Meet Me at the Fair!

Jul 28, 2015

County fairs are filled with fun, food and festivities. They're meant to educate, inform and entertain.

What we've always loved about the county fairs: the incredible exhibits. Especially exhibits dealing with photographs and paintings of insects.

When the 68th annual Solano County Fair in Vallejo opens Wednesday, July 29 and continues through Sunday, Aug. 2, you'll see butterflies and bees (live ones!) on the grounds at 900 Fairgrounds Drive, but inside the exhibit halls, you'll see other bugs.

Take McCormack Hall. It's graced with everything from youth photographs to adult baked goods. Some of the youth photographs feature butterflies (Monarchs and a Red Admiral), praying mantids, and the always charming lady beetles, aka lady bugs.

In the adult section, Iris Mayhew of Vallejo, who acknowledges being a beginning artist, painted a Western tiger swallowtail on a decorative plate. She's hoping to get more involved in painting insects, including honey bees and dragonflies.

It's art imitating real life but she's made it her own. It was Oscar Wilde who wrote in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying that, "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life". 

Last Sunday, McCormack Hall superintendent Gloria Gonzalez and assistant superintendent Sharon Payne and assistants  Angelina Gonzalez, Julianna Payne and Iris Mayhew and her 10-year-old Ian Mayhew, all of Vallejo, were busily dressing up the hall for fairtime. They affixed best-of-show, best-of-division and blue ribbons (bragging rights) to the exhibits, transforming a once empty hall to a county celebration.

The work of the Gonzalez-Payne team will bring back memories of fairs gone by--from weathered old barns to intricately detailed quilts to patiently pickled preserves.  Yes, someone even preserved quail eggs!

It's time to round up friends and family to see what the county fair has to offer.

And quite appropriately, the theme is "Meet Me at the Fair!"