Why is the county fair such a vital part of a community? Why is it that for one week, most things come to a stop and all eyes turn to the county fairgrounds for a week to 10 days? Why is there such anticipation to the many shows, competitions and exhibits by our young people at these county fairs?
The answers to all these questions can be found the next week at the 128th Madison County Fair.
Our county fair begins Sunday with noon opening ceremonies at the Eby Arena. But that isn’t actually true. For the many competitors showing their livestock, especially those 4-H and FFA youth taking part in the Junior Fair competitions, this year’s fair began months and months ago.
What happens this next week is just the culmination of all the hard work and effort by the participants at our fair for the whole previous 12 months … maybe more.
This fair is especially meaningful to the FFA and 4-H kids who work so hard to prepare their livestock, projects, clothes, show horses and food for the county fair. The competition is intense, but you will find no better sportsmanship than at our county fair.
These young people learn plenty of life lessons by taking part in the fair, and these lessons stay with them the rest of their lives. The county fair is invaluable in this learning process.
The Madison County Fair is also vital for everyone who visits to get a first-hand look about the vital role agriculture plays. They provide a welcome break from the days in the field or behind a desk. They showcase talent, recognize hard work of those who raise livestock and bring all walks of life together for the week.
Our fair would be possible without a multitude of volunteers working behind the scenes to bring it all together. While most people see the fruits of these efforts for seven to 10 days, the work takes most of the year to plan pageants, sales and plan days of exhibits and demonstrations.
It is a labor of love for most and is not easy. It’s being made even tougher the past few years by having to juggle ways to keep the same level of offerings while financial help from the state fades away.
We urge everyone to come out and support the Madison County Fair this next week. Cheer for the winner of the fair queen pageant. Talk to the future farmers about what raising that goat or cow has taught them. Try to win a stuffed animal at the balloon-shooting booth.
There are great events taking place every day at the Madison County Fair.
We at The Madison Press have our own building at the fair this year where we will be giving away Cedar Point tickets, plenty of gifts and free copies of The Madison Press.
So join us and your neighbors all week at the Madison County Fair.