Last week was our annual county fair. And I saw the actual prize pig, raised by one of the local 4H kids. They call it Grand Champion. There is also a Reserve Champion, I suppose to step in if the Grand Champion can’t fulfill its duties. In addition to the prize pig there were prize steers, prize rabbits, prize chickens, prize lambs, prize goats, and even prize eggs. In the end they were all auctioned off to the highest bidder. I watched as kids would proudly parade their champions around the ring while the auctioneer did the whole “abbity abbity four hundred” thing. It gave me a lot more respect for the term “prize pig.”
But there weren’t just animals at the fair. Everything from jams to flowers to arts and crafts were entered, judged, and enjoyed by everyone there. One of the most surprising things I saw were little bags of garden compost. It seemed like half of the people there had something entered in the fair. With the exhibits, performances and local food vendors, nobody had much time for the traditional carny rides – in fact, the carnival section was almost completely deserted.
For my participation in the fair, I went to help out in the wool shed, where there was an exhibit of textile arts. One of the other volunteers there asked what I had submitted. When I told her nothing, she insisted I go home and get something. Ok, so I drove back home and grabbed three of my latest rugs and entered them into the handwoven category.
To my surprise, I received blue ribbons for all three! Not only that, one got an additional “Judge’s Special Award.”
But perhaps the highest honor was my color-blended rug which got a “Best of Class” ribbon.
The judging happened in the morning, and when we walked into the wool shed in the afternoon and saw the results, I was a bit stunned. Mrs. Daylight jumped up and down squealing with delight. I do think I have some talent for weaving, but to be placed at the top is a rather humbling experience. I almost had to step outside to collect myself.
So there sat my own prize pig displayed for all to see, with me as proud as those 4H kids.