This weekend will begin a week of activities for all ages — activities that have been in the planning for the past year.
The 2022 Jefferson County Fair will open Sunday, beginning with a garden tractor pull in the morning and opening ceremonies followed by the pageant to select a new fair queen, junior queen and princess.
Everything that has been scheduled for this year’s fair — from the exhibits to the programs on the community stage and in front of the grandstand to the vendors to making sure there are plenty of paper products in the toilets — didn’t just happen. Hours and hours of work and preparation went into this event, which is being planned for you and your family.
I doubt if any member of the Jefferson County Fair Authority has kept track of the number of phone calls, text messages, emails, letters and personal contacts they have made as they were preparing for this year’s fair. From my own experience of planning much smaller events for our church, I know the numbers would shock most people.
Add to that the meetings they attended, the trips to printers and other businesses to get the items necessary, the hours spent at the fairgrounds cleaning buildings, moving chairs and tables, mowing and weed-eating, and doing all the other chores necessary to prepare the fairgrounds — again, for you and your family.
No, the Jefferson County Fair, like Brookville’s recent Laurel Festival, doesn’t just happen. It happens because men and women are willing to give up hours and hours of their own time to prepare something others might enjoy. These board members are volunteers — never do they receive a paycheck. They do this because they care about their community and want to give something back for all they have received, something that everyone might enjoy.
I say might, because without a doubt, there will be those who will complain that the admission price is too high or there is nothing to do at the fair. Shame on them. This year’s admission price is $10 per person, for however many hours you might want to be at the fair that day. I just checked at a nearby theater, and the ticket price for one of the movies now playing is $10.49 for children ages 2 and older, and $12.49 for adults, for a movie that will last for 1 hour and 27 minutes. Admission to the fair includes all the exhibits, the grandstand show (except Wednesday night), the community stage events and ALL carnival rides.
Others have in the past and will complain again that the admission price doesn’t include anything purchased from the vendors. The last time I went to a movie, my admission ticket didn’t include the popcorn and Coke; those were extra.
Still others will say they don’t want to go to the fair because there is nothing to do. Again, shame on them. There will be exhibits displaying the creativity and hard work of our friends, neighbors and maybe even family members. There will be animals to see and touch and feed; animals that are usually seen only behind fences as we drive down the road or in a cage in a zoo where you can look but never hope to touch. There will be competitions and entertainment that everyone can enjoy. And there will be just about any kind of fair food you can imagine, goodies that only come around once a year.
Most of all, there will be friends and neighbors to meet and greet. When Rex and I went to the fair, our favorite time was getting a snack from the midway then sitting in the gazebo, seeing how many friends we would see. Sometimes they would stop to chat, other times they just waved as they were passing by. But just sitting there, relaxing, enjoying the fresh air and the sounds of people having a good time made for a great evening, because we were enjoying it together.
No, the Jefferson County Fair didn’t just happen. It took hours and hours of work by people who care. It is more than just entertainment — the fair is support of local and area businesses and gives everyone a chance to learn about them. There are educational opportunities and many, many chances to make memories that just might last a lifetime.
When you see a fair board member, instead of criticizing what isn’t there this year, why not thank them for everything that is there? Dollars don’t stretch nearly as far today as they did a few years ago and they have done the best they know how to do to prepare a great week of entertainment for you and your family.
See you at the fair!