Friday, August 20, 2010
anonymous vegetable competition returns to Arlington County Fair
Last year the Ode Street Tribune vigorously challenged the Arlington County Fair's decision not to provide the names of adult contestants in its nuts, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and other products competitions. The influential and sadly defunct Buckingham Herald Tribblog added its weight to the Ode Street Tribune's voice. Despite this potent journalistic force, the Arlington County Fair once again has hosted anonymous produce competitions.
Not making publicly available the names of adult entrants in the Arlington Fair's produce competitions makes a farce out of the important issue of privacy. Most competition entrants almost surely would be and should be proud to be recognized for their accomplishments. Persons who do not want to be publicly associated with Fair produce competition entries can reasonably choose not to enter the produce competition. Talking about neighbors' submissions to the fair is an important aspect of community associated with a fair. Anonymous fair competitions show no community.
Given Mrs. Westmoreland's glorious victory in the string beans competition two years ago at the Arlington Fair, Westmoreland Terrace Condominium residents have a keen interest in the Arlington Fair's vegetable competition. Fortunately, through persistent investigative reporting, the Ode Street Tribune has uncovered important news concerning the anonymous vegetable competition. Because she is spending a large amount of time caring for a sick relative, Mrs. Westmoreland did not enter the vegetable competition this year. We hope that Mrs. Westmoreland's neighbors will in turn offer her whatever support they can and she needs. The Ode Street Tribune expresses its sympathy with Mrs. Westmoreland and stands willing to produce a special report on Mrs. Westmoreland's gardening efforts at any time she wishes.
The Ode Street Tribune spoke with Scott Perry, Chairman of the Arlington County Fair Board of Directors, this afternoon. Mr. Perry, who was helping to collect garbage in the exhibition area, graciously listened to these concerns. We hope for new developments in produce competition name policy at next year's Fair.