You can learn a lot at the county or state fair

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 11, 2016

By Amber Covington

Rowan Public Library

Talk about deep fried Oreos — hmmmm. Sounds delicious! It’s fall, y’all, and time to head to a local or state fair. Often I attend many festivals in different North Carolina cities and towns to learn more about our state’s rich history.

The North Carolina State Fair is a great way to learn about businesses and organizations that are in the state, as well as fill your tummy with interesting food. So what is all the hype about the state fair? Food, amusement rides or crafty vendors?

Depending on the person you ask, I am sure you will receive a different response. The North Carolina State Fair began as a way for North Carolina farmers to learn better farming practices through demonstrations provided by the North Carolina State Agricultural Society.

Today, fairs and festivals have a variety of delicious and delicate sweets including typical carnival foods such as turkey legs, ice cream and funnel cakes. One of the most exciting things are the freebies. Yes, free samples of food, T-shirts, stickers, small toys, magnets, pencils and pens.

However, most fairs also dedicate a portion of the fair to showcase their original purpose: to educate visitors about raising animals, growing and producing food in innovative ways, and rural folkways.

Now that you’ve read a little history, I encourage you to get out, visit and learn about our county by visiting Autumn Jubilee at Dan Nicholas Park, Rockwell Fest, the Rowan County Fair, Gold Hill Founders Day, or the Denton Street Festival in Denton to celebrate with others. So venture out and explore a festival somewhere in Rowan County or somewhere else in the state. Just be sure to take cash, it’s accepted everywhere.

September Movie Series: Celebrate Library Card Sign-up month and enjoy film adaptations of classic books from childhood. Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m., “The Indian in the Cupboard,” rated PG, 9-year-old Omri receives a magical, wooden cupboard for his birthday. When it animates a 19th-century Iroquois warrior named Little Bear, a friendship is born and adventures begin. Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m., “The Neverending Story.” Popcorn and lemonade will be served; this event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.  

Dr. Who’s Days: Sept. 13, 4:30-6 p.m., headquarters, Travel through time and space with screenings of the classic BBC program, “Dr. Who.”

Family storytelling Concert: Sept. 15, doors open at 6:30 p.m., concert 7-8 p.m., cosponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library, featuring storyteller Connie Regan-Blake. She uses a blend of humor, wisdom and spontaneity and has entertained in 47 states and 17 countries, capturing the imaginations of young and old from every walk of life.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Sept. 27, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme.”The Graveyard Book.” Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Back to School De-Stress Fest: School got you down? Come chill out with us and relax for a while. Teens will engage in a variety of activities and learn about healthy behaviors to learn how to minimize stress during the school year. All programs, 4:30-6 p.m., Sept. 20, headquarters; Sept 22, South; Sept. 26, East.

Stories by the Millstream Festival: Sept. 16, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Due to Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ schedule, this event will not be held at Sloan Park. Contact Emma Rose at 704-216-7729 for details. For all Rowan County second-graders.

Friend of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series: Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen. Sept, 27, 7 p.m., doors open 6:30 p.m. For years, Pat sang in New Orleans six nights a week, performing at venues including the House of Blues, until Katrina destroyed her home and she moved to North Carolina. During her performances, she unfurls the tapestry of her experiences to her audience in soulful words and music.

Adult classes

Money Mondays — Changing Your Life Through Better Money Management: Sept. 12, 6-7:30 p.m. or Sept. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., headquarters, study room 4, second floor. Will include topics, such as understanding your paycheck, stretching your food dollars, designing a spending plan, avoiding high cost financial services, understanding credit and debt and starting a habit of saving money. Space is limited, so register today. Call Abigail Hardison at 704-216-8248 or email Course material provided by the National Endowment for Financial Education, a non-profit organization. These free materials are accessible at

Technology Tuesdays — Microsoft Excel Basics: Sept. 13, 7-8 p.m., headquarters, second floor computer lab. Come learn about spreadsheets and formulas (more fun that it sounds). Space is limited. Call 704-216-8248 or email to register. Sept. 27, Tablet tutorial.

Genealogy class: Sept. 17, 9 a.m.-noon, headquarters. “Expanding Your Family History with DNA” with Cynthia Wells, a regional speaker with the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. The presentation will include examples of how DNA has helped explore the genealogical mysteries and expand the understanding and knowledge of family history. This event, co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Rowan County and the History Room of RPL, is free and open to the public.

Gale lessons class: Sept. 20, 7-8 p.m., headquarters, second floor computer lab. Access your Gale class from the RPL computer lab, where staff are on hand to assist, if needed. Space is limited. Call 704-216-8248 or email to register.

Weekly events for children, Sept. 12-Nov. 18

Baby Time: A loosely interactive program of simple stories and songs for infants up to 23 months with parent or guardian. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Char’s Little Stars, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Tiny Sprouts, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South, Miss Pat’s Tiny Tots, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time: Sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills for children 18-35 months with parent or caregiver. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Reading Rumpus, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Tammie’s Tot Time, Mondays at 11; South, Miss Pat’s Wee Readers, Tuesdays, 10:30.

Preschool Time: Encourages the exploration of books and builds reading readiness skills for children 3- to 5-years-old with parent or caregiver. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head Story Times: Children of all ages can listen to silly books and tales together. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays at 4 p.m.; East, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs: Activities and instruction based on various themes and media vary by branch. Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Bethany’s Brushes, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Emma’s Easel, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7-9 can practice their reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Reading therapy dogs registered through Therapy Dogs International are available for beginning and struggling readers to read aloud to them. Reservations recommended, not required. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m., call 704-216-8234 for details; East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Sept. 12 and 26, Oct. 10 and 24; call 704-216-7842 for details; South, selectedSaturdays, 10 a.m., call 704-216-7728 for details.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. Meets at East branch meeting room, Tuesdays, 5 p.m., Sept. 13-May 2017.

Lego Saturdays: 10 a.m., Sept. 17,  Headquarters. Sept. 24, South, 10 a.m. Legos have been cited for developing creativity, imagination, systematic reasoning and problem solving The library’s collection will be available for free play, or bring your own.

Adventure Club: Saturday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-noon, Headquarters. Hands-on science based activities and crafts. Program is for second- to fifth-graders. One hour.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join provide input on teen programming and book selection, as well as discussing current events and issues. Meets once a month at each library location from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Members can count hours of participation toward school community service requirements. Sept. 12, East, Rockwell; Sept 27, headquarters.

2016 Book Cover Contest for Teens: This contest is for middle and high school students in grades six through 12. Entries will be accepted at any library location between Sept. 21 and Oct. 10. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in each age group for the best original book cover design for a published book. See the official entry form for detailed instructions. For more information, contact Hope at 704-216-8258 or Sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library.

Displays: Headquarters, Constitution Week and 50th anniversary of Star Trek; East, Chiari Malformation Awareness; South, jewelry by Myrtis Trexler.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.