MINOT, ND — The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the fun of America’s state and county fairs with four new Forever stamps. The whimsical artwork of the stamps is meant to evoke a nostalgic feeling for America’s fairs past and present. The stamps show a traditional fair theme where communities gather to socialize and have fun.
The State and County Fairs Forever stamps were dedicated at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, ND. News about the stamps is being shared on social media using the hashtags #StateFairsStamps, #StateCountyFairsStamps and #CountyFairsStamps. Also, a video of the stamps unveiling ceremony is on Facebook.com/usps.
“The great thing about fairs is they have something for everyone, from concerts and carnival rides to cotton candy and contest winners” said Postal Service Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President David E. Williams, who served as the dedicating official. “These whimsical stamps highlight the educational and social value fairs bring to communities with opportunities to learn, teach, and have fun with friends and family.”
Fairs are annual events that families and communities anticipate with enthusiasm. State and county fairs are quintessential Americana. Long before there were extension services or schools of agriculture, America’s fairs were organized to educate farm families in the agricultural, mechanical and domestic arts.
At the earliest fairs, the educational mission was enlivened by competitions for the “best” or “biggest” and are still among the most popular events today. Competitors vie to produce the best in baked goods or the most perfect — and largest — example of a particular fruit, vegetable or flower. Competitive livestock exhibitions display the hard work that goes into raising farm animals. A lucky few display the ribbons their efforts have won.
Joining Williams in the ceremony was KXMC-TV Station Manager Jim Olson, North Dakota State Fair General Manager Renae Korslien, State Future Farmers of America President Brianna Maddock, North Dakota Association of Fairs Associate Director and Board Member Corey Heiser and vocalist Chloe Marie.
The colorful se-tenant stamps — one scene across four stamps — celebrate the fun of America’s state and county fairs. The stamps were designed to work together as a panorama of familiar, traditional fair activities, while each stamp also works as an individual picture.
Starting from the left, the first stamp shows farmers unloading produce, including watermelons and giant pumpkins, behind a white fence. In the second stamp, a child holding a chicken sits atop the same fence, with carnival rides — a Ferris wheel and merry-go-round — in the background. Those rides can be seen in the third stamp, where some fairgoers admire the livestock behind the white fence while others walk, balloons in hand, toward a sweets stand. The last stamp shows children at the stand buying treats from the vendor.
The art director was Greg Breeding. Mike Ryan designed the stamps with original art by Mick Wiggins.
The State and County Fairs stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.
The stamps will be available for purchase July 25. Pre-orders for the State and County Fairs stamps can be reserved through The Postal Store at usps.com/shop.
Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store at usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide. Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shop under “Collectors.”
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.