Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hi, Ho, Come to The Fair

This weekend I'm spending time with family at a county fair.

That got me thinking about the history of events like that.

Thousands of years ago in many cultures people would gather on certain days  for what we now call street markets, but they considered them fairs. While most of the people were there to buy and sell things, there were also entertainers.

In the Middle Ages fairs and street markets were important in most communities.

When I was a kid no street markets happened in our part of the world because people could buy things from stores, but at least once a year a carnival with games and rides would come to town.

Now lots of towns and cities have weekly street markets during the warm months of the year and the holiday season. Many of those events have rides and games, at least for kids.

Whenever I see one I think how traditional they are.

But state and county fairs are much bigger than those.

Can you imagine what someone from ancient Rome or England in the Middle Ages would think of a Ferris Wheel?

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