a Thursday when I took this. When I went back the next day, a Friday, the line was past the gates almost to the flags from the white tents behind the Ohio sign. Waiting forms a quasi-community if you want to call it that as you likely will end up talking to those in front of you or behind you, at least I usually do, especially when lines are long like this. There are also usually promotions for admission. On one of the two days I went, scouts who showed up in their troop uniforms could get in for free, and seeing them and the adults they went with talking with other scouting groups was neat, and it wasn’t always a case of them knowing each other prior to the fair, just striking up conversation about where in Ohio they troops were based.
There are numerous communities among those groups that set up tents or partake in the showing of arts and crafts: bakers who share recipes, the people who made the model trains who chat with one another as fair attendees watch the trains go around the track – the same can be said for the quilters, miniature makers, and sewers as people admire their work.
There are the communities of vendors and ride workers who travel around from fair to fair together or just see each other annually in Columbus for this fair.
There are the farmers who bring their livestock or vegetables for showing purposes, those who ride horses in competitions, and those who rent out the campsites nearby to camp out and attend the fair for two weeks. There is even a virtual community on Twitter who waited for updates on the births of the baby animals like Virgil who was born early Thursday morning at the fair and was only hours old when I snapped this photo.
So fairs create communities, and I’m sure many other events do too. Do you agree? What have your experiences been like at events like this?