The Zucchini 500, at the San Juan County Fair, is a metaphor for everything good about the San Juan Islands.
For five short evenings, starting at 5 p.m., Scott Bell (the loud one, and worthy of being a game show host on any TV network) works his magic at the skate park. Young children, pre-teens, teenagers and adults, race homemade contraptions, carrying a zucchini, down 20-foot wooden ramps, into the depths of the skate park, bringing squeals of delight from both young and old.
There are no politics involved. You can’t tell Democrats from Republicans. Although “Common Sense” might dictate selecting the right track, while our “Friends” would most likely suggest the left race track, in the end it doesn’t matter.
Gender plays no role as girls win as often as boys. Technology sometimes triumphs, as in last year’s Hovercraft; but just as often skate wheels purchased from Consignment Treasures will defeat the finest European bearings.
Future generations will someday attempt to describe the “Electrician’s Nightmare,” Susie Lefever’s racing zucchini, and Harry “The Honey man’s” CO2 cartridge powered creations, but I promise you this: it is impossible not to laugh, cheer, and be completely entertained.
The County Fair is the epitome of islanders working cooperatively, in a competitive setting, to show off their skills, and just plain have a lot of fun. Come on over and watch the talented horseback riders, see the quilts, enjoy the thrill rides, listen to the music and visit the food court.
You’ll eat too much, but it will be a memorable occasion.
Mike Buetell/San Juan Island