It is once again the season for carnival rides and livestock competitions at county and state fairs across the country. The first state fair was in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1841 to promote the agriculture industry. Since that time, fairs have evolved to include amusement rides and games, concerts, and demolition derbies. — Lloyd Young EDITOR’S NOTE: The Big Picture will post again on Wednesday, August 14. ( 45 photos total)

A man stands beneath a ride at the North Dakota state fair on July 27 in Williston, N.D. The western region of North Dakota has seen a rise in crime, automobile accidents and drug usage recently, due in part to the oil boom which has brought tens of thousands of jobs to the region, lowering state unemployment and bringing a surplus to the state budget. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)