By the numbers: SGA and the Georgia National Fair 2010

Submitted by Rita Elliott, ArchaeoBus Chair (ritafelliott@gmail.com)

0…days with rain
11…days of the Fair
15…hours per “Fair Day”
26…volunteers working the SGA ArchaeoBus
685…ArchaeoBus volunteer hours worked at the Fair
26,800…students on field trips to the Fair
82,000…record attendance on one day of the Fair
465,053…Fair visitors

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ABBY AND WE SURVIVED! Abby, the ArchaeoBus met countless numbers of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Georgia National Fair in Perry this October (2010). Visitors had a unique opportunity this year to learn about Georgia’s archaeology and preservation in a fun and interactive way, courtesy of the Society for Georgia Archaeology. Families and adults were actively engaged in learning these messages, as were field trip students. Since three of Abby’s many hands-on activities were designed to examine archaeology and agriculture, she was included in the “Georgia National Schoolhouse” agriculture component. This component targeted specific fair venues for visits by students on field trips, providing relevant educational connections.

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Children left Abby messages in her guest book. Glorianna wrote, “I like science and history, so A++++++++.” (That adds up to eight A-pluses, if you are counting!) Emmy took the time to write, “Hi! I love the ArchaeoBus!” Another child wrote, “I loved putting the pots together! I want to be an archaeologist.” Young Davis simply wrote, “yay fun”. Brandon carefully printed, “This was the coolest thing ever.” Adults left Abby notes, as well. One penned, “Thank you—a gem for students and parents!” Another wrote, “Wonderful exhibit with great interactive activities. Glad to see it at the Fair.”

Perhaps the most telling comment came from the Cantrell Family, who wrote:

We came early and rode a few rides but our six year old wasn’t impressed until we went to the ArchaeoBus. He didn’t want to leave!! Thank you thank you! It was the most fun he had all day!

Amid acres and acres of rides, amusements, games, exotic animals, fair food, face painting, music, and shows we accept that as the highest compliment! We thank the many visitors who shared their time with us and with Abby.

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Special thanks to the hard working cadre of volunteers at the ArchaeoBus and Tent. Volunteers included: PT Ashlock, II, Ben Baughman, Pam Baughman, Benny Boynton, Gail Boynton, Brooke Brilliant, JC Burns, Mary Craft, Misty Dunn, Dan Elliott, Rita Elliott, Beth Gantt, George Gantt, Tom Gresham (October’s Super Hero), Stephen Hammack, Tammy Herron, Joel Jones, Catherine Long, Matt Luke, Alan Marsh, Rob Moon, Maggie Needham, Sammy Smith, Mary Stakes, Allen Vegotsky, and Jack Wynn.

From tracking down weevil-free corn to working extra hours to fill in scheduling gaps, you rock! You are the real stars of the show and your efforts are fully appreciated by not only the many fair visitors, but by this very grateful ArchaeoBus Chair. Meanwhile, rest those vocal cords and eat your veggies, the Georgia National Fair 2011 will be here before you know it!

Rita Elliott, ArchaeoBus Chair