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Traditions You Treasure


When you think state or county fair, what do you think?  Funnel cakes and corn dogs?  Ferris wheels and carousels?  What about youth, livestock, projects and family traditions?

The West Virginia State Fair’s theme this year was “Traditions You Treasure”, and walking through the craft displays and livestock barns, it was obvious that there were many traditions that have been handed down…and even more that are just being created.  If you are not directly involved (or related to someone who is involved) with the competition side of the fairs (the baked goods, produce and crops that are grown for competition, and horse and livestock shows), it’s sometimes easy to miss all the hard work and passion that goes into these.  But spend some time in the barns, or walk through the craft section and really look at what people have grown or created, and that passion and hard work, the traditions handed down from one generation to the next, start to show. 

A walk through the baked goods competition shows participants of all ages, and it is easy to see that most of the younger competitors are being taught traditions and skills from those who have had years of practice.  A walk through the livestock barns tells a similar story – parents and other leaders helping youth (some as young as 3 or 4) learn about caring for animals and competing, as well as sharing about their passion with those who walk through.  And more, there are signs sharing information about agriculture as you walk through the fair, helping to share information about how crops, food and livestock are raised so that the tradition of agriculture is kept alive even as the number of people that are directly involved in agriculture decreases. 

Funnel cakes and Ferris wheels are fun…but if you attend a fair this fall, make sure to add a walk through the barns and the crafts to your itinerary, it’s worth the time.

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