A Winged Affair

Jul 30, 2014

Say the word “wings” to folks who attend fairs and festivals and they may think of something to eat--buffalo wings or chicken wings.

But if you head over to McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, Vallejo, you'll be thinking of insect flight.

Flight of butterflies and moths. And maybe a ladybug or two.

Butterflies grace wall hangings, quilts and t-shirts and also appear in photographs and arts and crafts projects. You'll also encounter other bugs, including a moth (photograph), and a youngster's educational display board about spiders. (For those who aren't fond of spiders, these are illustrations.)

The 65th annual fair, themed "Cruisin' the County," opened Wednesday, July 30 and ends on Sunday, Aug. 3.  The theme spotlights classic and unique cars.

Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of the McCormack Hall building, and her crew have done a marvelous job setting up and displaying the many exhibits, which range from youth photos, preserved foods, and baked goods to quilts, special collections and arts and crafts projects.

Among the special butterfly and moth attractions we spotted:

  • "Butterfly Lovers," a hand-and-machine quilted wall hanging by Tina Waycie of Vallejo
  • "Butterflies," a needlepoint (stamped cross-stitchery) by Marlo Wilson of Vallejo, adult division
  • "Butterfly T-Shirt," a textile project by Leslie Dunham of PACE Solano, adult division
  • "Flying Wing," a machine-quilted wall hanging by Suzanne Ruiter of Fairfield, adult division
  • "Moth," a photo by 9-year-old Maximilian Burgess-Shannon of Benicia

Gloria Gonzalez, a longtime 4-H leader (she's the co-community leader of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, Vallejo) kept busy finishing up the displays last Sunday. Among those assisting were Sharon Payne, past president of the Solano County 4-H Leaders' Council and the superintendent of the youth exhibit building at the Dixon May Fair; Gloria's daughter, Angelina Gonzalez, who leads the arts and crafts project for Sherwood Forest; and their colleague Iris Mahew of American Canyon.

Angelina, who recently received her master's degree in sociology from Sacramento State, is also the Solano County representative to the Statewide 4-H SET (science, engineering and technology) Program. (By the way, she's also a great cook--her caramel cookies won best of show.)

Fairs are all about informing, educating and entertaining--not necessarily in that order. They are a place where you can browse through the exhibit halls, enjoy the carnival rides, check out the 4-H and FFA livestock and the junior livestock auction, attend a free concert, and eat a bacon-wrapped hot dog. (Actually, I think something vegetarian sounds better!)

We're especially glad to see the insect-themed exhibits in McCormack Hall. It's not just vehicles that "cruise" the county or parts of the county.

Insects do, too.