Getting the information to the people. (Or how I ended up working at the fair.)

Info Adrienne

Last week I spent four days working the info booth at the San Juan County Fair. This is my story.

*Disclaimer* Things happen to me in round-a-bout ways, derived from me talking to so-in-so about people we know and what they're up to now-a-days. Therefore, the only people that maybe interested in the details of how I ended up working at a 4-H fair on an island in the Pacific NW may be the YMCA Camp Jewell staffers from the Paul Kamin Era. For the rest of you: I worked with somebody at camp and now she runs the fair. Short Version.

Longer Version: When my sister was here we had intended to head out to Orcas and spend a few days with Ethna Flanagan – but she was camping and so after I dropped Jessie off in Seattle, I booked it to Anacortes and hopped a ferry to Orcas Island. Ethna and I were catching up and she mentioned that a fellow Jeweller, Maddie Ovenell, was running the fair this year and she could pass along a good word for me since they were FB friends. I filled out an application, sent it in and Maddie wrote right back! I was in! Maddie did Nature's Classroom and trips AND our years/friends overlap but for the life of us we can't recall meeting each other! All this talk of camp is making me want a 2 lb eclair from the Colebrook store… but I digress.

Working the fair was a bit like all my memories from our 4-H fair growing up, combined with summer camp- the staff all had radios, matching t-shirts and ran around all day solving problems to make sure everyone was having fun. Then we'd sit in the office each night sharing funny stories from the day.
It was nice. Except for the rain.

This fair had 'normal' things like 4-H kids showing livestock and cotton candy & carnival rides and then it had some 'quirky' things like the Zucchini races. (Every gardner knows that zucchinis are super easy to grow but harder to get rid of- so they started making derby cars out of the abundance of fruit and the Zucchini 500 was born!) The fair feels a bit like a block party- with each house in charge of an event; 4-H kids holding their chickens at the start of the chicken races, fashion shows where all the outfits are made with recycling or the guy who hauls his old 6mm projector out of storage to show movies in the backyard.

Chicken Whispererwpid-Photo-Aug-23-2013-1015-PM.jpg

I loved/was terrified by the carnival rides. They were beautiful in that nostalgic way- the glittery cars full of nervous teenagers, spinning and screaming and laughing. They were terrifying because they looked like antiques and I wandered through the fairway willing them to hold together for just a few more nights.

carnival rideZipper line

Merry go round

I spent 9-10 hours a day sitting in my tent, watching the people stream by- on their way to see if they won a ribbon or to watch the frisbee show put on by a group of rescued collies. I love people watching. People are so interesting. And beautiful and unique and silly. I got to answer lots of questions (Where is the ATM? The bathrooms? What time do the chickens races?) and also spent some time wandering the fairgrounds, soaking up the memories.

Holiday Jumps Heather PearlJen's Shirt booth

This is Jen- she is the head of the Fair board, designed the official fair logo and ran her own t-shirt booth. She is very talented/tired.

Call Ducks

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Duck- they are Call Ducks- the cutest little birds! In the olden days they were used as live decoys!

Black Stallion

I loved watching the 4-H kids showing off their animals. They were nervous, but you could see them processing what they learned and trying so hard to do their best. What great practice for life!

There was also epic cuteness happening at the fair. Baby Pygmy goats!!!


I loved being at the fair! I had as much fun as a baby in a pile of bubbles!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s