Our State Fair is a great State Fair, it’s the greatest State Fair in the land….” I’m no Oscar Hammerstein, but I know a good song when I hear it, (and some might say, will perform it endlessly …) even if I’m not as keen on the whole State Fair experience as some other members of our staff. (Fellow Minnesotans, please leave your rotten tomatoes at home.)
I do find it great that I get a sneak preview of the fair’s entries in the category most important to me: woodworking. Not just any woodworking, but kids’ woodworking. (I won’t sing again, but you know, “children are the future…”) Each year I spend a day as a judge of woodworking projects submitted by kids to the fair. It is a long day — but satisfying.
I am so happy there are still kids doing woodworking out there, and they are doing some great stuff. Precise, hand-cut dovetails by high schoolers, clocks and tables by middle schoolers, and even some great stuff from elementary kids. Spending an August day looking at these projects, hanging out with 30-year veteran shop teachers, talking about woodworking and the future of our craft: that’s one of the greatest things about the State Fair to me.
OK, and the mini donuts.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
P.S. (“State Fair” is actually about the Iowa State Fair. I know that. Remember I mentioned fellow staff? She won’t let me forget. Iowans, you can keep your tomatoes, too.)