Prior to the start of the 2016 Jay County Fair (which ran from July 9 through July 16), I announced that I wanted to do something a little different than I had in the past.
This was my fourth time covering the far for The Commercial Review, and each year I have enjoyed it more and more; the 4-H shows, capturing photos of people enjoying the Midway rides, eating fair food and of course, the nightly entertainment at the grandstand.
In 2013, my first time at the fair, I hardly knew a soul. I was brand new to Jay County — I had only been around a couple weeks — so my time there was difficult. I didn’t know what the hell was going on with the 4-H shows and I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t a fun experience.
But with each passing year, the number of people I knew — and saw — at the fair increased, as well as my knowledge of the wonder that is 4-H.
So before this year’s edition of The Great Jay County Fair, I had an idea.
In addition to being part of a four-person team covering the fair, I wanted to be part of the fair — by taking selfies. Here was the announcement I made on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for my #csfairselfie project.
Based on the number of likes I had gotten on all three social media platforms, it seemed like the response was going to be pretty good. I made one stipulation, however, that I would not seek out selfies. Fair-goers had to find me and ask for a selfie.
Saturday, the project began slowly. I only got two selfies. It was something I somewhat expected, though, as the events at the fair hadn’t really started to begin.
Sunday I didn’t make it out to the fairgrounds, but a couple clever friends in southwest Indiana still found a way to be a part of the project.
Monday, I again only had two selfies, which started to disappoint me a little bit. I honestly thought I’d have more, though I didn’t want to officially set a specific number for how many selfies I wanted.
Tuesday was a much better day. I got caught in one specific spot on the fairgrounds for about 90 minutes, taking selfies and chatting with different groups of people. I managed eight selfies that day — one of which included me handling a steer!
Wednesday it rained, which put a damper (pun intended) on the activities. I arrived again in the evening, shortly before a concert was supposed to begin, but it ended up getting canceled. Number of selfies taken: seven.
Thursday, perhaps the busiest day at the fair, was also my best day for selfies. Jeff Foxworthy was the grandstand entertainment, and I reached double-digits in terms of selfies taken (an even 10). This made me hopeful for a good weekend.
Here’s a few of my favorite shots from the Foxworthy performance. It was a little more difficult to shoot than I thought, because of the lighting changing during the show. Also, it’s hard to shoot pictures when you’re laughing so hysterically and on the verge of crying.
Friday had great weather, although I wasn’t at the fairgrounds very long because I had work to do back in the office. I shot a bit of the demolition derby — got sought out in the process for a few selfies) and got a handful of other selfies on my way out of the grandstand to my car and back to the office. Number of selfies: five.
Saturday, the final day of the 2016 Jay County Fair, was a good one. The weather was in the high-70s to low-80s, hardly a cloud in the sky with a slight breeze. I shot harness racing at the grandstand in the morning and the FFA Mud Volleyball tournament (while getting a few selfies with the contestants) in the afternoon. I was a little more relaxed on my initial rule and asked some people to take selfies with me instead of waiting for them to ask me. Number of selfies: eight, for the eighth and last day of the fair.
In all, I got more than 50 selfies, which is about what I was expecting. Some people were in more than one selfie, just not on the same day. And, to no surprise, there was one thing that stood out about the whole project, the majority of the participants were female. And, on one instance, two kids whom I didn’t recognize asked for a selfie. Of course, I took one. There was an odd occurrence that I was oblivious to; I was taking a selfie with person A, while 10 feet away person B took a selfie of myself and person A taking a selfie. Clever, if you ask me.
Speaking of clever, that couple from southwest Indiana? On Sunday (the day I didn’t make my way out to the fairgrounds), the former Jay County residents brought up a picture of me on their tablet, then took a selfie that way. Of course, I included it in my project simply because of their creativity.
There were a handful of individuals that tried hard to participate in my #csfairselfie project. One of which was there three separate days trying to find me, unfortunately it just so happened I was not there at that time. And when I arrived, they weren’t either. But, after a few days of frustration on their part, we were finally able to meet for a selfie.
In all, it was a fun experience taking selfies with whomever asked. At the end of each night I posted a collage of that day’s loot, and it seemed to generate some buzz for people to wanting to be a part of it.
For as long as I cover the Jay County Fair, I’ll undertake this project. Maybe the goal next year will be to surpass 100 selfies!
Anyway, click the image below to head over to my flickr page to check out all 50-plus selfies I took while at the 2016 Jay County Fair.
To those who tracked me down to take a selfie with me, thank you. I had a blast.
Until next time…