12 Truths For Anyone Who's Shown At The Fairfield County Fair

12 Truths For Anyone Who's Shown At The Fairfield County Fair

That's FCF if you didn't know.
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When the start of October rolls around, most people are gearing up for Halloween but for me as a kid, that wasn't even on my radar. That's because, for me, October was all about the Fairfield County Fair. The last fair in the state of Ohio, it's a little different than some others. But, if you've ever been an exhibitor at good ol' FCF, there are some things you know to be true.

1. It's a family affair.

Chances are the reason that you started showing, regardless of what species or project, is that someone else in your family did before you, whether it be your siblings, your parents or even your grandparents. And everyone in the family helps chip in. You wash together, feed together, win together, lose together and enjoy every moment of it together.

2. Everyone knows everyone.

Hope you're not trying to keep a low profile because that will never happen! With as many kids have gone through those barns you'd think it'd be hard to keep track of them all but LOL it's not apparently. Everybody actually knows everybody.

3. Last names carry a lot of weight.

And because everyone knows everyone that means everyone knows your last name. Last names carry weight on those grounds as does who you're related to, period. Every year they try to get livestock judges who aren't local so there's no bias, but that doesn't mean it's the same out of the ring.

4. Certain families dominate every year.

They said it best on the auction block this year, "There are just some names you see posted in that class list and you know they're probably gonna win." This is absolutely true. It could be showmanship and they're just that good, or it could be market classes and their animals are just that good, there are some families that just always did extremely well. Matter of fact, during my years it was the Bachmans and the Millers, you never forget these things.

5. Making the queens court is a big deal.

Come early Monday morning and everyone is asking one question; who was named Junior Fair Queen? Fairfield County is pretty cool too. While many counties do pageants, ours select the top ten applicants –– more than double what some counties even have in applications –– for a business formal interview. Everyone fills the stands for Panorama Sunday night just to watch the crowning at the very end.

6. Everyone's chasing a purple banner.

After the queen's crowned, now everyone wants to know who's gonna win it all in every species. Everyone out there is gunning for Grand Champion. The number one spot at the sale and bragging rights for the next year, who wouldn't want it? Of course, that's all up to the judge and everyone has different opinions. Regardless of who wins, it'll be the talk of the rest of the week.

7. Senior showmanship is cutthroat.

A lot of times in just about any species you'll see massive classes in the youngest age groups of showmanship and they slowly get a little smaller til you get to the senior division. That doesn't make it any easier. In fact, it just gets harder. Yes, you get better each year, but so does everyone else and the tougher the judges are on you. Your senior showmen are normally the best of the best and one little mistake can make a big difference.

8. Fall weather is referred to as fair weather.

If you showed in Fairfield County, you know what it means when someone refers to fall as fair weather. Most counties have their fairs in the heart of the summer, but being in October often means it's a little cooler and the leaves are changing. Really, it's just fair weather.

9. But the weather is still unpredictable.

You really never know what you're going to get weather-wise with a fair this late in the year. While you expect it to be a little chilly, which is normally is some years, you don't always expect nearly eighty-degree heat like we had this year in 2017. Other years it's actually been that hot at the start of the week then snowed by the end. And don't forget the rain or tornado warnings. Good times.

10. The best fair food comes from a crockpot.

Sure now, you've always gotta get yourself some chicken noodles from the Amanda Clearceek stand, a breakfast sandwich from Rubes or fish from Madisons, but that's not always the real best of the fair food. The best fair food comes in the form of crockpots and covered dishes stashed in the campers. As an exhibitor, your mom or your friends' moms always made the absolute best food ever for everyone. And it's free!

11. The people watching is the best.

I'm not afraid to say that there are some interesting people who come to the county fair. And I mean really, really interesting. Any 4-H or FFA family knows they love to people watch even if they won't admit it. I mean come on, it's better than reality TV.

12. It'll always be the best time of year.

As I've grown older the generation I grew up with has become advisors, the ones above us have children, and the advisors have become Senior Fair Board or committee members, and the older board members are now buyers. But we all keep coming back year after year, because no matter how old we get or where life takes us, we wouldn't miss it for the world. After all, we save the best fair for last, and there's no better time of year than the Fairfield County Fair.


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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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5 Things To Look Forward To This Summer

You will not ever be bored if you use your time wisely.
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Earlier I did an article where I spoke about 5 things not to look forward to this summer. But despite those mishaps, there is sure to be a lot of great, terrific things to look forward to this summer. You guys are looking forward to topping last year's summer, and I hope you achieve it. But here are 5 things to look forward to.

1. The cookouts/barbecues

The cookouts and barbecues are going to be a sure fire thing...literally. I can smell the food now. The roasted hot dogs, the flame-grilled hamburgers, and the salty potato chips!!!! Oh my!!! And I would also like barbecue chicken to go along with my cookout, and it would be a perfect cookout. But the best cookouts is when they are tons of people, and everyone is chucking it up and having a great time. Those are the memories that will be cherished forever. It will not be the potato salad that was made by a secret recipe that your mom will cherish forever. Or it will not be the endless food that you have to store away, before it gets eaten quickly. But seriously, you all should do this!!!

2. The beaches/oceans/pools

With great food comes water, and water is around us 24/7. Why not indulge in it, by taking a plunge into the water. Besides drinking water, we can enjoy the beaches, the oceans and even the pools. But the pool may be cleaner, at least I hope. You can be one with yourself when you are in the water. The sun and the temperatures are going to be brutal this summer, and it is refreshing to dive in to the water, besides the water in your bathtub. Caution: please be safe at all times when you are going around water. Just because it is refreshing does not mean, it will not kill you. I know you all are going to do somersaults and having contests, of who can hold their breath the longest under water, but be careful. But aside from all that, I LOVE THE WATER!!!!

3. Family time

During the majority of the year, we as individuals are constantly berated with different tasks. Whether it be tasks for our jobs, our spouses, our side businesses or even a friend, we have something that occupies our time, besides our family. When the summer comes, everything tends to simmer down. Business seems to go slower, everyone is not in a rush to get from point A to point B. With that being said, there would be more time for us to spend time with family. We can come visit our parents, our grandparents, and aunts and uncles. We can even have weird conversations with our little cousins, and make them laugh until the sun goes down. These are all impactful, gracious times that you can never get, and are cherished for a lifetime. These are times that we need to share with our family, because we all are not here forever.

4. The environment

Even though it is going to be hot and humid, it still makes a great time to get many things done. The summer nights are going to be longer, the stars are going to shine brighter than ever before, and there is going to be fire brewing wherever you go. You can go camping and makes those s'mores like nobody else can. You can have those long car rides, that only time will tell you where you will end up. You can go kayaking and hiking along the mountains and waterfalls, that nature itself cannot explain, how beautiful this world really is. This world is a great, mystique beauty to see, and the best part is, everyone can experience it.

5. Idle time

I know in my last article I said that, boredom can be a nuisance when the summer comes, just because everything slows down. But this can also work out in your favor. You will not ever be bored, if you use your time wisely. Take your idle time to read that book you been meaning to read, work on your music, if you are me, and do something self-reflection. If there is anything you need to work on yourself, whether it be emotionally, physically, spiritually or morally, then this time would be the perfect time to do it. The things you do in your idle time, will be pivotal in your crunch time.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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