Everyone has their favorite fair memory- maybe it was the time they beat their older sibling in showmanship for the first time. Or, it could be recollections of watching the pig races with their grandparents. Perhaps fond memories of winning grand champion market lamb at your county fair come to mind; or if you’re anything like me, thoughts of elephant ears and funnel cakes and corn dogs dance in your head. Regardless of what your favorite memory might be, Jerry Apps, a retired University of Wisconsin professor, wants you to send your stories and photos his way.
Apps is writing a book about the history of state, county, and district fairs in Wisconsin. With the help of your stories and photos, he hopes to add a human element to his book. “I’m looking for stories that talk about what it was like to show a calf, win first prize or win a pink ribbon,” Apps said, “or what it was like to stay overnight at the fair. I was a 4-H member for 10 years and we stayed overnight in an old tent at the Waushara County Fair.”
No matter how big or small, all memories are welcome. Apps is asking for stories not only from exhibitors but judges, spectators, FFA members, and anyone else that has had any connection to a fair that took place in Wisconsin. “I want the story from a kid who is now maybe an adult thinking back on what it was like to show a calf at the 1960 fair,” said Apps. “The stories are the start, but I want to go deeper and ask what they learned from those experiences that still impact their lives today.”
Those interested in submitting stories or photos can send them to Apps at [email protected]