After living in Emory for almost five years, I finally made it to the Rains County Fair last week. It’s not that I avoided it up to this point, but all my prior fair experience was with the Texas State Fair in Dallas. That one runs for two weeks plus an extra weekend, so there’s time to dawdle over the decision about whether or not to go. The County Fair, though, lasts only five days, and in previous years, it was over before I hardly knew it had opened.
This year, however, I shared a booth with Kent Larson, another local Christian author, and I spent almost twenty hours at the Fair. I sold a few books, but mostly I chatted with people and learned more about life in small town America. Here are some of my observations:
- A parking pass is almost worth the price of the booth rental.
- A booth beside the path to the restrooms is a mixed blessing. At some point during the evening, almost everyone will walk – or run – past you, but they are often too focused on their destination to stop.
- A booth that offers a Christian memoir about caregiving, a Christian novel about baseball, and free pens has something of interest to almost everybody – with the exception mentioned in Observation #2.
- Country girls look awesome when they’re dressed to compete in a beauty pageant, but after it’s over, they can hardly wait to get back into their jeans.
- Country folks know what a trash can is for. Even on the last night there was almost no litter to be seen either outside or in the exhibit building.
- I didn’t see any salt water taffy, but other than that, the Rains County Fair was equal if not superior to the State Fair in junk food.
- Rains County kids know how to have a good time without being disrespectful or destructive.
- I have lots of very nice readers who took the time to stop by the booth to chat and ask about Kitty.
- Mutton busting has to be the cutest event ever, especially the junior-sized rodeo clowns.
- Asking your booth partner, who raises cattle, why some of the cows in the livestock area are so bony is a sure way to prove that you’re still a city girl.
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