(Me, Lane, Myleigh-Pearl, and my father-in-law Lance with Katie McJunkins posing for the purchase of her Grand Champion Market Lamb at the Van Buren County Premium Sale.)
As we come to a close on "Fair Season" after this weekend, many thoughts come to mind. First of all, I don't remember as a kid it being SO DANG HOT while walking around the midway or walking through the livestock barn. Do you? I remember as a little girl walking through the old white livestock barn in East Conway bundled up like a tiny Eskimo to see my uncle's show steer. After checking in on him I remember walking through the Education and Exhibitor barns rubbing my tiny hands together because they were so cold. As I got older, though it seems like it has continuously gotten hotter! As a teenager I remember racing to the old fairgrounds after school to get into the concession stand. I sold footlong corn dogs, funnel cakes, Chicken on a Stick and lemonade and sweat just dripped off my forehead as I walked back to my car late at night. Regardless of the weather, one thing is for sure; I love the fair.
When I was a kid I remember submitting things that I had hand-sewn, drawn, and created hoping to get a blue ribbon. I remember playing the carnival games, riding the Zipper, breathing in the smell of cow poop from the barn. With all of the actual fun at the fair, my fondest memories were the week prior. Competing in the Faulkner County Fair Talent Shows and Pageants.
Competing and winning meant that I would get to miss school for a day and head to preform at the Arkansas State Fair for regional night. The contestants would do a rehearsal that morning, visit with Mr. Joel the emcee who made us all feel like winners... and that afternoon we would get free tickets to the rides. It was always so much fun. After winning regional night we would move on to the finals. My singing partner Cecilee and I tried to win overall on that finals night for THREE years and finally won our third year of competing. Talk about feeling accomplished. We had worked so hard and felt like we had won the lottery! Singing and entertaining was, and always has been my passion. Now I can't sit here and tell you the fondest fair memories of my husband Lane; but he spent many many hours at the Van Buren county fair, district, and state fair. He grew up showing livestock and was very very good at it. He has the ribbons, banners, jackets and belt buckles to prove it. I guess while he was in the livestock barn I was on stage because our paths never crossed until we were older.
With all of that said... We love showing our support to as many as we can at our local fairs.... Faulkner, Conway, Van Buren, Searcy, the District Fairs and State...Which reminds me... People ask....Why do you donate that money, time, or energy into _____?
Because someone did it for us.
Whether it be "buying" an animal at the Premium Sale or helping kids prepare for a pageant or talent show....Sponsoring, volunteering, being a light in what you are passionate about is the only way to ensure that the next generation continues to love that same passion. No matter what you are passionate about; be a light!
I write all of this to encourage you to be a light for someone. Think about what you are passionate about and be a role model. I think about the adults who helped shape me into the strong woman I am today and I just hope I can do that same thing for others.
I'm not sure if our emcee or auctioneering talents are really all that great at these events but one thing I can tell you is that Lane and I enjoy investing in today's youth! We are so proud of all of the kids that we have been able to cheer on and plan to do so as long as we are able whether it be on the stage or in the barn.
(Me pictured with Shannon McKnight our 2017 Faulkner County Fair Queen.)
GOOD LUCK KIDS AT THE STATE FAIR! WE WILL BE CHEERING YOU ON!