I knew I would be on the mailing list to receive the “The Great Geauga County Fair” book, because I had entered my peach pie in the fair last year. My mind, anticipating the catalog’s arrival, had already been sorting out what vegetables, jars of canned fruit and flowers I would enter in the upcoming exhibits. I walked to my mailbox. Opened it. Spotted the prized booklet for fair-entry veterans and eagerly thumbed through it before I even returned to my front door.
Sitting down at the kitchen table, writing utensil in hand, page by page, I hungrily investigated categories and classes of fair exhibit opportunities. Gently, I folded the corners of paper that held even the remotest of my interest. Daydreaming about blue ribbons, weighing the entry options and considering what garden items would be ready just in time for the fair, I made my choices and completed The Great Geauga County Fair Entry Form.
There are so many wonderful things you can do as a fair participant. Years of experience have yet to teach me that I can not manage all I would like to. I just want to try everything. If you have any hobby, you will find a niche in the fair. The list of possibilities is long and detailed, allowing everyone to share their talents and prowess for timing and preparation.
After submitting an ambitious Fair Entry Form, an individual considers how he or she will masterfully orchestrate the delivery of all entries at the right time and to the right place; with rules and regulations followed to the letter, so not to be disqualified. Once the entries are safely in the hands of The Great Geauga County Fair, left to be examined with other entries, there is a sigh of relief. An insatiable curiosity immediately follows. “How will my entry compare? Will I get a blue ribbon?”
As an onlooker, the exhibits may not change much from year to year. As an exhibitor, showing off one’s skills, the beloved fair remains fresh every year. Going to The Great Geauga County Fair is wonderful fun. Who does not indulge, at least a little, in the rich cuisine served through brightly lit trailered windows? Or strolls the fairway taking in the noisy bustle of crowd and vendors? As a visitor, the sights and sounds of the fair are dependable. As a participant, contributing one’s talents for display, a level of uncertainty and suspense is added to the experience.
Oh, the suspense. For me, it really is like Christmas morning. As a kid, especially, I could hardly wait to see if my baked good, painting, vegetables … wore a ribbon. Before I even crossed the threshold of those beautiful old buildings, my eyes began to scan the shelves or walls for confirmation. What joy would leap into my young heart when I spotted a ribbon attached to a paper tag with my name on it. A little bit of pride and pleasure crept in too. On the occasions that others were blessed to experience that joy, and not me, I was simply prodded to press on with a better plan for next year.
To participate as an exhibitor one must submit their entry form by early August. Keep that in mind for next year. If you would like to peruse a fair book, you can pick one up at the office in the fairgrounds or visit the www.GeaugaFair.com to view the electronic version of the book.