Well, with the summer winding down, fair season is in the air. This week, Augusta County is holding their annual festival. In every year past, I have attended the Rockingham County Fair and skipped the one to the south. However, as I’m still in the city of Staunton, I figured that I might as well experience theirs while I am so close.
My first stop inside was the Republican Party booth. As is the case back at home, a fair serves as an excellent opportunity to spread information about candidates and causes that many attendees might not hear otherwise. Standing in front of the table was Delegate Dickie Bell (R-20, Staunton). Besides folks running for city and county offices, I could also find information on Delegate Cline and Delegate Landes. However, short of a few signs, there was nothing for Senator Emmett Hanger. This fact might seem odd, but given that Delegate Bell is the only member of the General Assembly in the entire Shenandoah Valley who faces a Democratic opponent, I guess Senator Hanger didn’t want to spend any money to campaign. Perhaps the greatest surprise was the stack of bumper stickers and brochures from former Senator George Allen. Although the 2012 primary is a good way off, it never hurts to remind people that you are running.
In general, I found the Augusta Fair to be a bit disappointing when compared to Rockingham. Although all of the display booths are rented already in Rockingham, this fair had numerous empty spots in the exhibition hall. There wasn’t even a Democratic table. Also, the layout was pretty poor. At the entrance, they force attendees down a certain path, like rats in a maze. As a whole, the grounds aren’t as large and don’t offer as wide a range of activities and vendors. I’ll freely admit that the bear show was an amusing (and free) aspect, but, overall, the fair lack pizzazz. Then again, prior to today, I’ve only been to two other fairs. Perhaps the grandeurs of Rockingham County and Münster (Germany) have spoiled me. After all, according to Wikipedia, The LA Times has rated the Rockingham County Fair as one of the best rural fairs in the country.
Therefore, my recommendation is to visit the Augusta Fair if you get the chance, but, if you can only attend one, make sure not to miss Rockingham.
Now that I’ve hyped it, we’ll have to see what the Rockingham Fair holds in store in the coming days. For those politophiles out there, I hear that the Governor will be coming to that event in the early part of next week. I’ll try to snag some pictures.