Sunday, October 2, 2016

UNIONVILLE: The 92nd year for the Fair

The Unionville Community Fair is such a wonderful tradition. This year was the 92nd year for the Fair, which started out as "the Corn Show" at what is now Unionville Elementary School. The Fair is now held on the Landhope Farms grounds in Willowdale.
I was there for the judging of the vegetables on Thursday morning, and the Longwood Gardens horticulture students who were the judges took their responsibilities very seriously. They examined each vegetable closely and debated among themselves which entries deserved ribbons (the green peppers in particular sparked much conversation).
After judging was finished, many of the Longwood students wandered through the exhibits; I heard one young man saying the Fair reminded him of his childhood in North Carolina.
The preserved foods category drew about 75 entries this year; a cherry jam took the coveted "Best of Show" ribbon. Among the more unusual entries was a jar of pickled cherry peppers stuffed with sauerkraut. Seems to me that would ward off even the most determined of cold viruses!
On Saturday morning the parade wound its way through the fairgrounds, with Scouts, an honor guard, large trucks from Tri-M, the UHS marching band, Fair Queen Eva Sheppard and her court, Fair Chairman Deborah Deckman, Sen. Andy Dinniman, old tractors, and lots of fire trucks from Station 36. After the parade the Po-Mar-Lin firefighters demonstrated their rescue skills and equipment, methodically dismantling a junked car. 
At the baking competitions on Saturday, the judges sampled apple pies, chocolate cakes, and chocolate brownies and cookies. The nine-year-old boy who won the latter contest for his amazing minty, fudgy chocolate brownies was watching the judging and lit up with a huge grin when informed that he won. His family members cheered and embraced him and took lots of photos. The judges encouraged him to keep baking!
The "Tiny House" brought by Sheds Unlimited drew a lot of attention from fairgoers. In less than 400 square feet, the house managed to include a compact kitchen, bathroom, living room and loft bedroom, accessed by a ladder. It was the antithesis of the mega-mansions that seem so popular today. I overheard some guests saying it would serve as a wonderful beach house.
Storyteller Robin Moore brought to the Fair his home-made Ice Age hunting implements and clothing, explaining how he created the arrow and spear points from stone and bone, lashed them to the wooden handles with sinews, and welded them in place with glue and pine pitch. I didn't realize what a vital role dogs played in hunting: Robin explained that they would smell and track the prey, followed at quite a distance by the humans. They would also protect the freshly killed game from other hungry predators.
These paragraphs don't cover a fraction of all the activities and exhibits. Can you tell I love the Fair?

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