The focus is inside at small country fairs on rainy days, as was the case on Sunday, Sept. 3, at the 172nd year of the Perth Fair. It rained, and rained, and rained all day; the ferris wheel was stopped, there were no line-ups for ride tickets – rides closed until 1 p.m. due to weather conditions – and there were very few stalwart Fair goers traipsing through puddles and mud at the Fairgrounds.
But inside the Homecraft and exhibitors buildings, there was light and colour, school crafts and photos, and Canadian craftsmanship on display. Two well-dressed figures met visitors at the door of the Homecraft building; the elegant female costume with a hoop skirt immediately helped the mind wander back to the early days of the Perth settlement.
Colourful quilts covered the walls (a skill that seems to be making a comeback), wood carving from all ages filled showcases, as well as honey, baking, school projects and quirky pictures that told a story.
Dawdling on slowly, after getting a fill of present-day Perth, exhibitors’ wares caught the eye and imagination in the next-door building.
Johvi Leeck’s display of jams, jellies, syrups and heirloom and obscure seeds started the mind on what to plant in next year’s garden; hanging belts, polished buckles, and hand-crafted leather work of Ken and Kathy Laverty (with that unmistakeable leather smell) enticed visitors to stop and look and touch; the Many to One organization, a charity building PTSD resources with its eye-catching red t-shirt; and finally Henna by Jade with photos of intricate, sometimes humorous designs on hands, ended the walkabout.
Rainy days at country fairs provide introspective moments of past, present and future.