best in show “It’s always so moving when I encounter a world that people are really pouring their hearts into, especially one that I’d been unaware existed. There’s so much sincerity on display in the fair’s exhibit hall, including this statue of a horse crafted with duct tape and dahlias entered in the flower contest,” Johnson says. Anyone living in North Carolina can enter the competitions, which range from preserving and baking to wood carving and quilting.
two worlds “When you’re young, a hot summer night seems electric with anticipation, whether strapping in for a thrill ride or waiting on the sideline for your competition to begin,” Johnson says.
pig Pals Right, “This was the last photo of the day, taken as I was heading for the exit gate. By the end of the night, everyone is exhausted—even the livestock.” Pigs, cows, goats, turkeys, and even rabbits are entered for judging.
Trick rider “I love this little girl’s body language, straining toward the horse and rider as if she’s in love. You can imagine it will be her out there one day,” Johnson says. Horseback riding is one aspect of the exhibitions at the fair.
The Midway at Night, when viewed from high above the noise, heat, and crowds, the fair is a mass of swirling—even dancing—colors.