Visit a county fair for affordable fun
BY MARY ALICE POWELL
July 15, 2012
County fairs are right up there with the flag and apple pie as examples of Americana that deserve our undivided attention.
Just think of the unfortunate folks in big cities like Chicago and New York who don't live in the midst of the county fair circuit. I am offended when this region is referred to as the Rust Belt and prefer to identify it as rich agriculture land, occupied by families who work hard and take one week off each year for the county fair to show crops and fruits and vegetables they have grown and animals they have raised.
It's hard to find any other public venue that is more family oriented or less expensive to attend.
The Lucas County Fair will end a five-day run today. As an example of how easy fair admissions are on the budget, the admission is $6 and $5 if you get the ticket at The Andersons. Today veterans and their families will not only be recognized but will be treated to bean soup and cornbread in Rec Hall 2 from noon to 4 p.m. Hundreds of volunteers make the fairs work and today that effort includes the soup and cornbread.
It's like Kay Stenzel, a Waterville resident and member of the board of directors, said, "Why, of course they have to be homemade." Even in this extreme hot weather? "Of course, we wouldn't have it any other way for our veterans."
If you are a county fair buff like I have been since childhood, you probably have a favorite on the circuit, be it Fulton, Williams, Ottawa, or others in northwest Ohio. The Hillsdale County Fair in Michigan is always last in late September when a sweater feels good for the evening events.
My favorite? Lenawee, my home county, which will be held July 22-28 at the fairgrounds in Adrian. I know how much work goes into the program and how special fair week is to the children who have groomed their animals and the women who have baked and canned their best for competition, all with hopes of taking home a blue ribbon. Prize money is minimal. It's the pride of winning that is valuable.
The $5 Lenawee admission includes ongoing performances by local talent each day in the band shell. The entertainment ranges from magic shows to bluegrass and gospel music.