Thomas Shank, pedal-powered tractor-pull king
Maybe it's the mingled smells of funnel cake, cotton candy, cow chips, and hay bales. Maybe it's the 4H kids proudly showing off their prize piggies, chickens, and goats. Something about a county fair seems much more real than a fly-by-night carnival.
From July 24- 27, the 30th annual Orange County Fair enlivened the grounds of Montpelier. Without a single Ferris wheel in site, fair-goers (kids and all) kept busy with all the farm-tastic events and southern-flavored music performances.
Only at a county fair can you see a lumberjack show, a cow obstacle course, pizza-eating contests, a children's pedal tractor pull, and chickens and rabbits on parade floats– all in one day. And that's only a third of what's happening. For a mere $5, it was not only a fun family event; it was a bargain hunter's dream.
The small fair covered only a few acres, but it seemed to work better than larger state fairs with 50,000 people and 20-minute waits to ride the bumper cars. Families could stroll the Orange County fairgrounds comfortably in about 30 minutes.
That's even allowing time for watching cloggers performing, hearing ancient men playing bluegrass, and maybe petting a goat or two.