Sunday, August 2, 2009

a fair to remember

This one was definitely one for the record books. As I mentioned yesterday, my LSH had graciously agreed to take the second night's fair camp-out duty. Unfortunately, he picked the night with the torrential rain.

It was just a little overcast at our house this morning, but as I drove up towards the fairgrounds, the calls from the fairground became increasingly dire. Our largest sheep show ever was scheduled for this morning, with many kids due to come from other counties. But we had to call off their trips, because by the time I arrived, the entrance to the fairgrounds looked like this:


Clearly impassable to livestock trailers; plus the inside of the show tent looked like this:


We were ready to pack up our animals and leave immediately, but the county agent talked us into staying. We had at least one child crying due to show cancellation (may have been more but I lost track at this point; I was also being bitten by fire ants seeking higher ground). Based upon the hour-by-hour forecast, which said the thunderstorms would hold off until the mid-afternoon, the club leader relented and we headed into the show ring. The water had receded by this point and the trophies, that had almost floated away, were recovered. A gracious substitute judge was found, and we went ahead... not noticing as the skies got darker and darker...

And then, just as the last class was headed into the ring, all heck broke loose. The rain, which had started just a few minutes earlier, was coming down horizontally. The tent flaps were being blown straight out, and lightning was zinging down all around us. It was the quickest finish to a show, ever. We fled into the livestock tent, got the sheep into the driest pens we could find, and headed into the building as a tornado warning was upon us.

That's right. A tornado. Never let it be said that fair week is dull.

Once the warning was lifted, we headed out and started loading the animals onto the trailers. As we were trying our darndest to convince reluctant sheep to cross the deep puddles and flowing water, members of the public still kept pulling up and asking us where the fair exhibits were. We explained as politely as possible, given the circumstances, that we were evacuating due to the poor weather. Of course, it didn't rain for the remainder of the afternoon, but the damage was done. Fair this year ended with a wet, soggy whimper.


  1. what a mess!
    Are you daring to do Salem County's Fair?

  2. So sorry that it turned out this way. It was quite a storm up here as well with the horizontal rain and trees down. I know that you must have put in a lot of work to have the weather show its nastier side. At least it held off until the end.

  3. Wow, you are brave!!!! Glad everyone is ok.

  4. And it will be an affair to remember!