Washington County is the premiere agricultural county in this part of New York State and arguably in the entire state. It would make sense that the Washington County Fair is the premiere County fair in the area, which it is. Full of farm animals, farm produce and farm activities, it is a model of agrarian utopia in many respects. Unfortunately and ironically, one of those respects for which it does not represent agrarian utopia is food. While there is plenty of farm produce on display, both alive and harvested, and there is plenty of food available, there is precious little of that food that actually represents the farms of the area.
Overstuffed taco salads, fried dough, sausage and peppers, fried Oreos and cotton candy were in abundance with nary a farm source listed let alone any local ones. Fortunately, there were a few small oases amongst the desert of fast food joints, most notably a milk stand featuring the dairy products of the Battenville Valley Creamery and the grilled chickens of the Argyle Fire Department.
The fair is both uplifting and fun and extremely depressing. It is fun to witness and partake of the bits of Americana like the milking display, the horseback riding demonstrations and the livestock judging, but it is depressing to look at all the high calorie, low quality food stands and the expensive , rip-off carny "amusement" rides and games.
In all, the fair is an enigma. It had been a while since I had been. I was reminded why so much time has passed since my last visit and also why I enjoyed going at all. It is one of those events, worthwhile visiting every so often, without spending too much time there. Of course, if certain elements were to improve, most notably the culinary offerings, I could see spending a lot of time there.
As the summer passes, so has the fair, marking a transition to the end of summer, the onset of fall and the coming of winter. The seasons continue to cycle.