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North Carolina County Fairs

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I know I'm too late for this year. But I have just heard that the NC State Fair is about to start.


The State Fair is too big - and has too little to do with animals - for me. I need a county fair. The kind with local animals.


Julie, Becca, and the rest of you with sheep - and anyone with cattle, duck, chickens, pigs, or other stock:


Do you go to a county fair to show your stock?


If so, where and when? Yeah, I'll probably be there next fall.


When we lived in New York, we always went to the Dutchess County Fair, across the Hudson. In one day, we could see most of the animal judging and the Max Smuliwitz Polka Orchestra. But we also went to the Ulster County Fair - on our side. And got to see a calf born.

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I helped with the stockdog demos at the Dixie Classic fair in Winston-Salem last week. I'm not much on fairs, really, but I like state fairs because *usually* they have more livestock than the county fairs do. The demos were in the cattle barn arena, and while the barn was full for both the dairy breed days and the beef days, there just weren't that many cattle there, period. I hadn't considered showing sheep at the fairs because usually they are geared toward a different type of sheep than I have. If I'm going to spend time showing, I'd go to SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival) in Asheville at the end of this month. That's a festival worth visiting, especially if you like fiber crafts.


I'd guess that the more rural areas would tend to have the more hometown, locally grown kind of attendance.


Don't get me started on the poultry--I was horrified by the Sebright "bantams" I saw at the Dixie Classic.



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My problem with the State Fair is that there is so little about specific animals on any one day.


The day I usually go - the one where you get in with a food donation - has the wool sheep. But that's about it. OK, the sheep and kids in costumes. But a bunch of buxom teen girls with decorated sheep does not turn me on.


I'd rather not see the sheep and cows that are being judged to sell for meat. But I do like to learn what makes a sow an attractive breeder. OK, I am a tad odd.


Anyhow, I have no interest in the rides (even if the lines were not that long, the offerings are not for me) or the games (I've even lost at picking up a yellow duck) or the food (smells so much better than it ever tastes).


I do go into the poultry barn. But I have to take a deep breath before I go in and hope I don't need another before I leave. I honestly don't think chickens always smell that bad, but I do think they do in close quarters.

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I love county fairs! Unfortunately, I don't think we will have one this year. The county sold the fairgrounds. That's right, the whole fairgrounds. The sold it to Lowe's. So we will have a Lowe's but no fair? That's just not 'fair' I wonder if Lowe's will sell funnel cakes and corn dogs?

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Do tell! Were they giants?


They were at least as big as the leghorns. Sebrights are true bantams (no full-size equivalent), or at least they were true bantams. I don't know what they are now. All I know is I've been trying to replace my Sebrights for five years or so and can't find anything small like what I used to have or what my OEGs are now. The OEGs at the fair were probably a good two times bigger than mine, but the Sebrights dwarved even them! Gah! What is it about the livestock show world that requires everything to get BIGGER? If I had been the judge, no Sebrights would have placed, period. It's disgusting.


I'm a Barred Plymouth Rock kind of gal myself. Gorgeous bird!


I love my Dominiques ("Dominickers", which are essentially the same, except with rose combs). There are actually some beautiful color varieties of OEGs, but I wouldn't buy birds that big. Hmmmm...and then there was the Polish rooster with so much feathering on his head that I wondered how he even managed to find food, since his eyes weren't even visible through the feathers. He wouldn't survive long free ranging, that's for sure, but I guess kept in a cage with feed stuck right in front of him he'd manage. Not something I'd want to breed.


Okay, I'm done ranting about poultry now.



Chickens really don't stink unless kept in close quarters like at fairs or if kept in small areas that aren't cleaned very often.



I'm not really into fair food (not to mention that the cost is enough to turn anyone off), but I will say that the funnel cakes at the Dixie Classic were awesome. And not greasy. Yum.



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Nancy, a lamb I bred will be in the 4-H show at the NC State Fair on Friday! I won't tell online who to look for but if you go, I can tell you privately. I wanted to go but I don't think I can make it - I've got a doctor's checkup and Patrick is supposed to be going to HIS followup too.


He's an April lamb and last I heard he was in danger of growing out of the heavy class at 130 pounds.


We have a fair up in Danville. They don't do livestock show but you can sign up to do exhibits. Next year we will do that for sure. There's usually (surprising) three or four sheep exhibits but all but one out of all the ones I've seen since moving, have been pretty pathetic. At least they are trying though! I plan to shear a couple of lambs and ewes up really nice, and maybe the younger ram if he will behave himself, then put out nice brochures and whatnot.

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