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Fair is more than livestock, tractors, rides and food vendors

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Mt. Jackson resident Harley Miller, 3, enjoys a ride at the fair on a cloudy Saturday afternoon. Sally Voth/Daily

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One of many calves at the fair on Saturday. Sally Voth/Daily

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Five-year-old Briana Brown, of Strasburg, waves to her family as she rides the carousel Saturday afternoon. Sally Voth/Daily

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A sow and her piglets on Saturday. Sally Voth/Daily

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Dorothy Miller, of Raphine, and Bonnie Frederick, of Germantown, Md., judge entrants in the textile arts competition.

By Sally Voth svoth@nvdaily.com

Tucked away from the roar and smoke of the tractor-pull and the sounds and smells of the livestock barns Saturday at the Shenandoah County Fair, beautiful blooms, delicious desserts and creative projects were being admired and rated.

Overseeing the competition in the arts and crafts building was Virginia Stultz, superintendent of that competition. She said it takes the judges -- all of whom were from out of Shenandoah County -- several hours to decide which entries would be ribbon winners.

Judges were gathered around tables sampling homemade breads, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, inspecting quilts and other textile projects, rating paintings, baskets, and photos, and looking over flowers, plants and other horticulture. Wines and preservatives were also among the many items being judged.

The competition was broken down into various departments, including youth age groupings -- to as young as 4 and 5 -- adult, nursing and adult home residents and mentally and/or physically challenged individuals, Stultz said.

Kevin Cubbage and his mother, Geraldine Cubbage, both of Luray, were tasting breads.

"We've got biscuits and yeast bread, fruit muffins," Mrs. Cubbage said.

Both volunteer at the Page Valley Fair in addition to acting as judges at other fairs.

"We just go to other counties to help them out," Cubbage said. "They help us out when we need judges, too. It's part of the fair.

"It's nice to see all the hard labors that people put into it -- their special recipes that we get the honor of judging. I'm sure a lot of the recipes are family recipes that are passed down from generation to generation."

At a nearby table, Dorothy Miller of Raphine and Bonnie Frederick Germantown, Md., were judging the quilts.

"We're looking for construction, appropriate fabric, for the quality and appearance," Miller said.

Jaiden Venute, 9, of Queens, N.Y., was making her second trip to the Shenandoah Valley. She is visiting her grandmother, Kathy Venute, and an aunt who were helping out in the youth arts and crafts competition. But, it was Jaiden's first trip to the fair.

"I think it's really cool, seeing all the kids' projects," she said. "We saw cows and we saw the pigs, and we saw lambs and sheep and goats."

Maurertown resident Mike Cook was acting as assistant superintendent in the floriculture categories.

In that role, he receives the entries and puts them into the right places and makes sure they're watered throughout the week. Cook also entered some of his flowers, vegetables and canned goods.

"In my opinion, it's one of the best flower shows we've ever had as far as quality," he said. "We had quite a few entries also, a lot of participation."

As far as why Cook enters the competition, "I guess I just like seeing things grow," he said. "[It's a] joint project. I plant it and harvest it, and God does the rest of it."


The Shenandoah County Fair is nothing more than a COMMERCIALIZED entertainment rouse that bilks millions from lower income citizens.

The fair only benefits a few of the stock holders. I'd like to see it reported in the paper what the stock dividend and the amount taken in by the Fair Association.

Old Clunker ..... Get a life !
The Shen. Co. Fair is a way to renew old friendships for those who don't get out during the year. It is about agriculture,animal husbandry,crafts,canning,pride in community affairs, a chance to meet with our Sheriff and the deputies,our elected officials,and business owners.
Sure, there is entertainment, but no one
is twisting your arm to participate.

As far as the money is concerned, anything you do today involves monies !
Do you think that it should all be free ?

The stockholders had to spend money to
be part of the Fair Assn. Without them,
we would not have Fair at all.

BTW, I am not a shareholder !

Millions? Please substantiate your claims.

Now come on Old Clunker, don't mess with TRADITION. The fair offers a place to show all the animals off before they are slaughtered.

Even the Grease Pig event has entertainment value as kids jump on top of pigs scared out of their wits by the screaming, excited mob. Where else do you get to teach children about kindness or respect for living creatures. NOT HERE!

I would hope neither of you waste your time and money on the fair. Better to stay home and stand on your moral soapboxes. Meanwhile I'll enjoy my hamburger and funnel cake and look at all those poor animals in cages just waiting for their turn on the dinner table. Oh the tragedy, Please.

"The competition was broken down into various departments, including youth age groupings -- to as young as 4 and 5 -- adult, nursing and adult home residents and mentally and/or physically challenged individuals..."

Harumpfh....something for everybody, huh? Which department are the grumpy old white guy Tea Party competitors assigned, to the 4 and 5 year olds or to the mentally challenged nursing home individuals?


Don't get upset, this artery-clogging stuff will be around longer than you are. ENJOY yourself, it's later than you think. . .

Diane do you know about anything else other than what you think is right for the rest of us? You need to get off the high horse you are on and worry about yourself, the rest of us can take care of ourselves, while eating hamburgers and hot dogs and such

ahh my gosh, give me one of them spicy italian sausages piled high with fried onions and peppers, and I'm set. I think the more aged on the grill the sausage is, the better.

I usually take my family one of the days to the fair. I figure your probably going to pay more going to the movies, which we rarely do. My kids enjoy seeing the livestock, and riding a few rides. we always get a kick out of the baby pigs.

not too much is free anymore and this is a once a year thing supporting agriculture.

Again...I think the shenandoah county fair was a great fair. The food was great, the kids enjoyed a few rides.
Yep Diana, the fair is tradition. The animals do get butchered or slaughtered at some point. Nothing like a pig roast in the fall of the year with relatives and friends. You could have attended the fair and bought yourself a pig as a pet. I've seen some very docile tame ones.

"Fair is more than livestock, tractors, rides and food vendors"....and it used to include Go Go danders also....LOL.

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