I adore the Albemarle County Fair. It’s my favorite time of year, which is to say this time of year—its six-day run started this evening. There are livestock displays, dozens of competitions, rides, loads of wildly unhealthy foods, and musical acts. (Plus great people watching opportunities.) A short drive south of town on 29, it’s open from 4 PM-11 PM during the week, 10 AM-11 PM on Saturday, and 1 PM-6 PM on its closing day, Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for kids (free for kids aged six and under).
My only complaint about the fair is that they somehow fail to attract the very people who would enjoy it the most—basically the folks who shop at farmers markets, want to raise chickens in their backyards, and are just starting to reap the benefits of this year’s tomato crop. My fellow Tech alumni appear to outnumber UVA grads, if clothing is any indicator. If accents are any indicator, attendees are mostly local. This is the year in which that audience should expand. A group named Backyard Revolution is providing free (with admission) classes in all sorts of Virginia homesteading skills: rainwater harvesting, orienteering, urban chicken keeping, arrowsmithing, seed saving, blacksmithing, building a batteau, knitting, composting, spinning, cider making, wall building, log cabin making, and dozens and dozens of other deeply cool things. I want to go to all of these things. There’s a dedicated area in the fair set aside for these things, with both classes (first come, first served) and displays that will remain up for the duration of the fair.