Wayne County Fair

Wayne County Fair

The Wayne County Fair continues.  I did my booth time at the MPWCC booth today.  I spent most of my time thinking about, “How do you get people to stop at your booth?”

It’s a fair question.  (Get it… fair … never mind… it’s a pun.)

copyright 2014 db walton

Wayne County Fair

A Chamber of Commerce booth could, and should, be a pivotal booth at a county fair.  So, I got thinking about my time at fairs.  (I’m no stranger to county and state fairs.)  Here’s some things that cause me to stop at a booth.

  1. People are walking, so your booth should be standing height.  If you are low and sitting, their eyes are above your booth.  Raise the booth so it is a standing, walk-up booth.  Not a sitting, stoop-over booth.  If people in the booth need to sit, provide bar stools so they can take the weight off their feet, but still be at standing height.
  2. If you represent a company or organization, the colors should correspond with the company or organization brand and logo.  Could you imagine a McDonald’s that wasn’t yellow, red and white?
  3. Have a draw.  Have a reason for people to stop.  That draw might be a free tote bag to carry your fair booty, a flashing LED pin, free candy, etc.  (I’ve noticed, the latter, free candy, not to be that big of a draw at fairs because of all the junk food people are already consuming.)
  4. Make it a game.  Everyone loves a game, especially if they have the chance to win something.  Rather than giving away your swag, make them win it.  It is okay if everyone is a winner, but people are more likely to hang on to something they “won” over something that was just “given” to them.
  5. Have a theme or gimmick.  People remember catchy themes and gimmicks.  One of the most memorable fair booths for me, was back in the mid 70s at the California State Fair, there was a booth that had a gold bullion.  It was on a felt pedestal.  They had a sign that read, “If you can pick the gold bullion up with one hand, you can keep it.”  They knew it was impossible (the bar weighed a couple of hundred pounds if memory serves me right), yet they had people lining up at their booth to try.  While people were standing in line, their booth sales force was working the line.  They had a captive audience.

I met a man who was born and raised in Palmyra.  He said he’s been here for 81 years.  We had a delightful conversation.  I asked if he knew Palmyra Bean, Willard Bean’s daughter. He said he did and they lived in the neighboring farm just to the south of the Smith Farm.  He said over the years, there have been times the church has let them farm the Smith Farm land.

The conversation reminded me as to how close we are historically to our past.  What I mean is we aren’t that far removed from certain historic events.  To me, that’s one of the exciting things about family history and genealogy.  Here are some examples from my own life…

  • My grandfather was born in 1879.  That means he lived during the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, etc.  People connection – he knew Teddy Roosevelt.  I knew and spent time with my grandfather before he died in 1967.  My connection to Teddy and the Rough Riders and the Spanish American War.
  • My dad, as a teenager in the 1940s, owned a Model-A Ford Pickup truck.  My dad’s still alive.  Connection – My dad owned a Model-A back when they weren’t considered relics.  My connection to a very classic automobile – the Model A.
  • When I was a teen, my dad bought Willy Mountbatten’s 1939 Rolls Royce Silver Wrath II.  Connection – We owned a car that was Lord Montbatten’s staff car during WWII.  My connection to WWII.

Those are just a few examples.  So, when I meet someone who has a connection to some historic event or figure, I feel a sense of… I’m not sure how to put this in words… but kind of a closeness, but in a matter of time.  100 years ago was nothing.  200 years ago wasn’t that long ago.  Thus, these connections seem to close the gap of time.


While walking around at the fair, I saw a booth that had a banner that said, “The Health Benefits of Coffee”.

Are we so stupid in our modern society to think bad stuff can be good?

Like the scripture warns, “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Like most things, I’m sure a small amount of coffee occasionally won’t cause lasting harm.  But, like cigarettes, coffee used regularly is dangerous and bad for your health!  Gal stones, colon cancer (and other cancers), high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and a variety of stomach ailments, as well as stained teeth and very bad breath.

What next year?  The heath benefits of smoking?