The annual Solano County Fair kicks off today and runs until Sunday, August 2nd. This year’s fair theme is “Meet Me At The Fair!” Be sure to check it out! With hundreds of vendors, thousands of exhibits, midway games, cool cars (a Bat Mobile!) concerts, gems and minerals, gardens, rides and animals, there is something fun for every family member!
I know, I know – this is usually the part of the show where I tell you all about the deep-fried Twinkies, corn dogs, cotton candy, gator sticks, funnel cakes and turkey legs. But this post covers something even more special. Real, homegrown food! Right here in the county.
Anyone visiting the fair will eventually make their way to the livestock barn, filled with hundreds of animals, many of them similar, some very different, on display for the enjoyment of all fairgoers. This really is “local food” in live action. These animals, raised with the utmost care and respect and are literally the finest specimens in their respective breeds and many animals auctioned will either be sent to market or sent on to breed more fine animals. (I expect a lot of them also end up as spoiled rotten pets.) In any case, this is the “food” that ends up in the food chain somewhere, whether as meat, eggs or breeding stock.
While impressive and family friendly, the Livestock Barn isn’t just a huge petting zoo. You may notice the youth standing on the sidelines of the barn, dressed in their 4-H “whites”, eager to share their vast knowledge about different animals. These 4-H-ers aren’t just random volunteers recruited by the fair. These kids literally spend hundreds of hours (not included hours of studying the breeds, species, anatomy, etc.) PLUS sweat, tears, and sometimes blood, raising the perfect animal to show, and hopefully auction for a fair price. Trust me – it is NOT easy to hold a turkey in this position for very long!
And it’s not just the kids and parents who put in all the hard work. The fair staff has nothing short of a monumental task to coordinate and pull off an animal show this size. The Livestock Superintendent, Kelly Fletcher and her staff of, well, I’m just not real sure how many dedicated people this must take, do an amazing job of making everything seamless. And they still have time to answer questions from new people like us. (Seriously?!?) Thank you all!
If you want to check out and buy some gorgeous animals and support your local 4-H, FFA and Independent exhibitors, be sure to attend the Livestock Auction on Saturday, August 1st at 1:30 p.m. Hint: If you are bidding on animals, there are definitely NO losers. All of these animals are gorgeous. But it never hurts to check out the ribbons on the cages and meet the young people who raised them before hand.
Thanks to the entire fair staff, the City of Vallejo and Solano County for helping keep the local county fair, an American tradition, alive and well!
For more information, visit http://www.scfair.com/ for details.
Stay tuned for new photos.