Community

The Kentucky State Fair is officially underway. The fair draws hundreds of thousands of people every year, and it can be just as fun for the people working there, too.

Billy Cameron works on the Cameron Ridge Holstein dairy farm in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, and he said his family has attended the state fair for about 50 years. He’s 24 now, but he’s worked for his family farm since he was nine.

Cameron said the competition and showing the farm’s cows are his favorite parts of attending the state fair.

Billy Cameron poses next to some of his family's dairy cowsKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Billy Cameron poses next to some of his family’s dairy cows

“You see their eyes light up when you try to tell them everything about the dairy industry and about how we take care of our animals.” Cameron said. “It’s a great opportunity to show people what the dairy industry has to offer.”

For John Fudge of Fudge’s Dairy Farm in Monroe County, the state fair is a reunion with friends, family and people in the industry. Lisa Schoen and Betty Bell agree. But for them, it’s a reunion with fellow knitters and needlepointers.

Lisa Schoen (Left) and Betty Bell (Right) demonstrate needlepointing at the state fairKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Lisa Schoen (Left) and Betty Bell (Right) demonstrate needlepointing at the state fair

Schoen, 58, said she’s practiced needlepointing for 16 years. And Bell, 76, said she’s practiced since she was around four years old. Both said seeing new stitching patterns inspires them, and said their favorite part of attending the fair is seeing work they and others have submitted on display.

“The needlepoint, the cross-stitch, the cases and the framed things on the wall – that’s my favorite,’ Schoen said.

And for others like Tim and Sheila Wulf, it’s an all-around experience. They’re members of the Louisville Area Grain and Extract Research Society Homebrew Club, which judges beers people brew themselves. They can’t say how many years they’ve attended the fair, but Sheila Wulf said hearing stories from people is one of her favorite parts.

Sheila Wulf (Left) and Tim Wulf (right) at their home brewing stall at the Ky State FairKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Sheila Wulf (Left) and Tim Wulf (right) at their home brewing stall at the Ky State Fair

“They’ll talk about how their grandfather was a bootlegger in Eastern Kentucky before they moved here, or that grandpa used to work for fairs,” Wulf said. “You get a lot of really interesting stories from the older people that remember prohibition. It’s pretty cool.”

The Kentucky State Fair ends August 26.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.