Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

August 19, 2013

TIDBITS: Making fair memories

CROSSVILLE — Neon lights and carnival music? Check.

All kinds of delicious treats, from Frito Bandito to candied apples to funnel cake? Check.

A year’s worth of quilts, canning, crops and crafts? Check.

Yep, it’s time again for the annual Cumberland County Fair, with the fair getting started this week with entries in the exhibits taken beginning Thursday at the Cumberland County Community Complex.

This year, the Fair Association has set the theme as “A Family Heritage,” and that seems only fitting, in my humble opinion.

I have so many wonderful memories of going to the fair or volunteering at the fair or competing at the fair, and so many of those memories include my dear family.

I can remember working with my parents and grandparents to prepare crafts and baked goods for the fair competition. I loved to enter the exhibits. It was great to get a ribbon. It was even better to sock away a little spending money from the prize money.

When I was younger, my mom did a lot of sewing and my sister and I would don our garments for the annual fair fashion show. Later, we’d take the stage in our own designs and fashions in the 4-H fashion show.

Then there was fair day, when school was called off and the kids got to take over the midway with special ride discounts from early in the morning until the afternoon. In my family, this day was known as Grandma’s day.

My grandmother would volunteer to take myself, my sister and my two cousins to the fair each year. We’d get there as gates were opening and buy a wristband that would let us ride the carnival rides all day long — or until heat stroke, dehydration and exhaustion sidelined us, whichever came first.

Grandma would pick us up at our homes and we’d buckle in while she commented on the “precious cargo” she was entrusted with for the day. Then it was off to the county fairgrounds.

Grandma would find a comfortable spot in the shade and enjoy time socializing with friends from the community while we kids went off in four different directions. School usually started the week before, but we’d gone all summer without seeing our friends on a regular basis. Fair day was as much about catching up with friends as seeing how many times you could ride the Gravitron in a row without losing your breakfast. Ah, those simpler times.

We’d each check in with Grandma throughout the day and join her for lunch by the concession stand operated by the youth baseball league. They had the best burgers, greasy, fried and topped with a thick slab of cheese.

After lunch, it was usually a good time to walk over to the exhibit buildings. You didn’t want to get on the Super Loops too soon after a greasy lunch. Even our nine-year-old stomachs held this to be a universal truth. The exhibits were always fun to see.

By that time, there was just an hour or so left before the midway closed for the afternoon and our wristbands became nothing more than reminders of our fun. That’s just enough time to get in a few more turns on the carousel and take a wild ride on the Himalaya and get good and dizzy on the Scrambler. Grandma would then gather us back up and take us, exhausted and happy, back home.

Now, I no longer have the time to return to my old county fair. My sister and cousins are busy with their families and we don’t have many opportunities for such care-free days together and Grandma passed away several years ago. But I still have those wonderful memories of a Thursday in August every year, from about first grade to eighth grade, sharing these fun-filled days with them.

There will be lots of opportunities for Cumberland County families to make their own special fair memories next week, with special events, entertainment and demonstrations offered every night, beginning with the pet show on Monday. Midway opens at 5 p.m. that evening. Keep up with what’s happening throughout the week at www.cumberlandcofair.com.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published each Tuesday. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014