On a very lovely day this past August, Randy and I went to our county fair in Cusick, which is about thirty miles north of us.
In case you were wondering, Pend Oreille is pronounced (and sometimes spelled) : Ponderay.
Randy and I headed over to visit the animals, but first we had to watch this young man practicing his lassoing.
And no, he didn’t catch me.
The first official Pend Orielle County Fair was held in 1918 in Dalkena Washington. Dalkena is about midway between the town of Newport and the current location of the fairgrounds in Cusick.
Goats: Know Your Parts. No truer words were ever written.
At the first fair, there were 1,012 exhibits. The money for the fair and the prizes was raised by local residents and businesses. A total of $467 was raised. All the exhibits were then sold, with the money going to the Red Cross.
Randy and I looked at rabbits, a couple of hamsters, a turtle, a hedgehog and a lizard.
Only 5% treats? Good thing this chart doesn’t apply to dogs and people.
Mr Goose was very happy to be put in a cage and have strangers staring at him for hours on end. He was very vocal about his displeasure.
He did have some impressive tonails, however. He also has a very nasty looking toenail on the backside of his leg.
It was tough to get a good picture of the chickens and the roosters, having to shoot through their wire cages. Plus, they were all pretty active. I do have to say that there are some very pretty chickens and roosters in the world.
No truer words were ever written.
While the fair grew slightly from 1919 to 1921, for the years 1922 through 1930 the event was cancelled.
My, how beautiful and bright those blue eyes are!
In 1931, the Pend Orielle County Development League was formed to sponsor the fair. That year’s fair was held in a large barn in Cusick.
Looking south from behind the fairgrounds, this is a tributary of the Pend Oreille River.
The same tributary looking to the north.
Randy and I were in the cow barn, oddly enough, looking at the cows, when a sweet young 4-H girl popped over to us and asked if we were looking for a steer to buy.
Mmmmm … no, but, thanks for asking.
The fair had record attendance in 1933. Unfortunately, due in part to the depression, and despite the nightly posting of guards, most of the food displays were stolen. It was the depression and people were hungry.
The theme of this year’s fair was ‘Country Pride County Wide’.
There were the typical fair displays of …
… Flowers …
… Needlecrafts …
… Cake decorating and …
… Cupcake decorating contests …
… Awards for the best table setting …
… Homemade wine and preserves …
… Even an ugly squash decorating contest.
This entry was the third place winner in the Monster Cookie division. If you couldn’t guess, it is a jelly fish … as seen through the eyes of a three-year-old.
In 1933, the fair moved to it’s current site. Buildings were built for displays and a rodeo arena was constructed for … wait for it … the rodeo.
This is the area for the food booths, the games for kids and other displays for the fire department and the sheriff.
And of course, all the fair junk, I mean fair souvenirs, that one can purchase.
That is, if you have enough money left over after buying a huckleberry ice cream cone.
Randy and I spent some time talking to the Noxious Weed Man (*). As I suspected, most all of the pretty flowers that I have found are considered noxious weeds. I tried to explain to him that any orange flower could not possibly be considered a weed, let along noxious. He didn’t see it my way.
(*) not his real name
Due to World War II, during the years of 1941 through 1945 the fair was cancelled. In 1946, it started up again with the new tradition of selecting a fair queen. That year, the fair also received it’s first grant from Washington state. Attendance in 1946 was a record 6,000 people.
That has got to be one ugly baby.
The original Post Office from Calispell Washington that was moved to the fairgrounds.
The Frank Lindsey home, built in the 1920’s on Skookum Creek. It was dismantled in 1974, then reassembled in 1984 and 1985 by the Pend Oreille Historical Society.
The Google has let me down as I cannot find any interesting tidbits on the post office or the house. But they were cool old buildings to look at.
Although, Mrs Lindsey looks to be in great shape for her age.
The menfolk were ogling the old and new farm equipment that was on display.
This is a 1947 International Farmall ‘M’ tractor that looks brand new.
Another relic from the past. The young whipper-snappers didn’t know how to operate it, they kept lifting up the receiver and shouting for Siri.
After the men finished drooling over the tractors, they moved on to the car show to drool some more.
A creative use of a vice grip. My in-house proof-reader and vehicle expert tells me this is a Hurst shifter. Looks like a vice grip to me.
This nice man and his beautiful car was tucked in a corner way out of the way. He looked lonesome, so Randy and I spent some time talking with him.
A work in progress.
Some paint colors were kind of different. To me, at least.
And this one, too. At least you wouldn’t lose them in the parking lot at Walmart.
This old truck was my favorite.
I liked it because the closer I looked at it, the more interesting stuff I found.
We did not find the beer garden …
… But we found the horses …
… And learned all there is to know about a cowboy boot.
Despite the fact that the domestic pig is, according to Wikipedia, among the ‘most populous large mammal in the world’ there were no pigs to be found at the fair. Well, other than this tiny plastic one.
In our travels, Randy and I have been to a few county fairs. Admission is free with some of them and you get what you pay for. Our local county fair was a decent size, with plenty of animals, displays and people to look at. A very good time was had.