Many old fashioned county fairs have long gone by the wayside. If you are old enough you will remember a day when those fairs offered farmers and housewives a platform on which to exhibit their skills whether it be raising livestock, crops, or entering baked and canned goods. They would compete in many different categories for blue or purple ribbons representing the best of the best at the fair. Then the winners from each county would go on to the State Fair.
Once you advanced to the State Fair, you were introduced into a much higher level of competition, but also a much higher level of entertainment such as the “Midway” with lots of rides; variety and musical shows and then there is “Fair Food” featuring everything either on a stick or deep fried. The Kentucky State Fair still has an enormous following each year.
The fair still continues to grow and change but yet many of the competitions have stayed the same. You might say a perfect blend of “Old and New”. Broadbent’s goes every year for a country ham competition. They take 5 of their very best hams to compete in a commercial country ham class. It’s always fun to be among the winners and Broadbent’s has won 16 Grand Champion Awards along with lots of purple (1st place ribbons.)
For the last few years Broadbent owners Ronny and Beth Drennan have taken their two grandchildren with them to the fair. Like most fairgoers they cover the fair from one end to the other. The grandchildren love to pet the goats, milk a cow which is very real looking: watch for baby chicks to hatch from their shells: view shows featuring live animals; eat fudge and ice cream: and enjoy the rides at the Midway.
Broadbent’s also allows approximately 60 4-H students each year from surrounding counties to participate in curing country hams for the State 4-H country Ham Competition. Some always emerge as 1st place winners in their age groups. These students along with their families spend a day at the fair each year. It’s a great way for families to take a break from their fast paced, busy lives.
If you haven’t been to a state fair, you are missing a treat. Put that on your bucket list for 2016!