Fair Season Is On In Indiana!

Hoosier Perspectives

Cotton candy, swine shows and rain define many fairs.

Published on: June 27, 2011

The Rush County Fair was just one of the fairs that started the fair season last week. More are underway this week. If you love county fairs, this is your time to shine.

One year ago the Rush County fair was deluged with rain. Volunteers pumped out thousands of gallons of water just so the fair could go on. I haven't had the guts to ask, but it likely saw some rain last week too. Some people think rains and county fairs go together like snowstorms and the basketball sectionals. At least they used to talk about that, before the IHSAA destroyed what was a Hoosier tradition and created class basketball instead. Now you would be lucky if one person out of 10 could tell you who won a state basketball championship this year.

Tom Boyd could. He and his family will host the Farm Management tour as the first second-day stop at their farm and grain operation near Washington on Wednesday morning, 8 am EDT (June 29). The Washington Hatchets won another championship. Tom is one of the unofficial backers who sees that as many people as possible get tickets when the team makes it to the state finals. Lately, that's become a regular occurrence.

Most people, however, would be far more likely to tell you when their county fair is than how their local basketball team fared in post-season play last year. Fairs still feature 4-H shows, cracker jack, tractor pulls, cotton candy and many more activities that bring people out.

Nearly every fair has its favorite foods. At Johnson County, it's Farm Bureau milkshakes and homemade ice cream from the Indiana Creek FFA. Add to that a new tradition, grilled cheese sandwiches, featuring all dairy products, made by the Franklin FFA chapter and served in the Farm Bureau building.

If your fair is noted for a favorite food, let us know. We would love to put together a list of the most unique items offered at county fairs. If it's an elephant ear or lemon shakeup, what makes yours special?

I've already heard one family longing for the Indiana State Fair, just so they could try out new foods that might be offered. And it may not make the Indiana State Fair, but one of the inventors of far-out fried food, Chicken Charley, has a new one, fried Kool-aid. No thanks, If I want Kool-aid, I'll drink it.

Fair season is here. Make the most of a break from this wacky year. And share what's unique about your county fair with us. Email: tbechman@farmprogress.com.