All Things Fair — In Missouri!
By Danielle Lee, Urban Science Adventures
I’ve spent the last week at the 108th Annual Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri. It was a lovely week. I was there doing science outreach, participating in the 4 Days of Hands-on Science Fun which included a Street Science Fair, Show Me Robotics Showcase & Competition, and Aerospace Fun Day. Plus, there were the agricultural exhibits and showcases. I loved it all. it really reminded me of my agricultural roots.
When I was younger, I would go to the Mid-South Fair and Libertyland housed on the Fairgrounds in Memphis, Tennessee. I loved it: the rides, the games, the food. Being a city kid, I thought that’s what the fair was all about. It wasn’t until college – majoring in Animal Science that I came to know that wasn’t what the Fair was about at all. Fairs are about the agriculture and home economics achievements of everyday folk – the people who grind and work to make their daily lives out of hard work and simple materials. It was eye-opening to learn not only about the science of raising livestock, growing crops, and the economics of practical living, using all resources adequately and respectfully, as well as the creativity and artsmanship of both agriculture and home economic endeavors. I had a new appreciation of fairs that continues today.
So, as I spent time at the Missouri State Fair, I was more excited about the animal exhibits than the rides at the mid-way. But don’t get me wrong. I still had all of my fair favorites: corn dogs, funnel cake, lemonade,turkey leg, roasted corn, plus fried green tomatoes. Nom, nom, nom..,