Going to the Fair!

Today I dropped off eight items for the VA State Fair. Several of them I just blogged about! There is the 63 Squares Afghan, crocheted lion, duct tape purse/wallet, plastic bag bag, and christening gown, plus a wire and bead bracelet, my "Hospitality" doily, and something else I can't share right now. :-)

Of course the category I am most excited about is the Nimble Fingers contest, a speed crochet contest that will be in about two weeks. Let's hope I fare well this year.

I love fairs. I have always loved going and looking at all of the arts and crafts. Quilts, lace, all sorts of things that I imaged were done by some crafting elite, that had secret guilds and were set off from us mere mortals. Then I started crafting, and these things became less "unattainable" and more"inspirational". Then I entered.

One of the things I like best, though, is drop off. I like to go near the end of drop off, so that I can see what everyone has brought before me, just a brief glimpse, like a movie teaser. I like to see all of the fair setting up outside: the empty tent that will soon be full of cheering kids and racing pigs; the rides still folded up from travel; the field of vendor carts ready to roll in and set up. I like to imagine people that will be coming, and people who have gone to fairs and exhibitions for literally centuries. I feel such a bond with them, and so honored that people I don't know will be looking at my work on display, even if it's just passing through.

Sadly, there seems to be less entered than I remember when I was younger. Especially at the county fair, the risers seemed somewhat bare.

Have you thought about entering in your local fair? Why didn't you? "There's not much entered; I want some real competition, or else the ribbon won't mean anything" and "I don't think my work is 'fair worthy' " are the top two reasons I've heard from people that I talk to.

When you enter work in the fair, you inspire others to pick up the hook (or maybe unlock another creative outlet), and you inspire others that crochet to enter. You inspire new projects for other crocheters. Perhaps the item you didn't think was "fair worthy" would embolden one other person to enter next year, realizing the fair isn't an elite competition of invitation, but an open call for sharing. Maybe you'll just get a deeper bond to your roots.

Don't get me wrong; ribbons are fun to win, but it's knowing that I might be doing for some other young (or not so young!) fairgoer what the entries of fairs in my childhood did for me that really motivates me to fill out the forms and take my work off to the Arts & Crafts building. I hope you all will, too!


posted by Unknown on Sunday, September 24, 2006 @ 12:52 AM


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