County Fair Travels

While North Carolina’s Fair season technically began back in May with the Alamance County Fair, my strategically planned, plotted and mapped adventures in County Fair Travels begins now (cue Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”).

On Wednesday, July 29, I took a trip to the Bethware Community Fair in Kings Mountain, N.C.

Bethware Community Fair, Kings Mountain, NC. Now through August 1.

Bethware Community Fair, Kings Mountain, N.C. Now through August 1.

This agricultural fair takes over the playground and gymnasium of Bethware Elementary School, where profits from the fair’s fundraising efforts are given to the school’s teachers for classroom needs. In previous years, the fair took place while school was in session, and students were allowed to enjoy the carnival rides, farm animals and food during the day! Now that’s my idea of an engaging lesson plan!

According to organizers, the number of competition entries from youth participants is way up, which is fantastic – I’ll give them an A+. They even have their own Facebook page!

If you’re in the Cleveland County area, be sure to check out the Bethware Community Fair, happening now through Saturday, August 1.

Before you ask, “GreenThing, why are you visiting county fairs?!?” The answer is that I am only a part-time green thing. One of my other job responsibilities is to be the Agricultural Fairs (a.k.a. County Fairs) Coodinator for the NCDA&CS. With approval from Commissioner Troxler, I’m responsible for licensing and inspecting each organization that wants to call itself a “fair,” to ensure that they meet certain criteria, including:

  • The fair must offer a variety of agriculturally based competitions, with categories that reward the best field and horticultural crops, baked goods, hand-made clothing, flowers, livestock and more. The fair must promote these competitions in the form of a premium book, and have at least 50 exhibitors and 150 entries.
  • Encourage local 4-H Clubs, FFA members and commodity groups to participate in all aspects of the fair, and have information about these organizations on display.
  • Offer to give back at least 10 percent of the fair’s gross receipts for competition prize money.

The trip to Kings Mountain was an easy one. Later this season I will make whirlwind travels to multiple fairs on the same day! Am I crazy? Maybe. But this is truly one of my favorite job duties, so check back to see where I go next.

About Blue Ribbon

Natalie Alford blogged for the 2009-2011 N.C. State Fairs. This is her bio from 2009: I work at the Fairgrounds year-round, so I'm always in the middle of the fun! During the Fair, I work with the press office team to organize events and exhibits, and log a lot of miles on my pedometer. I'm also the County Agricultural Fairs Coordinator, which means I license, promote and visit North Carolina's agricultural fairs and enjoy thousands of blue ribbon entries every year. I hope to see you at the Fair!

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