These days, Facebook and Twitter are considered the premium social networking sites, but for our money you can’t beat the county fair.
The county fair has been the site of social networking for more than a hundred years, and is still going strong.
There’s just something special when the air carries that unique aroma of cotton candy and manure — you just know it’s fair time.
The Richmond County Agricultural Fair in Hamlet wrapped recently, and even in the face of adverse weather, organizers were considering the annual event a success, bringing thousands of folks together for fun and a few blue ribbons.
There really is nothing like the spectacle that is a county fair. The community event has something for everyone, from hot elephant ears and corn dogs, to quilts and canned beans, to roller coasters and ring toss games.
Everyone, from the sticky toddler on the fiberglass motorcycle going round and round, to the proud senior who just earned another championship ribbon for the crafts filling the exhibition building, love the county fair.
Hattie Ingram Bane, an 82-year-old employee with Rockingham Hardware, entered several items into this year’s fair and now displays her ribbons in the window of the business.
Good for her.
Bane said she has been entering the exhibition contests for six years, and brings home ribbons each year for homemade quilts, plants, birdhouses, dolls and other creative projects.
“I have to credit my mother for the crafts and sewing,” she said.
She first became involved with the contest through a friend. “I gave a friend of mine a quilt in honor of her parents, and she entered it,” Bane said. “That’s what got me started.”
This year, Bane said she entered 54 pieces in the competition, and walked away with 41 ribbons. That is impressive.
“Some of these will be gifts,” she said of the homemade crafts that stretched across a display table in the hardware store. In various aisles of the store hung ribbons collected during past years.
Not to be outdone is one of Bane’s elders, 91-year-old Cassie Williamson, a Lady Lion who has had a competitive exhibit at the county fair for more than 40 years.
“I started in the early ’70s,” Williamson said, as she made last-minute preparations to her exhibit last week. “I’ve climbed these steps many-a-times, and it’s been a lot of fun … I’ll be here as long as I can.”
Williamson’s exhibit featured various items in the arts and crafts category, including pictures, Christmas items and afghans and quilts.
Looking at the tenacity of these crafty ladies, it’s nice to know there is a special place for their handmade wonders. Keep it up, Hattie and Cassie. You make the rest of us look like lazy bones.
The Richmond County Agricultural Fair is brought to us each year by the Hamlet Lions Club.
Thank you, Hamlet Lions, we can’t wait until next September.