While there were several yearly fairs within an easy driving distance of most my childhood homes, the Franklin County Fair has always been a favorite. While it has its share of carnival rides and games like the rest, my favorite parts of the Franklin County Fair have always been the produce and craft competitions.
As children, my brother and I entered our own creations into the competitions - from creative scarecrows and flowers to baked goods and hand crafts. Over the years I won first prize for my petunias and my muffin mix (with muffins to prove its worthiness!) and was even robbed of first prize for my knitting as the judges didn't think I could have made something that well by myself.
Each year I look forward to seeing everything on display in the round house and the children's building as well as all the different animals. This tradition would not be complete without a piece of fried dough with maple cream from the local booth. I'm happy to steer clear of any booth with large lettering (like the non-local vendors) and am content to reminisce and even drool over the gorgeous array of home-canned foods on display from the competitions.
It's always interesting to watch things change as the years pass. One delightful addition to this year's fair was compost and recycle bins at the trash stations. I am so thankful to live in a place where even mainstream events are becoming aware of the need for efforts just like this.
Now I shall look forward to my other favorite fair each year, the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival in October. Especially as we look toward expanding our family, I am so thankful to have these traditions to mark the yearly rhythm of our life.
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