Sheep, Chicks and Geese Scurry at the County Fair- page 9 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
(Maura McCarthy)

Sheep, Chicks and Geese Scurry at the County Fair

As photographer Dan Nelken has catalogued, the county fair is the place for family farms to showcase their prized livestock

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Delaware County Fair 2005
(Maura McCarthy)

Over the years Nelken had photographed several baby beauty pageants, but he was dissatisfied with the results—until he tried again at the 2005 Delaware County Fair.

“The kids didn’t care because they were toddlers, but it was really the parents trying to control their kids, trying to look nonchalant,” he says. “But they have this fierce sense of competition between them. It was just absolutely wonderful. I knew when I saw it that I had all the gestures in play.”

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