Winning Big Fun at County Fairs
Augest 23, 2013
Millions of Americans enjoys countyfairs every year
Welcome to American Mosaic from VOA
I’m June Simms.
On the show today, we play music from a first album by country group FloridaGeorgia Line.
We also visit Money Island, New Jersey, a coastal community still recoveringfrom a powerful ocean storm last year.
But first, we go to a fair!
Every year, county fairs take place across the United States. Visitors cansee farm animals, find lots to eat and buy goods from artists and craftsmen. Butsome people go to fairs for the rides and games.
Christopher Cruise tells about the fun at one such event in Costa Mesa,California.
The people who work at the Orange County Fair operate the rides and games.But what really fuels the action are the fairgoers with clear goals. Like11-year-old Cory Richards who won a huge toy animal by playing a game.
“I had the goal to get this guy, and I did it. So, now, it’s just win as manystuffed animals as I can.”
In one game, players throw baseballs. They attempt to hit and break emptyglass bottles. In another, throwing a basketball or two through a basketball netcan win a prize.
Cory Richards believes that the bigger the toy, the better.
“I played the basketball game. It was between this one or the round piggy.But this one was bigger so it made me feel more accomplished.”
The boy admits that winning at these games involves a little skill and a lotof luck.
Another visitor to the Orange County Fair, Kee An, says she may not have agood chance of winning. But that does not stop her from taking part.
“I’m always a sucker to these games. I always lose my money but that’s thethrill of it.”
Hear those screams? They were from a nearby ride. Meagan Tse was one of theriders. But she was brave.
“No it wasn’t scary. It was awesome.”
Many parents welcome the sight of their children having so much fun. Manycapture the joyful faces in video recordings or photographs.
In one game, players try to roll balls into holes to make toy horses moveforward along a track. Lanz Nicodemus gets his horse across the finish linefirst.
“This is one of my favorite games. I keep on winning.”
But what about those visitors who leave the county fair without a prize?Better luck next year, when the fair returns.Money Island Needs Money and Sand
Hurricane Sandy severely damaged many New Jersey coastal townslast year.
Last year, a powerful storm severely damaged coastal towns in New Jersey. Thestate is spending millions of dollars to rebuild the areas. But people in somepoor communities are being urged to leave their homes and move away from thecoast. Money Island is among these places.
William Bowen is the oldest living resident of Money Island. He remembers atime when there was a wide, sandy beach in front of his home.
Now workers are helping him replace the small, sandy ground that was washedaway in super storm Sandy last year. Mr. Bowen says he will not leave hishome.
Money Island is not an island. It is a village of small, older homes in thewetlands of southern New Jersey.
Money Island sits where the Delaware River meets the Atlantic Ocean. MayorRobert Campbell says it seems Hurricane Sandy was a powerful influence on NewJersey officials. He says state agencies are now making policies aimed atforcing people to move away from the coast. The government is requiring use ofstrong, structural supports to raise houses high above flood levels. And he saysnew costly rules are being ordered for waste and water systems.
Blue Acres is a state program that buys houses in flood zones. Renee Brechtis with the environmental group The American Littoral Society. It opposes usingmillions of government dollars to protect a small number of houses from risingsea levels.
Ms. Brecht says sea walls and other costly measures will only work for ashort time. She would like to make much of the area a natural preserve for localwildlife. She notes a nearby project led by another organization, the NatureConservancy. It turned 86 hectares of badly damaged neighborhoods into aprotected area for plants and wildlife.
Adrianna Zito Livingston is with the Nature Conservancy. She says it willcost $35 million to care for the area over the next 50 years. Some people inMoney Island are left wondering why such money is used for nature and not forthe people who live there.
Florida Georgia Line
We have had a couple of shows recently about summer songs. They included notjust songs that are about summer, but also songs that are big hits during thesummer. They are sometimes called summer anthems.
Next week we will play several of 2013’s summer anthems. One of them comesfrom a two-man group called Florida Georgia Line. Mario Ritter tells about theband and plays songs from its first album.
Florida Georgia Line is Bryan Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. Guess where they arefrom? Georgia is Kelley’s native state and Hubbard is from Florida.
Both men have been playing guitar since their teens. They met while attendingBelmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Florida Georgia Line had a hit song with their single “Cruise.” It has becomeone of the biggest songs of summer 2013.
“Cruise” is on the group’s first full-length album “Here’s to the GoodTimes.” It was released last December. Kelley and Hubbard say they wrote many ofthe songs while on the back of Hubbard’s truck. “Tell Me How You Like It” mightbe one of them. It talks about driving on rough road and sending dust flyinginto the air.
Bryan Kelley and Tyler Hubbard seem surprised by their sudden fame. On theirwebsite, Hubbard calls their success a “whirlwind.” Kelley describes it as adream come true.
We leave you with Florida Georgia Line performing the party song, “Tip ItBack.”