It’s hard to describe the atmosphere at the Dane County Fair today. The first thing I saw when I walked in was a U.S. Army recruiting booth, complete with a titanic olive-drab military vehicle. A thin crowd of early afternoon fairgoers had braved the sweltering heat to enjoy rides, funnel cake, and $5-a-glass lemonade.
Inside the Alliant Energy Center’s exhibition hall, rows of tables with information about veterans and the military shared space with kids’ arts and crafts. The American Red Cross was running a blood drive in the corner.
Among the fairground standards like merry-go-rounds, fun houses, and shooting galleries, there were also events that showcased local farm culture. One of the most popular attractions was an agricultural mock game-show for kids.
For the folks I talked to, though, it was the fair’s animal shows that were most exciting. Stables and 4-H clubs from across the state submitted animals for judging.
I didn’t get a chance to discuss the fair with any of the people who were actually working there, but I did talk to some of the folks competing in the animal shows. Here’s what they had to say.
The Dane County Fair will run through Sunday.
Images for this story were provided by Andie Barrow.