The county fair is the most ‘American’ of American traditions. For over 170 years, it has been the bedrock of American communities across the country, showcasing the power and meaning of some of the most unifying and nostalgic ideals of the American culture and society.
Generally held in the late summer or early fall on the outskirts of town, the fair was originally a meeting place for farmers to promote local agriculture. In the 20th century, as America shifted from an agrarian to an urban society, it expanded dramatically to include a wealth of family focused fun and entertainment, from carnival amusement rides, games, and side shows to car racing, concession stands, and musical concerts.
During the summer of 2015, American photographer Pamela Littky travelled across the U.S. to capture the sites of these important seasonal markers in America’s heartland. She drove thousands of miles to experience and document fairs all over the country, teeming with the people who call the surrounding area home.
“I have spent most of my adult life in Los Angeles, (where) the one thing that seems lacking is a true sense of ‘community’ — a feeling of connection among its diverse and unique populations”, Pamela said.