Winfield full of culture, industry

Many people know Winfield for the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival and as the former home to Crayola crayons, but to me the days of the Cowley County Fair are the ones most etched in my mind. While I love my new hometown of Bucklin, I miss Winfield the most when I visit during the fair. My sister’s and brother’s families are now involved in 4-H and my nieces and nephews are getting some of those same experiences I so fondly remember.

The families of their 4-H club park their campers in a square. Hundreds of times throughout the fair, random 4-H kids visit the square to see “Popsicle Pete” and his freezer full of popsicles. My old 4-H friends are now the parents. They enjoy the shade of the trees and give high-fives for blue ribbons and hugs for whites—regardless of whether the kid is their own or not. Kids play non-stop with their friends between times in the show ring, and often there’s usually a dip in the water tank at some point.

The lights of the carnival glow over the fairgrounds at night, ending the days with screams of delight and a little cotton candy. It’s where I developed life long friendships and the knowledge that community matters.

Holly Martin can be reached at 800-452-7171, ext. 1806, or [email protected].

Claims to fame

• Home of the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival (people attend the music festival from all over the country during September).

• Southwestern College (Home of the Moundbuilders).

• Gott coolers (the brand sold to Rubbermaid and is still manufactured there).

• Crayola crayons (the Binney and Smith factory is no longer there but I spent one summer working third shift).

• Century-old two story homes line the main east-west street, which is covered with shade from the canopy of just-as-old trees.