A meander at the Elkhart County, Indiana, 4-H Fair

MEANDER #12 Saturday 29 July 2017 The nine-day Elkhart County 4-H Fair is big stuff.

Featured image: The Elkhart County 4-H Fair has lots to crow about. Tag along!

At the fair

We went on Tuesday to see the rabbits, poultry, horses, have a bite, and, with a herd of other human beings, meander about.

For all our meandering I’m sorry we missed seeing the quilt by our friend Marie Troyer who took a first place prize. We did get to see Blaze, the rabbit entered by nine-year-old Silas Epp Stutzman. Marie and Silas are from our church, each an expert in their field.

Goshen General Hospital was doing a number of screenings and we elected to have our blood pressure taken. For a day of being on our feet the numbers were nothing but fine. We had walked to the fair from close to the dentist whom I had seen in the morning. Total miles walked on Tuesday: 7.

Among the people we knew whom we came across were Vanessa Kelleybrew, volunteer at the booth for Ryan’s Place, a center for grieving children, teens and families. Vanessa is administrative assistant at Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.

We also visited with Karl and Karen Kingsley, who were staffing the booth of Elkhart Advocates for Peace and Justice. Among its activities, the group sponsors an annual Palm Sunday Peace Parade, offers information about nonmilitary peace-oriented career and educational alternatives for young people in the Elkhart area high schools, and supports peace clubs in local high schools.

I had a back massage with a probing mechanical device that chiropractors use, we were told. Ten minutes of heavy machine “fingers,” rollers really, worked a bit of magic. Nice, but no sale.

The only “nourishment” I took was a cup of soft serve ice cream from the Dairy Barn–and a toasted cheese sandwich from the same place. I had my still partially frozen jaw from the visit to the dentist to blame–or thank–for my restraint.

There were vendors of all sorts, from food concessions, farm equipment, cars and trucks, water softeners, not-for-profits, coffee beans, summer sausage . . . for starters. We walked through many of the animal barns, commercial exhibits, 4-H exhibits–located in 55 named buildings and 8 entertainment locations, not to mention the Carnival area. We opted not to stay for the evening grandstand performance that featured country and western star Martina McBride. Grandstand seating for the evening shows, by different national artists, was free, though you could reserve trackside seating for four of the five shows for $35 each.

At home

A foreboding sky . . . resulted in a modest amount of rain and easy winds.
Glad for the Day Lilies’ summer blaze.

Friday in the country

A field on the farm where Doris Mast lives–where John Deere has replaced the service of Shires. So bean it.

We spent Friday with Marty’s sister, Doris, in LaGrange County. The events of the day included other siblings, spouses and friends, too. We took a drive through the countryside for lunch in neighboring Noble County.

I think I’ve quoted Marcel Proust before, but he again fits a day like today: “The real voyage of discovery consists not of finding new lands but of seeing the territory with new eyes.” That’s all about getting a fresh perspective from a day at the fair, time at home, exchange with family, and other ventures.

Happy travels on familiar territorial roads, imagined and real, in your week.


2 thoughts on “A meander at the Elkhart County, Indiana, 4-H Fair

  1. Good old-fashioned fairs. I remember mom talking about marching in the fair. Also the Tavistock fair seemed so big when I was little. The sound of the rides and the smell of the food booths are distant memories. Grant used to show calves at the Bolton fair when he was in 4-H and I think Alexander won some prizes for his pumpkins last year. All signs of approaching fall.


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