The Rancheria had a table at the Curry County Fair last week, and the Del Norte County Fair this week. Curry County is in the south-west corner of Oregon, and has a lot of space between each smallish town on the Hwy 101 corridor. The county’s total population in 2010 was 22,364, and averages about 13.7 people per square mile. Their fairgrounds are in Gold Beach. It is a small Fair, but was very nicely arranged. Besides the usual quilt, jam, etc. competitions, there are the carnival rides and demolition derby. Their big draw was the rodeo, with daily shows like pig races, “pirate” activities with a flock of tame parrots, and someone who demonstrated and taught about hula hoops. It felt very hometown and friendly. The Rancheria’s table there was set up by the Lucky 7 Casino (a Rancheria enterprise), and was a bit heavy on the glitz. But it was still nice to talk with people while we were there.
Yesterday I worked our table at the Del Norte County Fair. Del Norte County is in the north-west corner of California, and is a bit bigger, with 28,610 people at the 2010 census, averaging 28.4 people per square mile. Suspect that is why their Fair is a bit bigger and more commercial. Their big draw this year is country music star Sammy Kershaw, along with the usual Miss Del Norte pageant, rodeo, demolition derby, animal competitions, quilt-jam-etc. competitions, carni rides, and commercial exhibitors. Am not sure how Oregon’s County Fairs are funded, but in California the Fairs used to receive money from the state each year; in 2012 they will not. Fortunately our County has been working on becoming more self-sufficient for quite a few years now, and should be able to continue their Fairs. A few years ago they began scheduling the Fair for the first weekend in August, and I thought it was interesting that it is the time of year of the first traditional harvest festivals (called Lammas in England). Yesterday I learned they have it then because it is the first weekend after “pay-day” for those on Social Security and other public assistance. Sigh . . .
For this Fair the Rancheria’s table was set up with more focus on the Rancheria, and was more tribal member friendly. Unfortunately the Fair organizers gave us an out-of-the-way corner of the Home Arts building, so though we were by an entry door we also faced an uninspiring stack of leftover tables and electrical boxes in a huge metal building. Still, more people came by the table than at the Curry County Fair, and we saw lots of people we know.
Important comparison point: Curry County Fair did not have candy apples, whereas the Del Norte County Fair did. They were caramel apples rather than the cinnamon candy version, but for an extra 50-cents you could have it rolled in chopped nuts. That’s fruit and protein, so it’s healthy. Right? 🙂