courtesy of WRAL
We spent over 2 1/2 hours at the first spot as we entered the fairgrounds. We went in to gate 8, and right there was the Heritage Circle area. We got to see a blacksmith shop working, a tobacco barn drying, bluegrass concert, and a steam powered sawmill. There were also live demonstrations of various skills, like a gentleman who still makes dough bowls from hand for bread making. Joe wants to try his hand at that.
We were a bit disappointed in the food. We only have our fair in NH to compare to, and let me just say that using frozen fries will not win you any prizes. We also went into a building called Village of Yesteryear. It is a large circle building and contains all sorts of handcrafts. The skill of all these wonderful people was amazing!
Then it was off to find the animals. For Tom, this was the most disappointing thing, and I have to agree with him. We, again, only have our fair to compare it to, but there wasn't 1/3 of the livestock there, that we would see in NH, and our fair is much smaller. We did see about 6 breed of cows (1 of each), and I have 2 new ones to research, that could be a viable option for our future homestead of the dexters I want don't work out. There were only 3 breeds of goats there, and some mini donkey's. Maybe 20 chickens, 10 rabbits, a few sheep, a few pigs, two mules, and a horse and her foal. We are used to barns upon barns of animals, and being able to pet and talk to them. Apparently due to the Ecoli risk, and I get it, you are not allowed to touch the animals at all anymore. There are the portable cattle panels set up to hold the animals, and then another barricade about 3 feet outside that, to keep humans away. Disappointing, but you have to follow the rules.
We walked a TON, had fun, and over all it was a good experience. The weather held out, and it didn't start raining until right as we were walking to the car. Here are a few pictures I took yesterday:
Outdoor cooking demonstration
Steam powered sawmill
Sawmill in action
Amazing wood carvings
Sharpie Sailboat being built
Baby Mini Donkey
Train garden display - the trains were great!
Pretty garden art
Creative garden art using nature