The State of Fairs*

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
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State Fair

Posie‘s post about her state fair has reminded me that it’s Fall Fair season! It also reminds me that I had plans to post something about this news a few weeks ago. I’ve cut out some parts of the article for quicker reading.

Crochet pulled from fair’s fabric [Ed’s note: LOL! Crochet! Fabric! Lollerskates!]

A local crochet club has its yarn in a knot after the Western Fair dumped this year’s home arts competitions — a fair mainstay for decades. And the club isn’t alone. The fair, which began as an agricultural exhibition, has cut or downgraded three other categories, including culinary arts, display contests and oversized vegetable challenges. Part of a shakeup designed to attract younger fair-goers, the changes don’t impress traditionalists like crocheters.

“The Western Fair is forgetting its roots and is becoming a costly amusement park,” said Patty Attkins of the Crochet Club of London. Attkins, president of the club, discovered home arts were cut when she couldn’t find the category for this year on the fair’s website. “I found out by chance and not by courtesy,” she said.

The home arts were cut in the spring after fair officials examined a three-year study of the number of competition entries, said Sharon Pook, expositions sales manager. The culinary arts, including jam and baking contests, and the women’s institutes display contests, were eliminated. Depending on public response, the fair could eventually bring back some of those categories.

The fair wants to attract people in their late teens to mid-30s — a group that doesn’t often go to the fair, Pook said. New video game categories, such as Wii Fit exercise competitions, might be added, along with a new “green” lifestyle section.

It’s that last part that kills me. Wii Fit competitions?

I’m torn, actually. On the one hand, they’re getting rid of all the female domestication competitions because of lack of demand, which is sort of good because it means that women are being… less domesticated, I guess. But on the other hand, they’re taking away all the female competitions because they aren’t cool. Which is lame, and more of the same that angered me about the video from this post, which decided that in order to be attractive to men, the link between knitting and femininity had to be completely dissolved. And what are they replacing it with? The replacement for domestication of women will be the Wii Fitnessing of women. I’m skeptical that the Wii Fit competition is there to attract both genders, unless it involves watching. (NSFW!) I don’t know about you, but I’d be there to enter the Guitar Hero competition. And I would KICK ASS.

But I’m getting all feministy again, and forgetting that the real point of my post was about changing this. You see, the article mentions that “depending on public response, the fair could eventually bring back some of those categories.” And that’s what we can do, folks! Let’s show them that knitting is cool again! I’ll be entering my Fall Fair this year, and you should, too. If we can show fair organizers that there are indeed young, hip people interested in the craft, we can prevent this from happening to other fall fairs. Additionally, if anyone living in London feels the urge to go to the fair and speak with any organizers or fair representatives in polite tones, they are extremely welcome to do so.

*hops off of soap box*

Here’s a little bonus for this post. We were a little late last year, so all we managed to catch was the demolition derby:

[kml_flashembed movie="" height="344" width="425" /]

I never thought that watching some cars smash each other up would be SO AWESOME. There was a car that had Spider Pig written on the side in pink. There was also a M*A*S*H car. Hilarious.

* I want to note that there are at least 2 puns embedded in the above title. That’s a lot of puns for just 4 words. I think that’s a personal best. I was also musing about calling this post, “The Fair-er Sex.” Get it? Oh YEAH.

State Fair

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