The Washington County [Pennsylvania] Republican Party had a large booth at the fair, as it always does. The booth was a big attraction from morning to night. During the evenings, there were consistently large groups of people at the booth. Some just wanted to talk about how the president’s policies were helping their businesses. Others talked about pay raises, still others about how the president was keeping his promises. Results matter to these people, and they are seeing results. Family and country matter to these people, and they see their families and their country better off under President Trump. Many who stopped wanted their picture taken with the “Don and Melania” cutout.County fair season ends before the baseball pennant races are even settled, which is to say, far, far, before anyone need worry about national politics. Yes, it might be the case that sentiments the cosmopolitans might find, er, triggering, are more common on the fairgrounds than, say, in the common room.
Many wanted to register to vote or to change their registration to Republican. Many of the registrations and changes were twenty-somethings, which is telling. Many others wanted to sign up to work for the party.
If we had Trump signs available, we could have given out a thousand or more to people who wanted to put them in their yards that day. Some 400 people joined the party as active workers. There were two booths this year selling Trump merchandise. In total, this far exceeded what we saw several months before the 2016 election. Imagine what it will be at this time next year.
Across the aisle from us was the Democratic Party booth. It is no exaggeration to say it was mostly empty. There was no enthusiasm or energy on the other side.
That, though, is not what the county fair is about.
Looking around the crowd, the uniform of the day was work boots, jeans, tee-shirts, and ball caps. Those who were not sporting Trump gear were obviously well familiar with John Deere, Kubota, a number of seed companies, Remington, Winchester, the NRA, and John 3:16.Put aside all the high political theorizing and enjoy the 4-H projects. County Fair season winds down after the Labor Day weekend, and I made a return visit to the Walworth County Fair, getting there just about cow-milking time.
The parking lot was full of pickup trucks because these are working people. They drive America. They are directly impacted by what people at all levels of government do — not in a theoretical or philosophical way, but in a very real way.
Perhaps it might be neither mannerly nor prudent to say too many positive things about the Green New Deal.
The 4-H projects (here is a roundup from a few years ago) never disappoint.
That's an old window frame repurposed as a kitchen message board. It's Wisconsin, ya know?
There are separate categories for Lego projects, and other sorts of construction stuff. These toys have become very sophisticated over the past fifty years. At least a few youngsters, though, are cultivating the right intense interests.
The Walworth County Fair still draws a large crowd, and I was able to continue my bridge learning with a bargain book from a church fund-raiser.
In Illinois, the dominance of the one-crop farm and the changing nature of animal husbandry has led to smaller county fairs, and sometimes the 4-H hold a separate smaller fair. The Tri-County Fair in Mendota had a good taco stand running, but no carnival rides (another visitor noted that there had been some in previous years.)
There was a livestock auction about to take place on the other end of the grounds, and apparently the organizers attempted a tractor pull the night before despite the rain, judging from the ruts left the next day.
The concluding county fair in the area is the long-running DeKalb County Fair, which everybody refers to as the Sandwich Fair, for the community that hosts it.
I still don't understand raising domesticated garden pests and showing them, but, whatever. Go for the 4-H projects.
The weather wasn't that great, but these might have been the happiest bear cubs in Illinois.
And the fair offers a re-enactment of a medicine show from a century ago.
Here, the volunteer from the audience is operating a brain-wave transmitter to help the audience guess the card the magician picked. Don't call that transmitter an egg-beater, and try not to think of six diamonds and at most six high card points.
I didn't find any cream puffs, but there's a coffee vendor with the kind of exotic offerings that might make the more urban patron feel at home.
Yes, the weather was gloomy for all three of those fair visits, and it has only been six months since our last snowfall. You have to savor the county fair season when it's there.
Even though, as this picture from DeKalb's Corn Fest shows, children of all ages must now go through security screening to enjoy the midway.
No wandering into the midway from the parking lot or the library any more, sorry.
The corn on the cob, and the food booths, are still good. Enjoy.
I hope to be able to report on more fairs and Oktoberfests in another year. The honor students are about to take the court.