Fair offers crafty appeal
By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Jane Cooper is retired, but the former home economics teacher still loves seeing the baked goods and other craft exhibits at the Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair.
She went to the fair Friday night with her family. Cooper recalled years ago when she taught food service at North Rowan High and home economics at Corriher Lipe Middle School it was her students’ work on display she was visiting.
She required her students to create baked goods and enter them into the youth division portion of the food, crafts and other homemade goods exhibits.
She usually had 35 to 45 students participate each year. The Rowan County resident even entered her own baked goods and icicle pickles. Her husband also got in on the action and entered pickles and green beans. The couple even won some years. They don’t compete anymore.
Cooper has been attending the fair since 1976 and has only missed one year. Her family was traveling on vacation in 2000.
She remembers when there were more entries.
“People are doing this less and less,” she said.
Cooper said despite the low numbers over the years, she thinks it will pick up and people will soon return to growing more of their own vegetables and baking.
When her grandchildren are older she hopes to have them enter the baking competition.
It was the first year in attendance for Whitney Cook of Concord, who attended with boyfriend, Travis Pope, as a birthday present.
Looking at the vegetables on display made Cook want to make a tomato sandwich she joked.
The couple plant vegetables every year, including cantaloupe, squash, tomatoes, okra and watermelon.
Pope grows peppers, the hotter the better, he said.
Emily Lowman of Davidson attends every year. Her grandfather sells dumplings and she walks around to look at the craft and homemade goods.
She crochets, but has never entered anything she’s made. After seeing some of the entries, she thinks she could do it, Lowman said.
It was the first night of fair activities for Hanah Barr, 11, and Tamera Chambers, 12, but the two had already had an exciting night.
Hanah wasn’t too fond of the roller coasters, but Tamera, “loves them,” she said.
The fair is the “best way to go and have fun,” Hanah said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.
Today at the fair
Noon — Gates open
1 p.m. — Rides and food open; Wristband for unlimited rides 1 p.m.-6 p.m., $20
1 p.m. — Dairy cattle show
1 p.m. — Health System Cooking Show
3 p.m. — Health System Cooking Show
4 p.m. — Nojoe’s Clown Circus
5 p.m. — Children’s barnyard
5 p.m. — Health System Cooking Show
6 p.m. — Drawing for prizes
7 p.m. — Miss & Master Natural Beauty Contest
7 p.m. — Health System Cooking Show
7:30 p.m. — Nojoe’s Clown Circus
9:30 p.m. — Nojoe’s Clown Circus
9:30 p.m. — Fair closes