Picture it: you in your Slayer T-shirt, hopped up on that classic carnie combination of cotton candy, Mountain Dew and anything you can deep fry on a stick (meth?). As you shuffle slack-jawed kids on and off rides called the Dive Bomber and the Screamin' Swing all you can think is, "Wow, how do I still have all my teeth?" Well, that answer's easy—you're only doing this for a week and you also might not be wearing/eating/doing any of the above. Instead, you might sitting in the Information Booth informing educated adults where to find the competitive canning exhibit. You're a volunteer at the Arlington County Fair, which runs from Aug. 8-12. Sign up here. The last orientation day is this Saturday, Aug. 4, so don't sleep on it.
Of course, for those of us who want less play and more work, we might just attend this annual fête instead, and not just because we want to feel unsafe on a rickety carnival ride (although those will definitely be there). We go for the exhibits. Instead of awarding blue ribbons to the largest hogs or must milky cows, this more city-centric fair metaphorically puts a bird on everything. As mentioned, there are awards for best canned goods; there's a prize for best needlework art; people can win cash money for making the best homemade paper!
The food is also stepped up and includes not just things like funnel cakes and corndogs, but also meals like carne asada and pad thai, which helps summarize this fair—it's a small town concept executed for a more sophisticated audience.
And we can't wait. The Arlington Country Fair will take place from Aug. 8-12 in and around the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, located at 3501 2nd St. South in Arlington. Take note, though, there is no parking available as the parking lot will be taken up by awesome carnie stuff. Instead, if driving, you can opt to use the $2 shuttle that runs every 30 minutes from Ballston Metro. Or come in via foot or on bike. The latter is a pretty good ride.