Metallic beauty

145th annual Clark County Fair ends its 10-day run

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(Above) Blacksmith Don Kemper humorously invites one of the spectators at the Clark County Fair’s Fort Vancouver Antique Equipment Association display to smell a “rose” created by hand from metal. Kemper, 80, has been a blacksmith for more than 25 years. He currently teaches classes out of his Ridgefield home.

(Right) Through the delicate process of heating and hammering the metal, Kemper works to create an eagle’s head in front of a crowd of curious onlookers of all ages at the Clark County Fair blacksmith display on Friday. Thousands of people attended the 145th annual fair, which ended its 10-day run in Ridgefield on Sunday.

(Below) The mission of the FVAEA is to restore, preserve and display antique equipment. In addition to antique tools, the Clark County Fair display included antique engines and tractors, and cooking demonstrations. According to Sharon Kersting of the FVAEA, the non-profit organization has been part of the fair every year since 1986. The group, founded in 1982, also organizes the Rural Heritage Fair, which is traditionally held on the third weekend in July, at Schurman Iron Ranch in Ridgefield. For more information about the association, visit