Friday, August 17, 2012

2012 Kentucky State Fair Opening Ceremonies in Louisville

We love visiting fairs and festivals, so it is no surprise that we visit several state fairs every year.  Just a few days ago we were at the Illinois State Fair with Miss Georgetown Fair 2012 Hayley Lockwood, and on August 16th we went down to Louisville to watch opening day ceremonies at the Kentucky State Fair.

With over 1.2 million square feet of indoor space, the Kentucky State Fair is the largest indoor state fair in America.  Unlike any other state fair we have every visited, the Kentucky State Fair is held at an exposition and convention center complex, so just about everything happens under one roof.  Seeing state fair exhibits - everything from cars to quilts to modular homes - inside a convention hall is a unique experience, and it is a blessing if it happens to be really hot outside or raining, which are common in August.

Our only disappointment with the Kentucky State Fair is about the closure of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.  Because the old Kentucky Kingdom park sat on the property of the Expo Center, the amusement park became part of the Kentucky Thrillway during the state fair.  That meant you could stroll inside Kentucky Kingdom and buy tickets to ride one roller coaster at a time.  There were hardly ever any long rides, and this was one of Joe's favorite things about the Kentucky State Fair.  Seeing the old amusement park shuttered and rusting away is heartbreaking.

In keeping with our role as the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen, we couldn't help but grab a few shots of the Kentucky county fair queens as they introduced themselves during opening ceremonies.  The Kentucky fair queens show up looking fabulous and get their picture taken with the governor.

The Kentucky State Fair has a few entry contests that really sets it apart from Indiana and Illinois.  With tobacco, country hams and an ugly lamp contest sponsored by Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, there might just be more to see at the Kentucky State Fair, plus it's all inside in air conditioned comfort!  We've got more stops planned in our fall fair and festival tour, so keep following our adventures on Josh and Joe Travels!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Georgetown Fair Queen: 23 Compete to be the 2012 Georgetown Fair Queen

On Sunday, August 5th we were on hand at the Georgetown fairgrounds to photograph a pageant contestant tradition: the contestant fair walk.  The fair walk is a visit to the fairgrounds by all the contestants competing to be the next Georgetown Fair Queen.  The contestants spend an afternoon on the grounds visiting the exhibit buildings, touring the livestock barns, and even washing cows!  One of these women will soon call the Georgetown fairgrounds home, as she will spend the entire week there as the official hostess of the Georgetown Fair.

We hope to see you this week at the 2012 Georgetown Fair.  We'll be easy to spot - just look for the queen and her court and we won't be far behind.  In honor of 2011 Georgetown Fair Queen Alexandria Hannan, this year's pageant theme is "Hunting for a Queen," so if you don't make it to the pageant on Monday night be sure to look for Alex's new sign in the show arena.  If you know Alex the camo sign will jump right out at you, but if you need extra help, savvy readers will spot it in a few of our pictures.

We can't wait to find out who will be the 2012 Georgetown Fair Queen!  The 23 contestants will have a full day before the pageant with private interviews and speech competition, so be ready to cheer for your favorite contestant at the grandstand Monday night.  And check back here to see pictures of 2012 Georgetown Fair Queen winner and her court!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Georgetown Fair Queen: Alexandria Hannan and the 2012 Fair Family Dinner

On August 2nd all the contestants competing for the title of 2012 Miss Georgetown Fair Queen joined Alexandria Hannan at the Fair Family Dinner on the Georgetown fairgrounds.  The Georgetown Fair Family Dinner is a special meal put on for all the board members, volunteers and friends of the fair.  Each year the banquet center building is packed with people celebrating the success of one of the best fairs in Illinois, and the contestants are on hand not just to introduce themselves, but to help clear tables and pass out dessert before they go to pageant practice.

As the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen, we are especially focused on the pageant, but we can't help but note the incredible success of the entire Georgetown Fair.  We listened at the dinner as one of the board members announced that sponsorships and support of the fair has greatly increased over the last few years, and the fair board continues to turn that money into fairground improvements that everyone in the community will enjoy.

With the support of an incredible fair board, the Georgetown Fair Queen program is one of the top fair queen programs in the state of Illinois.  Pageant director Karen Thornsbrough talked about how participation in the Georgetown pageant is always among the highest in the state, and how proud she was to have such a great group competing for Alexandria's job.  During her speech Queen Alexandria talked about her experience as queen and how it has impacted her life.

We've really enjoyed photographing 2011 Queen Alexandria Hannan and we hope you've enjoyed following her journey as the Georgetown Fair Queen on our blog.  We'll be posting pictures all week during the 2012 Georgetown Fair, so get ready to meet the new queen and see all the excitement!