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Goin’ to The Fair – 100 Yrs Ago.

Harry, Kimberly & Beverly
Harry, Kimberly & Beverly

What must it have been like 100 yrs ago, to go to a real “County Fair”?

That was on the mind of organizers of the Evergreen State Fairgrounds when they dedicated the Opening Day of the fair to centennial celebrations and invited local dignitaries and the members of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited to come out in 1908 attire to add “color” to the fun!

Here, three of SITU’s members are pictured resting in front of the lovely “Merry-go-round” after a turn or two on the large ferris wheel.

So back to our opening question.  What WAS it really like at the local county fair?  Well, the historical exhibits on-site gave us a few clues.  We quickly realized that “going to the fair” was a particularly special thing.  100 years ago, people dressed UP to be seen in public.  I can imagine the farming community probably wore Sunday finery (or pretty close to it) and city folk would’ve come out to the country to partake in a ritual and admiration of exhibits with which their world seldom collided. 

For fair 2008, participants had carefully collected examples of vintage garments, crafts, photos, etc. and created incredible displays for all to enjoy.   Preserved and fresh vegetables displayed with great flourish could be viewed and admired.  Incredible works of art were reflected in the quilts, the photography, painting, weaving, needle work and such.  Handsome animals large and small could be found in various locations on the grounds, ribbons dramtically and proudly displayed.  Even little habitats for kitty-cats with their young human designers standing at the ready to answer questions about their habitat handiwork, was inspiring.  Oh, were my own kitty to have such a wonderful hiding spot!

That wasn’t all.  In the middle of it all, came the welcome scent whafting thru the air of corndogs and hamburgers cooking.  The onions nearly made me turn on my heel and leave my friends behind because the onions cooking smelled sooooo enticing!  Then were was fragrant candy.  Popcorn.  Men and women working the carnie strip enticing us to cross their palms with coinage and take a chance of throwing a ball or tossing a ring.  Rides.  Lots of rides, our favorites being the ferris wheel and the merry-go-round. 

I could close my eyes and just envision what a warm day and evening might’ve looked like back then, 100 yrs ago.  The fair hasn’t changed much.  Even tho people now stroll around in jeans and sweatshirts instead of glamourous gowns, parasols and lovely hats, the enticement to come spend a few hours away from household and work duties is still an attraction that many of us can still enjoy.

Congrats, Evergreen State Fairgrounds.  It was a lovely day and one to be remembered!

Kimberly & Rita in 1908 attire
Kimberly & Rita in 1908 attire


Lady Victoria and husband Sir Harry of Essex (London), reside these days in picturesque Seattle, Washington USA. They interact with a number of vintage or antique groups, including the historical costuming group Somewhere in Time, Unlimited. Come, enjoy an afternoon with Lady V and Sir Harry!

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