BLOOMSBURG — Might as well eat the ribbon.
That seemed to be the attitude of a little goat at the Bloomsburg Fair as it nibbled the bright green award tied to its pen.
Maybe the critter would have shown more respect to a first-place blue ribbon, two city slickers surmised as we wandered through the Bloomsburg Fair earlier this week, but the green, sixth-place version seemed eminently munchable.
Speaking of eating, that’s a major activity at the fair, for people as well as animals. We did our share, sampling potato pancakes and maple milkshakes and then circling back to a permanent building — you can’t miss it; it has a facsimile of a big baked potato on its roof — to choose from the menu the folks from the Black Creek United Methodist Church of Sugarloaf were serving.
“Enjoy every ounce of that pulled pork,” the cashier advised us, adding she had personally pulled more than 200 pounds herself.
Had that been an exhausting task? Not at all, she said, explaining the meat was so tender after eight hours or so of slow roasting, it practically fell off the bones.
The church’s cozy building, where they’ll continue to serve food through Saturday, was a welcome shelter from Tuesday’s rain, as were the many other structures where you could find everything from antique farm equipment to high school students’ up-to-the-minute STEM projects, and from livestock to arts and crafts.
Much of the artwork was eye-catching, from the needle-craft image of the original Star Trek crew to the photo of two squirrels peeking from a knothole to a rendering of a tiny striped kitten seeing a tiger as it gazed at its reflection.
But maybe the best thing about the fair is its overall salute to agriculture, farmers and farm life, which can be really educational to us city dwellers. If you live in Wilkes-Barre and maybe have some tomatoes or lettuce in a backyard garden, it can be eye-opening to look at gigantic pumpkins and samples of hay and realize people from as close as Danville and Nescopeck brought this rustic fare to be judged at the fair.
It’s heart-warming and reassuring, somehow, to see the fruit and vegetables that people have picked and preserved and the nuts they’ve gathered and to think — with gratitude — about where food comes from.
As one sign set up next to a scarecrow described the life of a farmer: “His equipment is worth more than his house. His animals eat breakfast before he does. He bases his day on acres rather than hours (and) He can fix almost anything with baler twine and duct tape.”
You still have four more days to enjoy the 163rd annual Bloomsburg Fair, which takes place through Saturday at 620 West Third Street in Bloomsburg. Admission is $8 at the gate, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, for ages 12 and older; free for those younger than 12 every day. Students ages ages 13 to 18 get free entry on Friday.