I have demonstrated "some" craft I was involved with every year since my return from Alaska in 1975. In Alaska my daughter, April, then a bitty baby, took the prize for the "smallest feet" at the County Fair in Fairbanks. I used to enter the Fairs too, but I simply cannot store ANYMORE ribbons, anywhere....and I am not saying that to brag.
The 2010 PC Fair was the 99th year! I couldn't believe that one. So the first county fair here in Pima County took place in 1911...a year before Arizona became a state. AMAZING!!
My own experience with the FAIR began as a tot since I was born in Tucson in 1949. I remember a few little rides and a couple bigger ones and the stinky animal barns when they occupied what is now the Rodeo Grounds in Southern Tucson.
The FAIR and fair grounds are no longer the possessions of PIMA COUNTY. They are privately owned and are for profit now. I have seen a whole lotta changes in the years. Adult entries in Home & Fine Arts have fallen off significantly even though the county has grown tremendously in population...SAD, but true.
The photo above is my display case at this year's FAIR.
The FAIR has added a whole variety of demonstrations of arts, hobbies & crafts in Old Pueblo Hall where I demonstrate beadwork every year now since 1993. More than one fair visitor commented to me on how much they LOVE to come just to watch the working artists.
The participation by schools of children's artworks has also grown immensely and I for one, think that is inspirational. What the youth of today need is artistic outlets to raise their self-esteem, instill discipline and release the creative muses within them.
Senior citizens need this also...I know, I am one!! Above photo of a hand carved wooden saddle is a prime example of the undiscovered talent in our seniors. William Milligan, who is the artist of that piece, told me he never tried carving wood until he retired 16 years ago. His specialty is birds that appear so real, people get angry with him for stealing feathers...but he doesn't. He carves each feather so intricately that they feel real, even to the touch.
The example above is a GOURD carved & painted to appear as an owl in a tree. Old Pueblo Gourd Patch puts on a wonderful entry exhibit as well as presents many fabulous local gourd artists to demonstrate each year. Their membership is spectacular and if you are in the least bit interested in gourds contact firstname.lastname@example.org or me & I will tell you their particulars.
I always love the day the spinners and weavers come to demo at the FAIR. The lady pictured above, Jill Holbrook, has been a friend of mine for a very long time. She makes it look sooooo easy. Trust me, I have a wheel, tried to learn to spin and discovered I was the most spastic person on the planet. Doubt i could chew gum and walk at the same time.
This being an primary election year we had our share of politicians in the build. None surprised all of us like the former presidential candidate who stopped by. Senator McCain dropped in and it was not the adversary turmoil or chaos you see on the news. He was totally approachable, cordial, human and behaved just like an average fair attendee. He mingled with his constituents so casually one might have missed him. Thanks for coming by, John.
I have about a gazillion photos of the FAIR to share, but only 5 are allowed per post. So I recommend you go to my flickr page, picassa page or my facebook page to catch a glimpse of them all....you will be happy you did!