Why we love the fair

It’s as predictable as the seasons, but the San Juan County Fair just never gets old.

From goats nibbling on your sweater to vegetables racing in the Zucchini 500, the fair brings together a lot of what makes our county what it is: kids who grow up with agriculture and 4H as a way of life, a wealth of local artistic talent, and thumbs as green as the day is long.

Inside the main building, art and photography from locals – both professional and novice – lined the walls, and representatives from Amnesty International, San Juan Islands Museum of Art, the county, the school, our local papers, and more discussed issues with passersby.

In the food court, kids chomped on caramel apples and elephant ears. Young men and women competed in games in the horse arena. Kids displayed their well-groomed pooches in the 4H dog competition. Trash to Treasure showed off the beauty of recycled objects. Gardeners listened to lectures on canning vegetables. The Fiber Courtyard offered a variety of textile activities, from antique sock-knitting to basketry. Musicians from near and far played rock, country, blues, salsa, and swing. Teenagers got henna tattoos, couples strolled hand-in-hand, and kids ran alongside their parents, taking it all in. And the best part? Of the 22,000 visitors, many are from the islands. It brings together our communities in a way that few other events do.

The San Juan County Fair may not be the biggest or the glitziest of attractions, but it’s about as authentically small town as you can get. It was everything a fair should be, with a special touch that could only be found in the San Juan Islands.