I used to be a summer guy when I was a kid. My siblings and I couldn’t care less about the heat or the at-times awful Ohio humidity as we busied ourselves with foot races down the blacktop, bike rides, exploring the woods and seeing how far we can spit our watermelon seeds.
While I am always excited to cover summer events and am even more thrilled to see many of them making a return to form in recent months, there really is nothing quite like the fall. The air is cooler. The rain, though sometimes pesky, offers relief and healing from the scorching summers we’ve had lately. The trees shed their leaves in a display of unique colours. Even the way we eat evolves from citrus, cold and sweet to earthy, comfortably warm with just the right amount of spice. Winter’s not here yet, and we’re perfectly okay with that.
Before that time, I lived in suburban areas and had no real connection to the county fair. I have since then had my journalism career steer into smaller, agricultural communities not unlike the District of Kent, and I’ve come to appreciate the fair for the celebration of all things our town that it is.
For those looking at the Fall Fair through a more urbanized lens, it isn’t frowned upon to scoff at the “Green Acres,” farm and country glory of it all – but it should be. It should be considered rude to take a look at the fair and say, “Look at this corny, hayseed party over here.”
Well, what’s wrong with it? I’ll spoil it for you if you don’t want to read further – nothing. Nothing is wrong with the Fall Fair.
I think fairs are awesome. It’s a time where the hardworking farmers, ranchers, gardeners and artisans from all walks of life can come together and share the fruits of their tireless labour. Though harvest season is unquestionably busy for so many across Agassiz-Harrison, the Fall Fair is a great time to wipe the sweat off our collective brow, and party hardy.
I have a bevvy of fond memories of fairs past. I got lassoed around the ankle while walking the fairgrounds thanks to a particularly sharp-eyed, mischevious cowboy (please don’t get any ideas). I laughed as teams struggled to grab and corral a loose, mud-covered pig and was subsequently unsuccessful in getting some of my colleagues together to form a team of our own. I snapped photos of the finest livestock southeast Wyoming could muster and watched young 4-Hers beam with pride as they lovingly cared for their prize-winning animals.
This year, we’re happy to have West Coast Amusements bring their rides and games to us for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The famous chicken and corn barbecue is back along with the beer garden on Friday and Saturday, if you’re so inclined.
There are plenty of ways to flex our agricultural muscles, including but not limited to the tractor pull, goat milking, corn husking, hay bale decorating and, of course, the coveted crown of Corn King or Queen.
Since the fair was largely shelved last year, I have yet to experience an Agassiz-style celebration of the harvest season. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m really looking forward to next weekend.