Mountain State Art & Craft Fair 2008


I got out of the holler yesterday and went about an hour away to stroll around in the muddy grounds at the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair in Ripley, West Virginia–a huge, wondrous affair designed to highlight West Virginia cultural heritage. I went for the funnel cake.

I’m not much of a window shopper, but I love walking around every year at this fair. There’s always really cool stuff, like these pretty bird baths. Don’t you think my chickens need one for a water dish? I loved these bird houses, too. I managed to walk away without buying one.

There’s always a lot of neat carved stuff, like these old-fashioned dulcimers, and look at those gourds made into chickens! I don’t know how I walked away without buying one of them.

People are there performing heritage crafts on-site, like this guy making candles. They were simmering apple butter, too. This is how I do it when I make apple butter. I get out my big copper cauldron, fire up the wood, and make a day of it.

My cousin was there, as always, grinding corn and selling his fresh cornmeal by the four-pound bag. I made sure he was using his grinder correctly, adjusted some mechanical things, and hefted around a couple two-ton bags of corn for him. I don’t know how he would get through the fair without me.

Then I came around a line of booths and the heavens opened up and the angels sang.

Funnel cake!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing like a huge plateful of delicious fried fat topped with sugar to make coating your feet in mud walking around the fair all worth it.

I also managed to hit every single food booth giving away free samples. It’s a total meal, like if you went to Sam’s Club to have lunch from all the sampler tables. Not that I ever do that or anything, so I’m just imagining. I had a sample of some creamed honey at this booth that was like the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life and I don’t know why I didn’t buy any.

I wanted to get there in time to see the sheep-shearing demonstration, but I just missed it. I’m not sure why I wanted to see the sheep-shearing demonstration since I don’t have any sheep. Could be because I’m obsessed with sheep. These three were already back in their holding pen by the time I arrived.

This one looked particularly irritable about it.

Maybe he was still upset about this.

This is the one thing I did buy. Not that I needed another cutting board, but I’ve looked at these gorgeous hardwood cutting boards at the fair before. If I still want it two years later, then I know I really want it, so I gave in and bought one.

I really liked this plaque, and maybe in a couple years if they bring it to the fair again, I’ll get one.

But for now, it’s true. I’m lucky to live here, and that’s enough. Well, you know, I did need that cutting board. And the funnel cake. And I’m thinking I really need that creamed honey next.

And maybe those sheep…..


  1. Kim A. says:

    What fun!

    I can’t believe you passed on the honey…! Nice cutting board, though. Maybe 52 will take the hint and buy you some honey, if he hasn’t already.

    BTW, the funnel cakes are a lot like our Beaver Tails: deep fried dough sprinkled with a variety of toppings. I’ve had all of 2 or 3 in my entire life (they are very popular in Ottawa, our nation’s capital), and boy, they were GOOD. We have a Beaver Tail seller here, downtown, during tourist season, but I’ve resisted.


  2. robin says:

    my reasoning is i will only see it once a year! so i buy it! i want some of that corn meal and honey….my resistance is low. don’t you love art and craft fairs!

  3. anne says:

    Never tried funnel cakes but I think maybe why not. Looks
    good and maybe I am missing out.Real good for you! LOL

  4. Heidi says:

    SHEEP!!! LOL You are a nut Sue!! LOL Funnel cakes are like a slice of bliss – when they are hot and the powder sugar is gooy on the top…. ***DROOL***

  5. Kathy R says:

    Looks like you had a good time. We are going to the fair today. It looks like the weather won’t be as good today as it was yesterday when you went, and the mud will probably be deeper. The paper today said that it rained so much those birdbaths you looked at were full of water. Just bring your chickens on down.

    Funnel cakes, eh? I’m going to skip breakfast, and go directly to funnel cakes!

  6. Stacia says:

    I love Funnel cakes! And sheep! And bird baths! And I love fairs! Have you thought about getting your own bees and making your own honey? That would be cool. And then you could have your own booth at the fair!

  7. wkf says:

    Funnel cakes and elephant ears!!!!!!! Wonderful stuff

    I am going to order creamed honey.


  8. Kacey says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. SO craving funnel cake right now… Love it!

  9. Christine says:

    I wanted one of those cutting boards at our fair also but I settled to a 18th century wooden bisciut cutter instead.

  10. Kim says:

    OR you could totally make your own plaque based on that idea. Lots of people go to those fairs to get inspired about new projects and that one is so cute! :sheepjump:

  11. Amy says:

    I don’t know why I didn’t buy any

    You are clearly a woman of great restraint. I :love: those gourd chickens and the dulcimers. And the honey! Oh, yum.

    That cutting board is gorgeous…if I was ever at a fair and they had hardwood cutting boards, I’d buy one in a second.

    Is that the cousin who though his wife had bought him the shiny red tractor?

    And the funnel cakes! There are a great many things I would do for a funnel cake. I love funnel cakes. I went on a roller coaster just so my sister would buy me a funnel cake (when I was little). I think you could motivate your characters to do all sorts of things against their own best interests if they were doing them for funnel cakes.

    A story about funnel cakes. Sigh. I’d totally read that.

    I’m going to have to dig out my recipe for home-made funnel cakes.

  12. Amy says:


    Ooops…totally forgot to comment on the naked sheep. We drive by a farm on our way home from the city and the three sheep living there are in desperate need of haircuts. Maybe the next time I go by, they’ll be naked, too.

  13. Jill S. says:

    I love that plaque!! That’s how I feel, lucky to be in the mountains.

  14. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Yes, that’s my cousin who owns the farm where the old farmhouse is.

    I was thinking that, too, about making my own plaque! I’m no artist, but it’s a fairly simple one. I could probably do it.

  15. Shari C says:

    Oh, that art and craft fair looked like such a fun place to be. I would love to have a funnel cake and those bird baths look beautiful…would love to have one for our backyard.

  16. Tammy says:

    Just found your blog, and have been enjoying ‘catching up’. I still have a ways to go, but it’s fun. Oh, and I have sheep! Lots of little Shetland sheep in all sorts of colors, and they are interesting little critters. And I love funnel cakes…..

  17. Tori Lennox says:

    Oh, man, I would kill for a funnel cake!!! I love funnel cake!!!

  18. Kathryn says:

    I :heart: :heart: :heart: those chicken gourds! My birthday is tomorrow and I will be on the cusp of older than dirt, according to assorted children and grandchildren. I called a few of that assortment and hinted that somebody needed to drive straight to that fair today and load up on those cute things! I am glad you came out of your holler for a bit because coming home is even more wonderful. Have a lovely rest of the day.

  19. Donna says:

    YUM Funnelcake..I had one recently at a ballgame! I like to watch them squirt the dough, out of a plastic bottle into the deep fat. They remind me of Beignet in New Orleans.

    Sounds like it was a fun day! With fun things to buy! :mrgreen:

  20. Treasia says:

    You are a strong woman to have passed by so many wonderful finds. No way could I have walked away empty handed from the bird houses. I love funnel cakes. have you ever had them covered in chocolate syrup? To die for.

  21. Estella says:

    I would have purchased the plaque. It would look great on your porch.

  22. jaq says:

    I don’t think I would have left that plaque, Suzanne. Would you believe I’ve never had funnel cake? I thought it was shaped like a ice cream cone.. yanno, a funnel. 😆 Looks yummy, though.

  23. Joanne says:

    mmmmmm…funnel cakes! Love, luv, luv them. I also loved the chicken gourds. Would not have been able to pass that one up 😉 I think the plaque is totally do-able. It would be more personalized that way and all yours. Looks like a fun day…thanks for sharing the pics.

  24. Susan says:

    Yum, funnel cake! I’m glad you bought that or I’d be very worried about you. 😆 I love that plaque and am certain you could make one.

  25. Brandy says:

    You know….funnel cakes aren’t hard to make at home… *G* But, there’s something about Fair Food. You were brave resisting all those pretty things. Your one purchase is gorgeous!

  26. Christine says:

    Ack! I want one of those chickens. 😆

  27. Remudamom says:

    I love funnel cake too, I wonder if you can make it at home. I bought a cutting board just like that once. Silver Dollar City maybe?

  28. Shirley says:

    Oh for a funnel cake! I love them too. And the gourd chickens. They are so cute. And I’d probably have bought the creamed honey. I’ve never heard of it before.

    I know you had a good time.

    I watched them make Beniets in New Orleans on tv the other day. I think they are the same thing only they are rolled out and cut into squares before frying them in cotton seed oil. But they cover them in powdered sugar too.

  29. Lisa L says:

    Yummy! Love those funnel cakes. I’ve had them with fresh strawberries and whip cream too. Glad you had a great time. Lisa

  30. Granny Sue says:

    Wasn’t the fair fun? I ended up buying blown glass witchballs, a pottery fountain, and some stained glass ornaments for Christmas gifts. Such artistry! These guys are the best of the best artisans in the state.

    (BTW, that’s a bowed psaltery, not a dulcimer, although they look somewhat similar. It’s a medieval instrument and the music it makes is lovely, a cross between a fiddle and a harp, I think–or maybe a dulcimer and a harp.)

    I fell for the homemade ice cream myself. Although the smell of funnel cakes was very, very tempting. Did you see the bee beards? Awesome! I posted a photo of that guy on my blog.

  31. catslady says:

    Add me to the list of funnel cake lovers. Our amusement park nearby makes them but now that the kids are grown, we don’t go and I miss my funnel cake. I like it with just the powdered sugar but you can get it piled high with ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream!

  32. Jyl says:

    You got out of the holler and I got out of Hick Town…to see where I went today you will have to visit here:

  33. Kathy R says:

    We are back from the fair, and it was a gorgeous day – puffy clouds, hot, but okay under the awnings. They tamed the mud with a thick layer of hay and it was generally dry enough to walk without ending up in a puddle of mud. I bought a cutting board — after seeing yours, envy reared its ugly head, and I had to have one for myself.

    I’m also the proud owner of 2 – 4 lb. bags of your cousin’s cornmeal. One bag is in the freezer, and one is on the counter, ready for me to print out your recipe and make corn bread tomorrow. I love to make soup or beans, but my corn bread is pitiful. Maybe this time with the right cornmeal, and the right recipe, it will be wonderful.

    PS: You won’t believe it, but I passed the funnel cakes on the way down the aisle, got distracted, and never did go back for the funnel cake! How can you go to a fair and forget to get a funnel cake??? :no:

  34. CarolW says:

    Looks like you had a great day. I have to ask ‘What on earth is a funnel cake?’ We definitely don’t have them over here.

  35. Becky says:

    I LOVE fried dough with sugar! I had none over the 4th but I DID have homemade ice cream….are you jealous? Maybe just a little?!

    All these people who don’t know what funnel cakes are…where do they live!

  36. Crystal B. says:

    What a great arts and crafts fair. Looks like a lot of fun.

  37. Egghead says:

    I could not have passed up the gourd chickens. I love the cutting board as well. Looks like a fun fair.

  38. Trish says:

    Loved the pictures, it brought back memories of when I was much younger, we went to that arts and crafts fair, we weren’t so lucky to get the funnel cake (which I love)we had to drink fresh, warm cow milk and it was gross. Never had a funnel cake till I moved to the south.

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