Time for a local tradition: the 80th annual New Mexico State Fair! It’s a first for us as relative newcomers to the state, but I grew up counting the days to the local fair back in my hometown in New York, and this one has everything I need to fulfill my nostalgic cravings: fried dough, blinking lights, a petting zoo, live music, and not one but two Ferris wheels.
Nationwide, the custom of annual fairs has gotten pretty commercialized and greasy since its roots as a harvest festival, but beneath the glitz and gimmicks it still has strong ties to agriculture and husbandry. Where else are hardworking farmers and ranchers, so far-flung in their fields and grazing lands all season, going to get together to show off for one another? Long live the blue ribbon prizes for best vegetables and horsemanship.