by Martina White
This weekend I went to the DC State Fair, which was appropriately urban, as state fairs go. Oh, there were farm animals and funnel cakes, candy apples and canning demonstrations. But this being DC (not even technically a state), there were also artisanal teas, a trapeze artist, gourmet food trucks, and green initiatives galore, but not a corn dog in sight.
The DC State Fair is in its third year and growing. So for now it partners with other festivals. This year it was part of the Barracks Row Fall Festival, with a series of judging and demonstration booths within the larger fair. When I stopped by, they were very seriously judging pies, cupcakes and honey, with contests for the funkiest-looking vegetable and various types of pickles coming up. Their mission is to showcase the home-grown talents of the DC community. And judging by all the contest entries they received and the interest in the demo booth, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing the fair for years to come. The blue ribbon pie? Emily Dalphy’s fig grape orange cognac pie. Nice!
Also at the festival was scratchDC with a cool new business concept. They put together and deliver a bundle of locally sourced ingredients along with a recipe for you to cook a full meal for two at home. What a great solution for busy Washingtonians who don’t have time to plan a healthy meal or shop at the farmer’s market, but who still want to eat that way.
Having grown up on Long Island, with fair memories revolving around tilt-a-whirls and ring tosses, and now having been to an urban state fair, I’ve got a hankering for a good old traditional country fair. Bring on the fried twinkies and prized hogs…I’m looking forward to next year’s Montgomery Fair.
Martina White of Reston, Va., is a nonprofit fundraiser by day and avid farmer’s market enthusiast on the weekend. She blogs with her friend Amanda West about her passion for supporting local farmers as a way to preserve the small farm way of life just beyond our fine city at agrowingseason.wordpress.com.