This is the week of the Union County Fair and I will always be a fair supporter.
It’s a worthwhile part of our history and heritage but the part important to me is the memories it evokes.
My father was president of the fair board and my mother was in charge of the pageants for several years so I pretty much spent every night at the fair.
Sadly, the fair is diminished from 50 years ago.
Then, the fair had little competition. There were more events, exhibits, the midway was bigger (or seemed to be) and Union County communities still had distinct identities that they promoted and gathered together. Giving away cars and trucks was a big deal of course, and I remember farmers waiting to buy major pieces of equipment until just before the fair to increase their chance of having a winning ticket.
The metal seats on the Scrambler were uncomfortably cold and a sweater was sometimes needed to ward off the early fall chill.
In a way, the fair has not changed that much, though. It’s the world that has changed.
There are too many family events scheduled, too much obsession with social media, too many sources of video to watch, so the fair seems a little too quaint, too un-hip for some of the so-called Millennials and other Gens.
People feel they are too sophisticated for a simple county fair.
But I have never played a video game that provided the excitement of having a Tilt-a-Whirl try to squeeze your body through its metal mesh back with its multiple G-forces, or found a nutritional drink as tasty as an over-syrupped grape snow cone.
I like my iPhone – probably a little too much – and understand the value social media has for some, but occasionally, the simple pleasures are still the best.
You may speculate on the origin of that corn dog you are eating and, deep-down, know you won’t win the big Teddy bear no matter how much you spend, but that is part of the tradition and part of the fun.
Go to the fair.