Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Art Hall

Like most fairs of its kind, the Cumberland County Fair has an Art Hall for people to display their homemade handiworks.  For the cost of a quarter per item (generally), you can submit your work to be judged in numerous categories.  WInning means a ribbon and as much as a couple of dollars in prize money.  
In years gone by, ladies would enter things like quilts, embroidery, cross-stitch, and clothing - anything they had made to pass the previous long winter.  One can only imagine competition was fierce.  
Antique quilt

Few people make quilts anymore but if there are any to find, it is certainly in rural Illinois.  There is the popular antique quilt category but there are always a couple of newer pieces that are entered.  
I'm not much of a seamstress but I always enter my photographs in several categories, including Illinois Farm scene, and Fair scene.  Alas, my cousin Rachael almost always beats me. In addition to a good photographer's eye, she is also a great artist and enters several of her paintings and drawings. 

See, she got the blue ribbon - again!
One of the other fun categories to see is the collections section.  Pack rats and antiquers alike can enjoy the set of buttons, campaign pins, pencils, old photos, costume jewelry and snow globes.

Button collection
Costume jewelry
You never know exactly what you will find in that section. Or who will win.  Last year my uncle decided to enter one of the fishing nets he made and he took home a red ribbon!
It is wonderful to see the talent on display at the Art Hall, but it is also comforting to know that there are people who still know how to tat, quilt, and weave.  

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Support the Tradition

County fairs are a tradition that bring generations together year after year.  I am lucky enough to have family in the Greenup, Illinois area.  We would often time our trip to be during the Cumberland County Fair.  I remember thinking how neat it was that all these people knew my mom, but when she was a kid.  In fact, I would often be mistaken for her, despite our age difference.  My grandfather was a stockholder in the fair so he would give us the parking pass.  And he took tickets at the west end of the grandstand so we always would visit him there.  

In more recent years, I started taking my fiance.  He now knows many of the vendors and regulars by name.  It is a comforting part of the year.  It is a family reunion, but one that brings the entire community together.  For some, it is the only time we see each other all year.

Now, this essential part of our collective lives is in danger.  Attendance has waned over the years but state funding has been cut significantly this coming year.  Last year, granted funds to promote fairs throughout the state account for 63% of their budget.  This year, it will only fulfill 16% of the budget.  There is talk that this will be the last year of the Cumberland County Fair.

This would be a tragedy.

So we are trying to do what we can to save the Cumberland County Fair, and support the tradition of rural fairs everywhere.

If you have a story about this fair, or others like it, let us know.  We want to share those stories.

If you know a celebrity who would be willing to appear to raise money for the fair, let us know.

If you yourself would like to donate to the fair, let us know.

In the coming days and weeks, keep checking here for memories and stories about the Cumberland County Fair.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fair Dates

This year's fair dates are announced! 
August 22 - 28, 2010

Here is the listing of events:

Greenup - Cumberland Co. Fair Assoc. (Greenup)
August 22 - 28217/923-3034
23  4-H Pony/Horse Show Noon
Union Church Service/Higher Ground & Muddy Creek Gospel Quartets 6:30 PM
24Judging/Swine, Sheep, Beef Cattle 8 AM
Illinois Bred Thoroughbred And Quarter Horse Races, Open Races Featuring The Cumberland County Derby 12:30 PM
Pedal Pull, Age 4 & 5 6 PM
Local Class 6000 Lbs., ITPA Classes, 6000 Lbs. Super Stock, 8000 Lbs. Pro Stock Diesel Trucks, 8200 Lbs. Limited Pro Stock 7 PM
25Judging/Dairy Cattle, Judging/Art, Ag, Floral Halls 8 AM
Harness Races 1:30 PM
Pedal Pull, Age 6 & 7 6 PM
Cumberland County Only 4wd Gas Trucks, ITPA Classes, 9500 Lbs. Farm Stock, 5800 Lbs. Modified, 20,000 Lbs. Pro Stock Semi 7 PM
26Junior Livestock Judging 8 AM
Harness Races 1:30 PM
Pedal Pull, Age 8 & 9 6 PM
Cumberland County 4wd Diesel Trucks, ITPA Classes, 12,000 Lbs. Farm Stock, 6200 Lbs. 2 Wheel Drive Trucks, 10,000 Lbs. Pro Stock 7 PM
27Harness Races 1:30 PM
4-H Auction (4-H Barn) 6 PM
Battle Creek Band 7:30 PM
28Harness Races 1:30 PM
Carl Acuff Jr., Sponsored By Cumberland County Development Corporation 7 PM
29Harness Races 1:30 PM
Cumberland County Fair Demolition Derby 6:30 PM

American Banner Amusements On The Midway, Monday - Saturday, 6:00 P.m. - 10:00 P.m. Nightly And 1:00 P.m. - 5:00 P.m. Saturday Afternoon

Thursday, January 1, 1970