Monday, April 28, 2014

Central Florida Fair

On March 7th, I went to the Central Florida Fair (4603 West Colonial Drive Orlando FL). It is easy to see when the fair is in town because the Ferris Wheel glitters brightly on the horizon when you drive down Colonial at night. It was a rare cold day in Central Florida. I parked in a muddy lot beside many animal trailers. I figured there would be little happening during the day, but there was someone at the ticket window. I others walk by so, I took my best shot to just stroll in. The teen at the window asked to see my wrist band. Darn, they charge money to go in the daytime. I told him that I was the press and he decided to let me go.

None of the rides were moving and there were no crowds at the game booths. The first thing I noticed were some cows being walked around a coral. I had stumbled across a livestock showing and decided that was my best sketch opportunity. Teens walked their prize cows around the with the hope of getting a blue ribbon. The judge and teens had a bull hooks that were used to jab the loose flesh under each cow's throat. It made me uncomfortable to see the cows jabbed repeatedly. I'm not sure why it was done. They would bellow and moo waiting for the judging to end.

A woman who organizes events for the Central Florida Fairgrounds noticed me sketching and stopped to talk for a while. She explained that the Fair has entered the Digital age by having competitions for children where kids write computer code instead of showing their livestock. Microsoft has joined in as a sponsor to encourage kids to write code from a very early age. Another creative competition was sponsored by Legos. Kids were given a small mountain of Legos and they competed to see who was the most creative with what they had to work with. Hopefully I can sketch that competition next year.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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