By Pat Jenkins
At one of the entry gates, Karen Chin giggled while taking a photograph of her children, Emily and Casey, at the start of their annual visit to the Pierce County Fair.
Over in one of the animal barns, 4H member Angel Young held up her goat, Summer Hope, so 3-year-old Ryker Kanton could pet it.
And out among the rows of booths manned by vendors and organizations, colorful parrots perched on the shoulders of American Legion members Michael Batnick and Rob Donaldson caught the attention and curiosity of passersby.
There were plenty of sights at the 67th county fair at Frontier Park in Graham last Friday, the second day of the four-day event. There was no shortage of the countryfied, relaxed activities that fairgoers say bring them back year after year.
The fair, which its organizers label as a prime exhibit of rural lifestyle, agriculture and family values, is a joint effort of county government and the non-profit Pierce County Fair Association. It’s run by the association’s board of directors with the help of community organizations, including Pierce County Extension, Pomona Grange, Pierce County FFA, and the Hill and Dale association of garden clubs.
Betty Backstrom, the fair’s manager, said she’s grateful for last week’s weather that was sunny and warm but not so hot that people stayed away and sought out lakes and other ways to cool off, as has happened some years.
4H members like Young, whose club of goat owners is called Just Kidding Around, were front and center with their livestock and pets. Other fair staples were in full array, too. They included carnival rides and games, and entertainers such as magician Jeff Evans, Elvis Presley impersonator Danny Vernon, and the ZuZu African Acrobats, whose derring-do has landed them on national television in “America’s Got Talent.”
Tanya Crawford, who was selling her aromatherapy soaps and candles, was enjoying the customers who stopped at her Angelic Body Whispers booth. And she was looking forward to a country music performance by her uncle’s band, Billy Ray and the Coal Train Express.
“I like the people and everything about this fair,” Crawford said.