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Culture Shock at the Mariposa County Fair: California, USA

Shocked in California

Who would have guessed that after 17 months of traveling around the world, serious culture shock would occur right here in California?  Just 170 miles from my hometown of San Francisco, an entirely different culture exists in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Mariposa County, covering 1463 square miles (3,789 square kilometers) doesn’t have one permanent traffic light.  Not one.  It’s rural y’all.  And the town of Mariposa has a population of only 2100 people, smaller than my middle school in San Francisco.  This will take some getting used to.

Mariposa is not only a gateway to Yosemite, but rich in California history.  It’s boom came in the 1850’s as men from all over the world came to mine gold, violently displacing the Native Americans who had lived here for centuries.  Today it thrives mainly on Yosemite tourist dollars.  One street off the quaint thoroughfare and it’s a sleepy town with a tight-knit community, where neighbors still help neighbors and you’re likely to run into someone you know at every stop.  Even for a newcomer like me.  Note to self: Don’t step on any toes.

This week, Bear and I enjoyed some good old-fashioned, down-home fun at the Mariposa Country Fair.  Nobody gave me the memo that a cowboy hat and boots were the required costume, but next year I’ll be better prepared.  You can fool this city girl once, but not twice!

Baking contests, livestock auctions, a rodeo, quilt shows, and carnival rides provided a heaping dose of small-town western America!  Yee haw!

Mariposa County Fair

Award winning tomatoes.

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Mariposa County Fair

Quilt Shows.

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Mariposa County Fair

One-handed, hair-combing corn. Of course.

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Mariposa County Fair

Mariposa Fair Fashion

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Mariposa County Fair

Carnival Games

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Mariposa County Fair

Mariposa County Fair

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Mariposa County Fair

Lovers on the Ferris Wheel

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Mariposa County Fair

Overwhelmed with color at the Carnival

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Mariposa County Fair

Trepidatious Couple

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Mariposa County Fair

Light and color overwhelm.

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Mariposa County Fair

Mariposa County Fair

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Mariposa County Fair

Cowboy hats and the age-old torture of goldfish.

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Mariposa County Fair

Twilight Merry-Go-Round

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Mariposa County Fair

As night falls, the excitement heats up.

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Mariposa County Fair

Lights on the “Dipper” Carnival Ride

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