Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the cooler temperatures, the changing colors of the leaves, college football, especially the Razorbacks, family birthdays, the Arkansas State Fair and numerous festivals, plus the upcoming holidays. There is always something going on – sometimes too much.
Even though I never lived on a farm, family members have and there’s something about the fall harvest that has always appealed to me. The harvesting of the crops, the storing (canning and freezing) of homegrown foodstuffs for the winter – these evoke thoughts of a simpler time when we lived off the land and learned to appreciate nature’s bounty.
I guess that’s why I love the Arkansas State Fair. I don’t think anyone is ever too old to enjoy the fair. Even though most of the rides are modern, fast and usually scary, there are still some that hearken back to an earlier era – a merry go round, the Scrambler or the Tilt-A-Whirl. And for most of us baby boomers, the state fair was probably the first place we ever had cotton candy, corn dogs or candy apples. These weren’t readily available when we were kids so to have the opportunity to chow down on one of these treats was special.
The livestock show helps remind us that there are still people who love the agrarian way of life. The FFA, FHA and 4-H Clubs – or whatever they are called now – live on in small towns around the state. You see the results of their hard work in various competitions, whether its cattle, sheep, goats, chickens or sewing, canning and baking. There’s something very comforting about watching the judging of a pie bake-off.
Dates for this year’s state fair are October 10-19 at the State Fairgrounds and Barton Coliseum in Little Rock. Don’t miss it.