The Wyandot County Fair was always one of my favorite weeks of the year. I looked forward to it, spent countless hours in preparation for it. 4-H is a staple to rural communities, so much so that I honestly would have grown into a completely different person without it. 4-H is how I discovered my passion for photography, it taught me about hard work and dedication – taking pride in what I do. It’s the reason I love interviews, have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact when I talk. Every summer I took anywhere from four to six different projects, learning every skill under the sun (scrap-booking, interior design, leadership, poetry, collage). The third week in September is when all of that hard work paid off, it’s where you could enjoy all of the hours you spent sewing a dress while caring for your livestock. This is so engrained in my community that the county schools shut down for most of the week. I spent all day, everyday, there. In eight grade I was crowned Rabbit Queen and in my senior year of high school I was the queen of the whole fair. Then college came, I moved to the city, and things changed. I was shocked when one of my dear friends asked me what 4-H was and had never hear of Rural King. It honestly never crossed my mind until that moment that not everyone was born and raised in the middle of nowhere, loving on farm animals and riding around in the beds of trucks. I value, beyond most anything, the upbringing that I had. I was taught the importance of working hard and earning your keep. I owe my work ethic to Wyandot County.
When I left for Columbus, I was unable to go back home for fair. I went from living there each year, to not even being aware that it was happening. This year I planned for it, set aside the time to drive home for the sole purpose of being there that Sunday, eating a soft pretzel and drinking my weight in sweet tea. It was the first time I went that I didn’t have a fair pass, it was the first time I had no posters in the Jr. Fair Booth or animals in the barns. It was different, but it was good. Going back to my roots only validates my love and appreciation of small town USA – rural America.
Here’s a photograph of my royalty days for your viewing pleasure (I’m the one in purple):
More importantly, here are the images I took during my Sunday at the Wyandot County Fair: